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notdan's avatar

Is there room for better data collection (such as polls) on Fluther?

Asked by notdan (383 points ) October 23rd, 2010

I’ve noticed that most of the time what drives me away from answering an interesting question on Fluther is the number of other answers to the question. If a question has 50 answers, for example, I’m not very motivated to peruse through all 50 answers. Is there a better way to be informed of what’s being said in a question’s answer stream?

The example that comes to mind is for questions with a quantitative answer, including yes/no, like polls. Is there a way to quickly collect the results of a survey? Is there a way to present a survey? And I guess the more important question is: Is there room on Fluther for it? Do users want something like this? (I know I do, but damn I wish I could take a poll.)

Having a thousand answers to a question doesn’t do much unless there’s a way to make sense of all those answers. How do you do it?

(The other question is, is the Fluther team thinking about it already?)

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17 Answers

anartist's avatar

For chrissake don’t you enjoy the conversation? If the topic interests you then maybe the answers will. Fluther is not an executive-summary sort of thing. It is people talking about stuff that interests them, like they were in a pub or something, and getting to know each other.

If the thread is too long for your level of interest, or there are too many full-page answers [my turn-off] move along to something else, but don’t expect a precis. Fluther is about community.

notdan's avatar

@anartist And not about finding solutions to problems its members have? Fluther isn’t entertainment media, people come here to share what they know and learn about what they don’t. If you understand that Fluther is about community then realize that the community has been built around asking and answering questions.

Am I alone in thinking that a lot of people like being able to get good answers to their questions?

Deja_vu's avatar

@notdan I get GA’s for my questions. Notice the Social and General sections. Maybe you should stick to the General area.

roundsquare's avatar

Fluther might well benefit from a polling feature, but not for the reason you stated. I would like to have polls where people can comment so that, for some topics, we can see a summary of what people think.

E.g. we could have a poll – “Do you prefer regular strawberries or chocolate covered strawberries?”

Someone might click “chocolate covered” and say below “but only with Godiva.”

Zyx's avatar

Yes, because statistical data is always better than regular data.

Polls are, and by extension democracy is, a bad idea.
EDIT: no one’s going to agree with me here, at least it’s boring!

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I’d take them and would enjoy seeing some of the data.

marinelife's avatar

I hate the idea of turning Fluther into another polling site. Polls are meaningless.

Seaofclouds's avatar

My main concern about polls is that it would take away from some of the quality questions on Fluther. We get 3 questions a day and I would be sad to see people using their 3 questions a day for regular polls asking just do you like this or that instead of provoking a good discussion on an issue.

That and I usually want to answer questions with an answer that isn’t listed in the poll anyway.

phaedryx's avatar

I’m not interested in polls.

Zyx's avatar

Damn, that one’s on me, sarcasm doesn’t work online.

notdan's avatar

The anti-poll sentiment is strong. Is there a way to develop some similar feature that you feel would enhance the answer-providing process? I guess I really want to get at: Is there a better way to submit / view answers? Or is what’s in use now perfect?

weeveeship's avatar

Polls are often abused on other sites. It attracts a lot of spammers. It also encourages people to just click, vote, and leave, instead of sharing their thoughts.

Jeruba's avatar

We went around on this idea within the past two weeks. I can’t seem to find the thread via search, but maybe someone else can. The notion was pretty soundly trounced, as I recall. I believe I contributed to that.

[Edit] Found it right here.

P.S. I can’t imagine caring how may people prefer chocolate or strawberry, wanting to know what the top three favorite muffins are, or seeing stats on predictions for the winners in some upcoming sporting event. Is the outcome going to influence my thinking? No. Is it going to tell me anything about individuals? No. Is it going to offer any insight or new information with respect to the thing in question? No. I’d rather subscribe to static interference than see a poll clutter up our pages. So in this poll, that’s a nay.

notdan's avatar

@Jeruba Well said. The masses are compelling.

My last hang up is that it becomes basically impossible to gather good statistical data about a wide variety of topics from a diverse, and motivated, community. It almost feels like a waste to not be able that kind of information from the collective, should one want to.

SundayKittens's avatar

I love a good poll.

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