11/27/12J-Learning: -- -- Polls and E-mail Surveys2/4www.j-learning.org/pages/print/polls_and_e_mail_surveys/
From a programming point of view, a quiz is a just poll with special "correct" answers, though there can also bedifferences in the way you compare answers, keep track of responses, etc.One other way that quizzes and polls might vary is that you might want to structure a quiz question by question,so that a user answers one question and sees the result before they proceed to the next question.And of course, you should note that people LOVE to "cheat" on quizzes, taking them multiple times or trying tofigure out how to get a perfect score, so treat the results with at least twice the skepticism you do your pollresults.
A 2003 poll by the Pew Internet & American Live Project found that 44 percent of adult Internet users hadcontributed content online in some way — to respond to something, to publish their thoughts, to post pictures orshare files. Another Pew poll in 2004 found that 26 percent of adult Internet users had rated a product, a serviceor a person using an online rating system. So a poll may be one way to capture some of this willingness tocontribute.
Polls are a good trigger for interactivity.
Asking a question and presenting a simple button to click "yea" or"nay" prompts a response far more effectively than a simple link that says "Participate in our site forums."Providing a link from poll results to a discussion forum might also convince a few extra participants to join in.
Polls are graphically interesting.
On a site that's text heavy, polls can provide a compelling visual elementand an entry point to a story or a page for people who are just scanning your site. See the simple poll The Forum,of Deerfield, N.H., used for the opening of its new Farmer's Market.
http://www.forumhome.org/Polls can be good for page views.
Depending on how you construct your poll software, every poll vote cantrigger a new page view. Ditto for when a reader wants to view the results – they'll usually have to load a newpage to do so. And of course, if someone likes your polls and wants to see the results of some other polls, they'llhave to load more pages.Do note that with modern CSS and AJAX techniques, it's possible to create polls that display within a single pageand require no extra page loads. How you decide to implement polls is up to you, and readers might appreciatenot having to reload everything each time they vote.
What is AJAX?
Polls can be a stand-alone feature.
Not all polls have to be associated with a story. Sometimes just thequestions, and the responses, can be interesting.
Polls can be fun.
The truth is, polls can be a place to inject a bit of levity or serendipity into your site. You don'twant to go overboard with this but there's still a chance to amuse your readers and yourselves with a poll. Maybeyou can get a local historian to contribute a fun-facts quiz about your community and solicit a local business todonate small prizes for the winning answers.
Among the biggest risks of Internet polls are that users will flood the poll with multiple responses and that userswill think that web polls are statistically valid.Self-selected polls, even if they are completely tamper-proof, are simply not valid indicators of the community atlarge. Professional pollsters spend much time and money trying to get a representative sample – old, young, rich,poor, ethnically diverse — to answer their questions.A web poll is limited to a rather narrow sample of people who can afford a computer and Internet service, who