Thursday, 7 August 2008

What's Your Main Source of News?


That's the question I've been asking people on a nifty website Nath from Travel Weekly discovered and shared on Plurk today.
It's called ask500people.com and allows you to pose questions - multiple choice, comment-enabled, photos etc - which visitors to the site can respond to. I've not got 500 people yet and don't expect to but the site is so easy to use (and some of the questions are such good fun) that I'd anticipate a wider audience before too long.

There are multiple polls running at any time, but some appear on the Homepage (mine made it on there tonight!) in response to voters adding "Points," or up-voting questions that they like and would like to see answered by the community.
According to the website's FAQ "Questions with the most points are promoted up the the question list until, hopefully, they appear on the homepage.
"If a poll doesn't make it after 24 hours, it's removed from the lineup. All polls, however, remain available to voters and can be linked to or embedded on websites."

That's great... until you get to the final three words of the last paragraph. Because I can't embed the poll or the widget that accompanies it on this website - it simply won't happen.
And The Daily Post asked a question about Everton's stadium situation, but had exactly the same problem with embedding. So I guess there must be a coding glitch somewhere, hence the posted screenshot here to illustrate my poll.

Luckily, you can also link directly to your question using code - as I have here.
I think it's a handy tool - one of the LDP reporters has posted a poll of her own about education, which is here as part of a crowdsourcing project she's running. It shows the geographic spread of voters using a map, handy at-a-glance panels and a little results sidebar.

So a useful site and one I'd say was a good addition to a journalist's toolkit. I just wish I knew why we couldn't get the embed options to work...

UPDATE:
I got 522 responses in under seven hours and five comments - I reckon that's pretty good for an off-the-cuff poll. You can see the results here.
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