Gathering data on the web is an important part of the business of the web. It’s your turn to start gathering. In today’s Blog Exercises, you will be creating a poll or survey.
Polls and surveys can be placed in posts or in your sidebar, depending upon the technique you choose. If you are on WordPress.com, all polls and surveys are managed through the Polldaddy Polls & Ratings WordPress Plugin. I recommend Polldaddy or Google Drive/Docs (create form), though there are many others if your site is self-hosted or not on WordPress. Polldaddy is free, with paid premium features, as is Google Drive/Docs. They are also simple and feature templates to make the process even easier.
What are you going to ask your readers? What information and data do you need?
It can be simple. Where do you live? Which one of the following is your favorite hobby? Which of these topics are the most interesting to you?
It can be more complex. Which news source do you turn to when there is national or international tragedies? If you could be reincarnated, what would you want to come back as? If you were to use an animal to describe yourself, which creature would best suit you?
The best polls and surveys are simple and quick, answered with a click or two. Take care in getting too philosophical. These require yes or no, or choosing from a few multiple choice questions.
As an example, I’ve included a Polldaddy poll here asking which publishing platform you are currently using. The answers are Blogger/Blogspot, MovableType, TypePad, WordPress, Tumblr, Jux, Posterous, ExpressionEngine, Joomla, Drupal, and other.
I’ve also included some resources to help you learn more about constructing a poll and survey for your readers. If you know of any good academic or white paper research on how to create a poll or survey, and how to evaluate it, please add it so we can create a reference list.
- Align polls left or right within WordPress Posts | Polldaddy Support
- Frequently Asked Questions | Pew Research Center for the People and the Press
- You Can’t Trust Most Polls or Surveys | Oddly Together
- 20 Questions A Journalist Should Ask About Poll Results | NCPP – National Council on Public Polls
- Create a survey or poll for your blog with Google Docs and Spreadsheets | JasonMorrison.net
- Email Surveys: Gathering Data The Easy Way
- Another Look at Survey Bias | VOTAMATIC
- Top 10 Free Poll and Survey Widgets for your Website – Speckyboy Design Magazine
- Using Online Surveys and Polls to Connect with Your Clients | Cornell Small Farms Program
- HOW TO: Poll Consumers on Facebook
- Gallup vs. the World – NYTimes.com
Start gathering data from your readers!
Want us to take your poll? Place a hat tip link link to this post on your poll post to generate a trackback or leave a link to it in the comments.