Polling best practice

Let’s say you have a topic start to take off, and it becomes clear a poll would be a nice addition to the conversation.

Do you:

  1. Start a new topic, referencing the original one which spurred the poll? Benefits here would be having the poll as the topic, so it wouldn’t be buried in the middle of replies, you could also name the topic “Poll:…” so people know it’s a poll. Cons would be even if there’s a link to the original conversation, you’re losing continuity and creating a branch from the original topic.

  2. Simply reply to the topic as you normally would and insert a poll? Benefits would be cohesion, but it would be mushed in the middle of replies. I guess you could always rename the topic if you went this route to indicate there was now a poll.

  3. Append the poll to the original topic (instead of issuing as a reply), rename the topic to indicate there’s now a poll, and reply to bump for visibility.

All options are good. I may lean towards inserting the poll in the post to keep the context. Then, when you promote your poll just scroll to it and grab the url from there. Then users who click will go directly to the response with the poll but can easily scroll up for backstory.

Hey Emma, I appreciate your reply. I’m not sure I follow, other than putting it into the original topic, which is the direction I’m leaning. Would you mind elaborating for me?

Great question!

I’m with @communitygal - if the need for the poll emerges naturally then make it part of the conversation. You put it as another post in the conversation rather than trying to start something new.

It really depends on the context - is the idea of the poll just part of the conversation (so needs context and build-up), or is this a separate idea that was inspired by the thread but deserves to stand alone?

As Emma mentions, you can always share a link to the specific post by grabbing the relevant URL, so that when you invite any new users you can direct them directly to the poll, but they have the option to scroll up & down for context.

You could add a link to this post in the original post if you want - but unless this is a wiki, it might look odd and be missed by those already involved in the conversation.

Can you give us an example?


Great question to ask anytime you need to do a poll!

I’m following you on how to grab the url for the poll post, but in terms of promoting it, it looks like inviting users just sends them to the original topic and doesn’t give an option to input my own url. What did you have in mind for inviting new users to take the poll?

I was assuming you were using email or social media. If you click on the timestamp of the post you get the link direct to the post in question, so sharing that brings users to the poll

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Gotcha, I see what you guys were saying, thank you.

Not sure if you are able to help with another open question I have about polls which isn’t seeing much love… How to Create Polls - can you reopen a closed poll?

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Yes, you can (assuming you have mod/admin rights).