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Writing poll questions

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by HejiraHenry, May 7, 2007.

  1. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    One of the little tasks that has fallen into my lap is writing the daily Web poll questions we do on our (awful) Web site.

    It's been interesting to get a handle on what will attract a lot of responses – any kind of question involving our two SEC teams, or NASCAR – and what doesn't work as well. Which is pretty much anything else.

    Anybody want to kick this topic around a little?
  2. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    I'm laughing soooo hard at you, right now!

    On the topic, I got nothing.
  3. donaugust

    donaugust Member

    Simple yes or no questions are fairly boring. Even if those are the main answers, try to find a way to spice up yes or no with a second no possibility. Such as:

    Will the Roger Clemens signing bring the Yankees a World Series title?
    No, they were already going to win it
    No, they still won't win

    Something like that I've found to be a little more engaging in my various turns as web site poll writer.
  4. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Hey, it's a journalism topic.

    On the news side, we used to have a bad habit of asking questions like "Are you going to the (fill-in-the-blank event) this weekend?" This would be some event where a lot of coverage was planned, and the poll respondents would overwhelmingly vote no.

    The local TV station had a tough poll question last week: Are you afraid of tornadoes?
  5. GB-Hack

    GB-Hack Active Member

    After Spring Football: How optimistic are you about X's upcoming football season

    They'll win the conference
    They'll have a winning record
    Reaching .500 would be nice
    When does midnight madness start?
  6. This thread is worthless without a poll ... :eek:
  7. John

    John Well-Known Member

    Given the schools HH's paper covers, I'm guessing the best the fans can hope for is .500 records. But it ain't going to happen.
  8. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    You are correct, sir. But that doesn't diminish the fan interest much ... if at all.
  9. I really don't think that's such a bad question. Living in the heart of tornado alley, I'm not afraid of tornadoes. I don't want one to hit my house, but I know how to take precautions and I've had countless tornado warnings in my county and I haven't died from one yet.
    It's just a part of life.
    Are people in California scared of earthquakes? Are people on the east coast scared of hurricanes?
    I think it's just something you get used to.
  10. GB-Hack

    GB-Hack Active Member

    So you could put it out there to see how pie-eyed the optimists are.
  11. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    'Round here, it's a bit like polling the bears to see if they poop in the woods.
    I think the responses were about 90 percent "Yes."
  12. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    So on Monday, in honor of the TSN blog entry about the BCS coaches, I asked which of the three D-I coaches in this state is the best. (One of them, at Southern Miss, isn't a BCS coach.)

    We usually get 200 responses in a day for a good question.

    I predicted we'd get 400 over two days for this one.

    We closed it tonight with 800-plus.

    And the Southern Miss coach had a majority of the vote.
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