I like polls. It is a rare treat when I reach the end of the newspaper article and there is an opinion poll at the end. Polls, Wikipedia ratings, surveys, “what are you” quizzes… I have a weakness for all of them. I don’t know why but I just like them – I guess I like statistics in general. So you can imagine that I was pleased to see that with Polldaddy I can put polls on my WordPress blog.
Of course they won’t be any use at the moment: I’m never going to get more than maybe five votes on any poll I put out (I’ll get none, more likely than not). No, unless and until I build up a readership – and that can only come from shameless publicising or good writing – my polls will be essentially useless. But they’re still cool! Better a useless opinion poll than no opinion poll at all, in my opinion.
Even polls that actually get voted on, however, are only useful to a point. I mean it’s cool to know that 42% of people voted for Rudd’s ETS and 38% of people voted for Gillard’s tax; or that 70-odd% of people think that Pit Bull Terriers should be exterminated. But you’ve got to remember that nobody was forcing people to take the internet poll on carbon taxes at the point of a dirk – most people probably didn’t have an opinion. And the people who said that Pit Bull Terriers shouldn’t be allowed to live, said so in the emotional moment following an article about a dog that escaped from its yard, found its way into a house where children were watching TV, and killed a little girl.
Another thing about polls is that they only allow you a simplistic choice. Life isn’t like that, opinion is more complicated than “like” or “don’t like”. If you like to vote on polls, you know the feeling of sitting in front of one gnawing your nails because nothing perfectly expresses what you want to say. So even if you take a simplistic poll on this blog – enunciate! No need to content yourself with clicking on a circle, comment too.