Here are Polls! With a Poll! And background, instructions, etc.

Are polls cool?


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TimWilson

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!
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Following requests on multiple threads (including this one), we are very happy to bring you polls!

Some background
On top of being a liberal arts nerd in general, I'm a social sciences nerd in particular. I have deep respect for REAL polling, where the majority of the work is focused on creating genuinely representative sample audiences, testing questions before deploying the poll to try to minimize or at least expose potential bias in both the questions and the people asking them, and a whole 'nother field of science related to properly interpreting the data. All of which is missing in any news organizations dealing with polls, which is why I highly encourage you to ignore all of them. LOL

This ain't that. We're not here to do real science. We're just having fun.

As we continue, please note: this is not the proper documentation for polls. I'll be honest: I haven't made a ton of these in XenForo. We'll find out together which of these options works best for US, rather than what the manual says. I've left most of the options in their default state.

Among those is that anyone who can create a thread can create a poll, and that they can be in every forum. The poll-maker will set the rules for their own polls (for example, can members change their votes? more than one vote okay? etc), so they may behave differently even within the site. But here it is in broad strokes.


To think about before creating a poll
Here's the one that's top of mind for me: almost nothing has only two choices.

For example, want to ask whether more people here prefer high G to low G? Go for it! I would only encourage you to think more broadly than that. For example, I'm definitely all-in on re-entrant, and I've met some folks who are all-in on low G, but I think in practice, there are a lot more options than one or the other. So I might frame it as

All high G
All low G
Mostly high G, with one or two low G
Mostly low g, with one or two high G
Plenty of both

Something like that. Somebody cleverer than I am could easily think of more options than these, or better organize them. Does me starting with high G reveal my implicit bias toward re-entrant? You bet it does! 🤣 But you have to start somewhere, right? I just try to be honest about my context.

More important, again, is to keep in mind that there are almost never just two choices for anything, since "both" is almost always the bare minimum third option. :) More options is usually going to be better.


Creating a poll
This is the easy part. You create a poll the same way you create a thread.

First, click on the Thread Title box, just like you always have.
new-thread.JPG

After you do that, you'll see a new tab, "Poll".
new-thread-poll.JPG

Note that you can't add a poll to an existing thread. That's a technical limitation in the forums framework that apparently can't be changed, sorry.


Poll options
As I mentioned earlier, the options are entirely in the hands of the poll-maker. That's you! Here are the options, all in their default states:
poll-options.JPG

There's only one "Possible response" there by default, but once you start typing in the first field, another appears. The maximum is 10 for now. I'm looking into whether that's adjustable...but I'm not sure that more than 10 is helpful. We'll find out together!

Maximum selectable responses offers the option of letting respondents provide more than one answer. I think you can imagine scenarios where people would have more than one answer (maybe in a poll about your preferred size of ukulele, where somebody might choose tenor AND baritone, or concert AND soprano, or all but baritone, or whatever), although for the poll I've used as an example here, one answer makes sense. That's why it's up to you.

The rest of the options are pretty self-explanatory to me, but hey, if you have questions, ask 'em!


Future Considerations
As the shiny new baby, I can imagine that a lot of people are going to want to play with Polls. I'm not sure the best way to encourage this without creating chaos.

Maybe if you're creating a poll just to test it out, add TEST to the subject line, and maybe we'll delete it after a few days? That is, I WANT you to play with polls if you want to, and I'm a believer in rough drafts and experimentation, but we don't really have a place for that. So maybe keep all the TEST polls in the General Discussion forum?

I'm completely open to suggestions for how to contain these in the early going while we're all testing, so if you have a better idea, please sing out!

Last but not least, THE ACTUAL POLL!
I'm a fan of starting with no limits, and only adding the limits that are called for. So to begin, every subforum is intended to have Polls enabled. (Please let me know if you find that this is not the case!) But do you think that that's the right idea? Should they be limited to one of the subforums that's more devoted to recreational posting (again, thinking General Discussion)?

Many thanks to everyone who has asked for Polls over the years, and thanks for your patience in the interim. I'm going back through the Site Suggestion forum and trying to catch up on some of these long-standing requests as I can.

In the meantime, keep the suggestions coming here in this Site Suggestions subforum, and don't hesitate to message me directly! I'm always happy to hear from anyone!

Mahalo,
Tim
Mod
 
I'm voting to enable them everywhere, subject to the same rules and guidelines as other posts in each forum. If people are intrested in it it'll rise, if not it'll fall below the fold.

Ultimately, I hope we'll get an ignorable option so people can choose what they like to see
 
To think about before creating a poll
Here's the one that's top of mind for me: almost nothing has only two choices.

For example, want to ask whether more people here prefer high G to low G? Go for it! I would only encourage you to think more broadly than that. For example, I'm definitely all-in on re-entrant, and I've met some folks who are all-in on low G, but I think in practice, there are a lot more options than one or the other. So I might frame it as

All high G
All low G
Mostly high G, with one or two low G
Mostly low g, with one or two high G
Plenty of both
Also think a bit out of the box and consider broader edge cases: DGBE? open tunings? fifths? D6 tuning? custom (don't leave out @Voran !) ?
 
Also think a bit out of the box and consider broader edge cases: DGBE? open tunings? fifths? D6 tuning? custom (don't leave out @Voran !) ?

Plus James Hill's famous BEBE tuning of course! :)

That's EXACTLY what I'm talking about, though. One's first idea about polls might not tell the tale you're trying to tell. Of course, ALL of those still beg the question of linear or re-entrant, which is what I think a poll like this might be asking. But what do I know? Maybe the pollster just wants to know high G vs. low G, and the rest of y'all can start your own poll. 🤣

The good news is that polls can be edited -- or at least the controls are there; I haven't tried them yet -- so if somebody comes along with "hey, here's an option to add" then you can. This is why I like leaving the "change vote" option open. If the pollster adds a new question, I might want to change my answer.

Ultimately, I hope we'll get an ignorable option so people can choose what they like to see

Yes, I would like this too! I have not yet had a chance to raise this with Aaron. He was kind enough to enable the Staff badge for me, but I'm just a volunteer, and would need to get buy-in from actual staff before I tinker with options at that level. In general, I feel like options to ignore people, threads, subforums, kinds of threads, etc. all help to decrease friction. If something irritates you, hit that (hopefully future) ignore button.

To that end, I'm going to suggest that all new polls start with [POLL] in the thread subject line, both for sorting purposes, and to help people who'd prefer not to interact with them. As always, open to better ways to flag these, but that's my opening suggestion.

And I consciously DIDN'T do that here, because I also wanted to talk more broadly about polls. :)
 
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