Free for All Friday

Back in December, we decided that we wanted a good polling system that could be embedded into posts, and in the sidebar so we could survey our visitors.  After exploring with Zoho polls, which was nice, but just didn’t  meet all of our needs, we turned to a WordPress Plugin called WP-Polls. We’ve used the plug-in since January, and for our purposes, it has worked great. Recently somebody recommended that we look into PollDaddy, a free online Poll service. There were several things that were intriguing, and enough for us make the switch.

–Poll Daddy Basics–

The first thing you’ll want to know about PollDaddy is that you create your own polls.  After you create a poll, you’re able to place them on websites, blogs, even MySpace, Facebook, or other social networks.  Essentially, any site that permits JavaScript or Flash, you’ll be able to implement a poll.

Unlike many other polling services out there, PollDaddy gives you choices to display your poll using JavaScript, Flash, a direct link, widget, or RSS.  For most websites, you’ll probably use JavaScript.  They throw in the other options like Flash for people who want to include a poll on MySpace or Blogger because neither of those sites permit JavaScript to be pasted into the pages.

The RSS option is a nice feature.  If there’s a poll that you’d like to follow closely, you can subscribe to it. That means that you will get an update in your feed every hour so that you can easily monitor it.

–Custom Styling–

The custom styling is actually what sold PollDaddy for us. Customization is always nice, and PollDaddy gives you every opportunity to do so. Using CSS, you can easily customize the look and feel of your poll. If you spend a lot of time on customizing a poll, and you’d like others to be able to use it, there’s an option to make your style public. PollDaddy will take a look at it, and if they approve, it will be available to all users.

–Features we like–

  • You can always go back and edit a poll.
  • Option for multiple choice polls (using checkboxes)
  • “Other” answer lets users type in an answer of their own
  • Multiple options for blocking repeat voters. You can choose not to block, you can block using a cookie (browser base, may not be very effective), or you can block using a cookie and I.P. address combination.
  • Choice of whether you want your poll to be public and show up on PollDaddy site.
  • If you want your poll to end on a certain date, you can select a close date.

The only minor complaint is that it won’t auto show the results after someone has voted. Hopefully this is a feature that will be added soon.

–Poll Results–

You’ll notice that we’ve already started a new poll. You can vote in the sidebar to the left.Unfortunately, we can’t insert a poll both in this post, and on the sidebar. If your feed reader supports JavaScript, then you should see the poll at the end of this article.  In our last poll, we were wondering when or if readers intended on making an upgrade to Windows Vista. Out of 484 votes, 18% of you have already taken the leap and upgraded to Vista. Of course, not everyone uses Windows, or plans on making the upgrade. 16% say they will never upgrade. Not surprising is that 36% of you will make the upgrade when it’s time for a new computer, which makes sense.

— Next Poll–

Going along the same lines of “Things Non-Tech Savvy People do that Annoy Geeks,“we want to know what your “Geek Factor” is. On a scale of 1-5, how geeky are you?

  1. When I stumble across technology news, I might read about it.
  2. I’ve got some tech sites in my RSS feed, and I can define RSS.
  3. My computer knows more about me than I do.
  4. Wherever I go, my computer goes too (including the bathroom).
  5. I’m a geek to the extreme who has built a super calibrated laser guided homing system to mow my lawn. *Snort Snort*

According to a recent blog entry,PollDaddy says they manage 5.25 million polls per month, and new features are expected in the coming months!Remember to vote in the column on the left!