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Pollsters' Protocols

by SiteDocClan (Initiate)
on Nov 05, 2005 at 07:03 UTC ( #505949=sitefaqlet: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Poll Scheduling and Wiki Tracking

New polls should be posted at approximately one-week intervals. This is a higher frequency than we had prior to the existence of pollsters as a Cabal group, but will serve to keep the polls fresh. If there's time, post the anticipated poll and its proposed release date to the pollsters wiki about a day or more before creating the poll. This is a flexible rule, but in general helps prevent stepping on each others' polls. It will also facilitate comments and discussion in advance of the poll going live. Let's try to keep the queue down to no more than two or three pending polls at a time.

Use this format:

option 1
option 2
davido (or whoever you are)
Contributed by: (if applicable)
Proposed release date: mm/dd/yyyy
Released: mm/dd/yyyy as [id://poll's node id] (add this line once the poll goes live.)

That way we can easily keep track of how old polls are, what's coming next, etc.

When there is more than one poll in the queue, please be mindful of whether any of the polls are time-critical, and post them at the appropriate time. An example of this would be a poll that is relevant for Hallowe'en or New Years, and pointless if posted after the fact.

Remember, Monastery polls are just for fun. We're not doing political surveys, evaluating consumer preferences, or any other kind of scientific study. An occasional 'interesting' poll is ok as long as it doesn't attempt to be too serious. In general, keep the polls light-hearted. Avoid subjects that might draw out flame wars.

Using the New Poll Form

Create polls by clicking new poll. Fill in the poll's title. Answers should be listed one per line in the multi-line textbox. Poll response options may contain monastery-style HTML. Don't worry about any special poll encoding. Radio buttons and forms are all set up automatically by the poll mechanism. Just put one response option per line. Once you click 'create', the poll will go active. So only create a new poll when you are ready to create a new poll. ;)

By default the person posting the poll will be credited as the author. You may select another individual (in case the poll was submitted to pollsters by someone else), or you can specify pollsters (the group) as the author (use this feature sparingly).

Poll sources

Many poll ideas have been posted to Poll Ideas Quest. Our inbox|inbox will sometimes contain other poll suggestions from the general population. Ideally at least 50% of the polls we post should come from sources outside pollsters' membership. Even the Chatterbox could be considered a source, if someone there presents a good idea and a complete set of voting options.

When posting polls from the Ideas Quest, try to stick to 'ideas' that are complete; both titles and all vote options included in the node. We want to reward people who have contributed well thought-out polls. If you use a poll suggested by someone else, be sure to assign authorship to that person. Incomplete suggestions are plentiful. If you use one of those, and have to come up with your own possible responses, don't bother reasigning authorship, or if you do, assign it to pollsters.


Try to keep polls fresh and original. Previous polls can be found here: past polls. Check back occasionally to avoid reposting the same poll.

Editing an existing poll

It should rarely become necessary to edit an existing poll after it has been posted. An example of a situation where it might be ok is if an extra newline appears at the end of the poll, causing an option to appear at the end of the list of options, with no caption. Spelling errors or fixing incorrect formatting are also possible reasons. But walk lightly; even though polls are just for fun we shouldn't do anything to alter the voting on a poll that has gone live. Past polls should never be edited (at least not for any reason I can think of). To edit a poll, view the poll, and then append to its URL the following:


If you're in doubt on editing an existing poll, contact one of the other pollsters first.

Other Sources of Information

Check out the pollsters wiki for current events. And this is the FAQ for non-pollsters: How do I create a Poll?.

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