Alternatively titled “Poll Results Still Show Nearly Everyone Won’t Take Polls!”
My first poll in September of 2009 begged for responses to an innovative yes/no question that everyone should be able to respond to.
I’ve rerun the same poll – and it is just as shocking I tell you!
Plenty of views
The first poll was delivered to no less than 252 viewers, the page announcing this poll was viewed by no less than 378 people.
I still say “no less” because in today’s world of cached content, one viewer from a service provider like Comcast may have requested the page (and been properly counted), but the next several may not have contributed to the count – when Comcast offers up the cached page.
In any case – that’s a goodly number – and statistically valid too…-)
And as an addition, the poll itself was pushed out on each of 5018 site pageviews for the month of November.
Imagine my joy when I found not only the old graphic for the original chart, but the spreadsheet that I created it with – that made updating the graphic much easier, and regular readers know I’m all for that…
Oh – all right – here it is already…
The Question: Do you frequently participate in polls?
And there you have it – eleven people out of thirteen frequently participate in polls, that’s 85%, a huge majority. Much more than the fifteen people out of twenty four (62.5%) of the first poll.
(And for Arthur, here’s some honest-to-goodness explicit poll numbers for you;-)
Looking at the answers
This poll retains the original questions and so the original potential bias – what if someone “infrequently” participates in polls? How might they respond? Thankfully nobody commented on this poll – we can expect that this too was still not a problem.
So let’s have a look at the answers…
- Yes – I enjoy expressing my opinion. (31%, 4 Votes)(original 43%, 10 Votes)
Glad to see this continues to represent the view of a significant number of poll takers.
- No – The results are irrelevant and useless. (0%, 0 Votes)(original 13%, 3 Votes)
Wow – where did these people go? Either nobody thinks this any longer, they’ve stopped reading my blog, or they couldn’t be convinced to participate this time around in a poll THAT ACTUALLY MEANS SOMETHING!
- Yes – I find polls very interesting & informative. (31%, 4 Votes)(original 8%, 2 Votes)
This catches up to the popularity of the opinion above – interesting that more people participate not because they really like expressing an answer, but because by participating, they get to see useful information…
- Yes – Sometimes they show results in these neat colored pie thingies. (8%, 1 Votes)(original 8%, 2 Votes)
Half as many answered with this selection this time around – and I’m still rooting for you. I’ve got pie charts lined up for months in advance!
- No – Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics & Polls. (0%, 0 Votes)(original 8%, 2 Votes)
Well, no angry readers this time around.
- No – They’re self selecting, overused, and overhyped… (8%, 1 Votes)(original 8%, 2 Votes)
Great – I’m glad the cynic (or realist) is still with us. We value your contribution here – bring some friends next time!
- No – Those polls are always biased. (0%, 0 Votes)(4%, 1 Votes)
With only two no answers, some of them were bound to go unused…
- No – You never know what information they’re storing, or how they’ll use it, or who they’ll give it to… (0%, 0 Votes)(original 4%, 1 Votes)
Looks like we couldn’t overcome the reluctance of the paranoid reader to take the poll. (Though it is a fact that I can see the IP address that each poll participant uses when they take the poll…)
- Yes – I like to give fake opinions! (15%, 2 Votes)(original 4%, 1 Votes)
Just look at the results here – this population has grown by 275% in just two years! Pollsters watch out – many people are giving you incorrect answers on purpose! (hmmm, maybe I should change the headline)
- Yes – I need to know which side to take. (0%, 0 Votes)(original 0%, 0 Votes)
- No – I don’t care what anyone else thinks. (8%, 1 Votes)(original 0%, 0 Votes)
This time around the impressionable people stayed home, but the hermits registered their opinion! (And it’s ok for me to make fun of that poll taker – he or she doesn’t care what I think!)
- Yes – Great fun to sit around taking polls on a Saturday night! (0%, 0 Votes)(original 0%, 0 Votes)
This yes option is still waiting for someone, better luck next time…
Sunny with a chance of Yes
And again, the poll taking crowd ought to feel pretty good. They’ve overwhelmed the smaller crowd of people who took a poll saying that they don’t regularly take polls. (You still get the irony, right?)
I’d like to have a nice round of appreciation for everyone that answered the poll! (click here if you’re one of those responders and you’d like to hear some applause)
Statistics – round two
And so – on to the other position – the one where I (again) prove the complete opposite of the points made above by revealing more information. (Actually, I revealed it way up at the top of the post this time too, but now it’ll be in a pretty picture…)
If we consider the number of responses of people that answered the poll (13) to the number of people that read the article (378), it becomes clear that 97% of people refuse to take part in online polls!
And so – we are still left with no idea what most people do. Even with my efforts begging them to respond, most people wouldn’t click…
If we consider the other 4888 site views over the month, the darkness completely takes over the chart – it rounds up to an astounding 100%. Yes, nearly all people that view a page with a poll will refuse to participate.
This poll is just as valid as the previous one – and confirms the results.
Yes, I still believe that your average poll hasn’t been designed fairly, and some do intend to sway poll takers’ opinions, but that’s just the way it is. I doubt there is anything that can be done about this. (Though answering polls falsely is a reasonable approach…
Only those people that become aware of the poll have a chance at taking it, and only those motivated to respond will participate – so online polling doesn’t seem to have a very good sampling process.
And lastly, the example of how I was able to easily manipulate the answers shows how a poll can be used to make a single point – or its opposite – without too much effort.
(You know – I’m re-using the same text from the original poll (which you can see by clicking here), but it still works…)
And they’re still fun!
When a reader mentioned that I should run polls, I reluctantly agreed – but following up on that one idea started all sorts of questions and polls. I really look forward to the end of the month when I can see just what readers think about the current topic.
And I’m going to continue with them – but please remember: if a small percent of readers ever participate in a poll, the answers have to be taken as just one data point, not an authority.
(and btw – there is a new poll up over there to the right;-)
To your continued success,