Blog Polls

Blog polling widgets have been around a long time. I've tried out a few of them on AVC over the years. And polling has never taken off as a major form of engagement on blogs (as has commenting, liking, tweeting). I'm curious why that is so.

I met with a young man named Max Yoder yesterday who has built yet another polling widget. He calls it Quipol. I figured I'd give it a test run with the AVC community. And let's get right to it with the question of the day:

Let me know what you think of Quipol and blog polling widgets in general in the comments.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Rohan

    What? No FAKE GRIMLOCK option? Boooo..:-)

    1. Elia Freedman

      Eat all candidates but then where would that leave us? ūüôā

      1. Rohan

        He only eats the dumb ones, remember?That’s why you and I are alive… ūüėČ

    2. Donna Brewington White

      And he’s already in Washington so the relocation costs would be minimal.

      1. Rohan

        Relocation. HahaSpoken like a true recruiter!

  2. Imrankhan25

    I think this is probably the best poll widget i have ever seen. Its the implementation that matters. This could become more widely used…¬†

    1. fredwilson

      because of its simplicity? something else?

      1. Imrankhan25

        i would say the simplicity, clever usage of graphics. I would polls to be more integrated in the blogposts than in the margins. That way it always have a relevance to the post and can be referenced anytime. if you have a widget on the margins, it tend to get ignored and you (as an author) have to draw attention to it…(btw, I am one of those fly on the wall reader since many years who have never commented before. greatly appreciate you taking time to answer)

        1. John Revay

          Very active community Рincluding the bartender, it makes my day when posting a comment Рand seeing all of the reactions/comments that flow.

        2. Max Yoder


        3. fredwilson

          I’ve tried polls on the sidebar. They don’t work well because of the lack of context

  3. Avi Deitcher

    Overall, nice and clean. But when you click “Results”, it shows you blue = 71% and green = 29%. You need to actually hover over the blue or green to see that blue = no and green = yes.

    1. fredwilson

      yeah, i don’t like that either. i don’t want to have to hover to see what’s what

      1. JimHirshfield

        No hover on Mobile.

        1. Max Yoder

          What mobile device are you on, Jim? On most smartphones, you can click the pie chart to see the results. I agree with you guys, I should immediately show the data within the pie chart as soon as you vote. If you vote thumbs down, I’ll show you thumbs down data first.

          1. JimHirshfield

            Probably not my device that’s at issue. I just don’t consider hover (actually finger tap in lieu of hover) to be an intuitive UI on a touchscreen.

          2. Max Yoder

            That’s fair!

          3. Brad Wisler

            Doesn’t the thumb in the center default to whichever has received the most votes?

    2. Bill Davenport

      I really like the widget and interactive elements in general, would be good if it showed in Google Reader but adding in the legend / data lines is the lowest hanging fruit.  Very nice.

      1. Avi Deitcher

        +1 on that. I had to open it from Google Reader into my Safari to actually see it.While we are on it, disqus doesn’t seem to work correctly in GR either.

  4. Alan Mendelevich

    It doesn’t show up in Google Reader. That’s sort of deal breaker for many use cases.

    1. fredwilson

      that’s good to know.

    2. Max Yoder

      Alan, I’m not a GR user. Do YouTube and Vimeo videos usually show up within it? If so, I should be able to do the same with some hacking here and there.

      1. Alan Mendelevich

        YouTube – yes, Vimeo – not sure. Could be that Google is actually doing some “hacking” to show YouTube videos while blocking other “dangerous” code. I don’t know for sure.

        1. Max Yoder

          Got it. I’ll do some digging. Thank you!

          1. angoodkind

            Max – Vimeo videos do show up in GR. One annoying bug in GR, though, which you should watch out for. When a YouTube video is up, and I click the Navigation drop-down menu, the menu goes *behind* the video, i.e. the video blocks it. I’ve mentioned this to Google, but to no avail. You should make sure this doesn’t happen with your polls, because it’s extremely annoying.

          2. Max Yoder

            Good man, thanks for that‚ÄĒsounds like a pain. I’ll have to check to see how GR is doing. It appears to be in the decline when it comes to users, but I don’t have any real data on that.

      2. Edwink

        Hi max. This is Edwin from feedly. Would be happy to work with you to make sure that the poling widget shows up when users read this article in feedly. I am edwink /at/ If you want to talk about it.

        1. Alex Murphy

          BD happening at AVC.  Love IT!!!

          1. fredwilson

            this is the stuff that is magic to me

        2. Max Yoder

          Will do! Thanks, Edwin.

    3. leigh

      RSS Readers! ¬†Having a little memory here and realizing that i haven’t visited mine in over a year. ¬†

      1. RichardF

        I love RSS but then I use feedly and pulse on my tablet to view my feeds, so it’s like reading a newspaper, also way more pleasurable than reading on a computer screen. ¬†I’ve also noticed it’s time shifted my blog reading.¬†

        1. Rohan

          Check out Reeder – iOS app, Richard.Love it’s syncing with google reader ūüôā

          1. RichardF

            I’d like to Rohan but I’m strictly android these days ūüėČ

          2. Rohan

            Okay.. my sympathies.¬†ūüėČ

          3. RichardF

            None required I’m a free man ūüėČ

          4. Rohan

            Ah free men. They don’t realize the joys of being in a committed relationship with an attractive partner.HahahaWe could go on forever eh? ūüėÄ

          5. AVCoholic

            Reeder is a great app. I second the suggestion Rohan

    4. bob

      Second that thought. More generally, there do seem to be things that can be done – some feeds with videos show in Reader, others don’t. Same with images, links, etc. I’d guess that from the point of view a blog writer who isn’t particularly into the nuts and bolts that just getting an RSS feed going is a plus, without worrying about whether non-text content shows up in a reader.

    5. Elia Freedman

      Agreed and a problem for me, too. I can click through to vote but I don’t even get an image or anything for the question to know that it is there.

    6. Richard Dedor

      I’m sure the reader problem can be fixed. But I love the overall look and feel of the poll!

  5. Bala

    I like it, but needs work on the way results are shown… I typically don’t like pie charts

  6. Maneesh

    It’s nice, but yet ANOTHER thing I have to connect to FB/Twitter?!? :(And, it has it’s own comment box paradigm within the poll widget.JUST. TOO. MUCH.I believe Facebook Widgets (starting with Comment Box plugin — they will probably have a poll embed at some point too) will win this game, because:- everyone is almost always logged in to Facebook- the UI/UX, while not ideal, is 80% good enough, and people are used to it. easy > better- publishers/bloggers who want distribution will get the most on FBthat said, Disqus is big enough such that there’s a decent amount of people logged in that it can keep FB honest.

    1. fredwilson

      keeping facebook honesti don’t think that’s what the disqus team thinks their job in life is

      1. MartinEdic

        Agreed on that but I feel strongly that Disqus has not begun to capitalize on their potential for reputation management. I have had zero engagement with them as a user. Not even a monthly email with stats. They killed Intense Debate and then did virtually nothing with their position as the leading comments platform.

        1. fredwilson

          they are working on it martin. i think you will like what the have up next.

    2. Dave Pinsen

      Having you connect with FB or Twitter enables the widget to capture that info, which it can be used for marketing later. Not a bad idea, from the poll owner’s perspective.

    3. Brandon Marker

      The quick connect buttons are the best thing since sliced bread. And I like me some sliced bread.

  7. David Semeria

    Nice. Agree it needs a legend to explain the colours and it would be nice to see the total vote count without having to hover and then add up the revealed numbers.That said, it looks encouraging. As we all know, simple and clean works.  

  8. John Best

    Going to your question about why polling isn’t engaging, I think its a problem of the format itself. Use your metaphor of choice about opinions, the issue polls have is that they pre-determine the discussion. How do you engage with your peers with only two choices to pick from? By pre-determining the terms, you instantly limit the scope of the issue. I suppose I’m saying that polls change interactions from open to closed questions (as they must), which is a natural stifle of engagement.¬†Anywhere I’ve seen polls used, the best implementation has the option of adding comments too. People need to qualify arguments, justify choices, or hell, just plain disagree with the options. I’m not sure polls will ever be able to encompass what people want to say on an issue in a functionally usable way.Quipol’s implementation seems nice enough itself, but I’d question the colour choices. I know the Byzantine history of blue vs. green, but I don’t know that they mean enough to every user, if that’s possible. I also understand the utility of tying to Facebook/Twitter to try and drive discussion but my concern is that it’s another barrier to natural engagement.

  9. William Mougayar

    I love polls, and you could have running polls in the margin of the blog, like a Poll of the Day, and where you a user can review results from previous polls as well. And it might be interesting to retake the same poll over time and see a trend line of user opinions. Does it give you a bunch of Analytics behind the scenes?For this one, the legends & UI were slightly confusing. Why the Thumbs & not Yes/No.This is a feature type that should be part of another product, eg Disqus. What’s the business’s model? Or will it remain a free feature?.

    1. fredwilson

      i totally agree with your last point

    2. markslater

      yep Рi see feature. 

    3. John Revay

      YUP, ¬†I saw the pie chart…what sure what the poll outcome was, I had find Fred’s thumb down w/ the blue to realize the results yielded tilted no. ¬†I was not ¬†Naturally¬†drawn to roll over to see the results.Other than that – I liked it very easy, quick and simple.

    4. Max Yoder

      To address your business-model question, Quipol is early development-wise, and I like to think that it has virtually no unnecessary features. I’m hoping that Quipol users will help guide the ship by getting creative with the constraints I have in place. If they lead me to a freemium model where paying gets you more customization options (which I don’t expect), great. If they lead me to a sponsorship model or a publisher/advertisers/researcher model, that works, too!I guess what I’m saying is this: as long as I’m bankrolling this application with my own money‚ÄĒwhich I am‚ÄĒI’m less concerned about monetization and more concerned with honing the product to create a really wonderful experience. From there, monetization *should* come easier. Again, I’m new at this entrepreneurship thing, and I have plenty to learn. To that end, Quipol’s helping a lot.

      1. William Mougayar

        Although it’s easy to say “monetization” will come later, you must have “some idea” about where it “might” come from, and you use the time you have to validate these assumptions or fine-tune them.- posted via

        1. Max Yoder

          Understood. I have plenty of ideas, and Fred gave me a lot of good criticisms and ideas yesterday. All I’m saying is that I’m not going to force a path to monetization when I believe I can come to one naturally.I’m going to shoot you an email, William. Would love to hear how things are going at Engagio.

          1. William Mougayar

            Sure…! Email me.- posted via

      2. testtest

        attention == money attention x subject x scale

  10. William Mougayar

    Why not a Poll about Quipol? Can u embed more than 1 poll inside your post?

    1. fredwilson

      yeah, such a good idea

    2. Jeff T.

      Yo dawg, I heard you like pollsso I put a poll in your poll so you can vote while you vote!

        1. Rohan

          Hahahahaha¬†Keepin’ it real, eh William

    3. JaredMermey

      If you are doing more than 1 question…what about conditional polling where the second question you are asked is contingent on your answer to the first? Displaying the results cleanly could be difficult, but the insight would be spectacular in many instances.

      1. William Mougayar

        Ah! It’s called Survey Logic…Now, you’re getting into Surveys vs. what this is – which is Polls. – posted via

  11. markslater

    i always struggle with these.¬†what do we really get from this?¬†also too much hovering.¬†Good luck though max – this is how the 4SQ guys got funded – Fred testing driving out in the open ūüėČ

    1. Max Yoder

      Thank you, Mark. I appreciate that last line ūüėČ

      1. markslater

        really like the design – stay user centric, the next big wave of innovation will be around the user really taking control of his web experience and shedding the skin of creepy CRM’ers intent on mining data, and invading privacy

        1. Max Yoder

          Thanks for the kind words and good advice, Mark.

          1. markslater

            Its not advice! i’ve known fred on here now for many years – we share friends – but i’ve never met, drank with or pitched him!¬†i’m convinced he’s an amazing judge of creative innovation – an approachable person, and basically real.¬†he invests based on an astonishing acumen and gut – combination of which has put him where he and his partners real, be awsome, be different, ¬†and you will¬†literally¬†get his attention (as you have)!

  12. jason wright

    Following on from SOPA/ PIPA one could build a political platform dedicated to harvesting contemporaneous statements made in all forms of media by an/ all/ any elected official and present instant ‘crowdsource’ polling responses.In some enlightened countries polling is banned during election campaigns.

  13. narikannan

    I don’t think there is anything wrong per se with polling widgets. Their success or lack thereof depends on context. Blogs like this are “long form social networking”. Facebook, Google are all short form social networking. As a user you go in with certain expectations – in a blog you expect to see about a screenful of text max and a point being made. Polls change the interaction expectation in such cases. On the other hand facebook and google set you up to expect short bursts – one or two sentences of something interesting and if it is longer than that, a link takes you somewhere else. Poll widgets will be much more successful there, except that there it depends upon your social graph. Only your friends are likely to see the poll!! Blogs may be discovered in an open ended way and accessed by anybody but then polls dont fit that model! That’s the curse of the polll widget in my mind!

  14. RichardF

    As already stated by others, this is a feature for Disqus as far as I’m concerned. ¬†I don’t like the hover and I don’t like the facebook/twitter login. ¬†I really hate how many services are starting to impose this.Having said that I like polls and think you should run them more often but on more interesting topics than this ūüėȬ†

  15. JimHirshfield

    Hmm…I wasn’t sure whether to comment here or in quipol. Anyway, I like the fact that commenting is part of it. Integration with disqus would be cool.Polls are usually anonymous so they don’t foster conversation or prolonged engagement. It’s like that expression of old that says that getting there (the experience) is what it’s all about. Polls have typically been the destination (survey says…) and conversations and engagement are the journey.

  16. Ryan Drew

    I offer this up cautiously, as I’m not even sure I believe it, but for polls to gain greater/better traction, they need to provide information beyond what they are asking. I’d like some sort of hovering option to see/open how the (potential) candidates are polling through other media avenues, or by state (or geo-located district) etc.

    1. Rohan

      Great thought, Ryan. I really like the idea..

  17. John Revay

    Simple tool for Continual Feed back

  18. Max Yoder

    Fred, what a great way to start the day‚ÄĒthank you for showing Quipol to the AVC community. I’m excited about all of the feedback that’s already rolling in.

  19. andyswan

    I like the polling tool…it’s got a charm about it. ¬†Mitch Daniels will be the next POTUS.¬†

    1. John Revay

      next as in 2016

    2. fredwilson

      It would be great to see someone other than the nominee of our two major parties win. Hasn’t happened in a long long time

      1. angoodkind

        Mitch Daniels + Mike Bloomberg on 1 ticket. I’d vote for that.

      2. William Mougayar

        Agreed. When has it happened before? Also, the primaries process is too looooong and drains the candidates and makes it expensive for everybody. Why not have a one-shot primaries across all states at once, and get it done about 3-5 months prior to the election. 

        1. sigmaalgebra

          We need to get to know the candidates fairly well, and that seems to take a lot of time.¬†A significant fraction of the voters would likely say now that we needed to know the last winner better before the election.¬† And a longer primary season might have resulted in better candidates in the general election.Clearly Romney has been a successful guy and has a lot to his credit, but he seems a bit ‘stiff’ in the debates. Is that something minor, something that would hurt his ability to lead, or a symptom of a serious problem?Newt seems like a bright guy and well informed on gumment, but are there symptoms of serious problems in his ‘baggage’? There is the old ‘Frontline’ bio on Newt, can stream at the ‘Frontline’ site, that didn’t turn up anything very seriously wrong.Paul has some things going for him, but he seems to have problems forming sentences and being clear on what he means. Some of what he appears to be saying, taken at face value, is wacko.It goes on this way.Actually, it appears that Santorum, Newt, and Paul are able to continue the long process without millions of their own money. The debates are good: They let the voters understand more about the candidates, and the candidates don’t need much money to participate. And the debates can do big things for the voting quickly: E.g., apparently Newt’s response to John King’s first question about the ABC report about a claim about “open marriage” got Newt something over 12 percentage points in the SC voting quickly.Was Romney at Bain a venture capitalist, a private equity guy, a vulture capitalist, a buy it out and break it up guy, or what? There was a movie put together ‘on-spec’ and shopped around, declined by Perry, finally shown by someone on Newt’s side, but needed to be ‘fact checked’ — such back and forth needs some time.Only in one of the recent debates did Santorum actually claim that he saw the housing bubble coming clearly, early on, well before the bust, and tried hard to do something about it. If so, then TERRIFIC. I’d like full details but don’t have them yet. Such things take time.I’d still like some details on “the Wall Street bailouts”. I don’t know what the heck they are talking about, if anything, and they are not clear. A good page on their Web site would do. Do they mean TARP? My understanding is that that was likely just crucial and likely saved the world from some really bad stuff and, besides, has been paid back in full, with 11% per year interest, or nearly so. They are talking about AIG? Last I heard, there has been a shot for AIG actually to sell off enough of their pieces to pay back the loans. Anything else?The Great Recession has been a BIGGIE. I’m TORQUED and looking for the guilty. Was the cause mostly Rep. Frank, Sen. Obama, the CBC, the CRA, Congress telling Fannie-Freddie hint-hint, or what? If Santorum saw it coming, then why didn’t Clinton, W, Bernanke, and others? There’s a book and a movie Moneyball and lots of stuff about Lady Gaga and various lost actresses but not much on The Great Recession.Our founding fathers set up the system to be surprisingly robust against just very ordinary people as POTUS, but bad gumment still hurts.Net, we need the time to be more sure.

          1. William Mougayar

            You need to look at their track record, not just how good campaigners they are. Currently, the system favors how well someone runs their campaign.- posted via

          2. sigmaalgebra

            “You need to look at their track record”I try to get all the relevant information but don’t have nearly as much as I want.

      3. fltron

        One day we’ll have an Internet nominee… it’s just a matter of time. You can spend all that money touring a bus, or you can hold Google hangout chats and post youtube videos.¬†For that matter, why are there two geographical levels of government? That’s archaic. I’d much rather see us elect a representative from our region, and then individual representatives for a role. I want to vote on the people making technology decisions, legal decisions, environment etc.etc.. We should stop filling up congress with politicians that vote on things they know nothing about, and instead put people into positions that actually know about the subjects.I’m glad SOPA brought a lot of awareness back to an already unpopular group of leaders in the house and senate. ¬†

      4. andyswan

        Oh that’s not gonna happen. I meant Daniels in 2016.

        1. Aaron Klein

          If he runs. The wife thing. I’d put my money on Rubio in 2016, though…

      5. Lucas Dailey

        As long as we use a broken voting system from the 1700s, that won’t change (see Duverger’s Law).We should push for Ranked Pair voting, particularly at the local level to teach people why it’s so much better than First Past the Post.My last blog post was about the issue:¬†http://happyemergency.tumbl…

    3. William Mougayar

      Charm is the word.

  20. jason wright

    Put him on the roster and fly him to SF to work with Disqus.

  21. John Revay

    Quipol has very simple / clean web site.They have a page on their site w/ many pools –¬†Will the Patriots beat the Giants?

  22. Joseph K Antony

    There seems to be no check aginst multiple votes by the same user. That is a major draw back. Otherwise its simple and neat.

    1. Max Yoder

      Jose, right now, I’m using cookies to protect against multiple votes. It’s not fool-proof, so it’s definitely something I’m looking to improve. If anyone out there knows a better way to protect against “voter fraud” other than cookies, I would love the help :)I’m not sure IP address is the way to go, and I’m against making anyone log in to simply vote yay or nay on a Quipol.

      1. William Mougayar

        I voted twice from iPhone and desktop. If you integrated with Disqus, it should know I’m the same user, for example.

    2. fredwilson

      You have to clear cookies to do that

      1. Joseph K Antony

        Not if you are using multiple devices.

        1. Max Yoder

          Yeah, there’s really no way I can stop you from voting on all of your computers and smartphones. And you know what, I hope there never is, because that would be creepy!

      2. Jeremy

        I was looking for a comment about this exact thing — I just voted 4 times in a row, all I had to do was refresh the page. No other device, no clearing of cookies (which are on), etc.As for the other comments about the hovering — it’s always the same, green and blue, so once you use it once, you never have to “learn” again and won’t have to hover.

        1. Max Yoder

          That’s not good. Looking into it. Thank you, Jeremy.

        2. Sprugman

          “green & blue” — doesn’t sound very accessible to me.

  23. Jen Berrent

    I checked out the quipol website and it looks like every question is yes/no. ¬†If that is by design thumbs up / thumbs down seems to be fine. ¬†But I think “no” in the graphic should be red (not blue) as I ¬†would intuitively associate yes/thumbs up/green and no/thumbs down/red – and then the need for labels may not be as strong.

    1. panterosa,

      I agree that blue doesn’t work.

    2. Max Yoder

      Fair point on the blue. Originally, Quipols were designed with red and green voting. It created a problem, though, when we put the product in front of voters.Here’s why: Red is a very commanding color. When put up against green, it won the attention of the eyes very easily. I didn’t want to create a voter bias, so the colors had to have a similar, cool feel to them. Also, red has a lot of negative connotations that shouldn’t necessarily be associated with saying thumbs down. Red feels like I got in trouble‚ÄĒit feels like a slap on the wrist. At least, that’s my opinion. I didn’t want anyone to feel that they’re doing something negative simply by saying thumbs down to something.Here’s a post on more design decisions surrounding Quipol if you’re interested!¬†

      1. panterosa,

        Red is problematic for color blindness – red-green is the most prevalent form.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          About 25% of men are partially red-green color blind.  They can tell that a fire engine is red and very healthy grass is green.  Big patches of saturated pure red  and pure green in good light are easy to tell apart. Otherwise, small patches, poor light, not saturated, not pure hues, can be tough to tell apart.Another issue: In simple terms, the use on this thread was nonsense: There was a question and then got to vote up or down. But the answer to the question was just yes or no, not agree or disagree or up or down. It was not clear that up meant yes and down meant no.

        2. Donna Brewington White

          Wow, reading your comments here I would never have imagined how valuable a knowledge of colors could be for web development projects. ¬†Fascinating.I know I owe you some feedback on another matter but it’s been a ZOO at my house and the animals in this zoo are my “focus group”.

          1. LE

            “knowledge of colors could be for web development projects”Color is extremely important in many areas. The color temperature (K) of office or home lighting can change mood. ¬†So can the lighting design (placement of lights).From having been in the printing business I can tell you that people generally react negatively to a change of color once they have gotten used to it. So if you make a mistake in ink color people will generally not like it right off the bat just because it’s different from what they expected or used previously. Even if others polled think it’s nicer.The quipol colors immediately struck me as being wrong for what they represent. I’m wondering if they are even “web safe” colors for that matter.¬†Here is a helpfull tool that helps you pick color themes for websites:http://colorschemedesigner….Edit: @sprugman is correct regarding web safe.

          2. Sprugman

            Good points, but I think “web safe” is over. Everyone has more than 256 color displays now. (Or nearly so.)

          3. panterosa,

            Lighting is huge. People love color but have no idea how to manage or implement it, even many in the related industries.Personally I dislike palette choosers since they are so bland. But I work part time in color consulting so there’s no surprise there.- posted via Engagio

          4. panterosa,

            Donna, I have worked as a color consultant, a “palette reader’, palette builder and color mixer, including full spectrum colors for many years. Calibrating people’s color experiences is more important than their style experiences.Feedback when you have the time to enjoy and explore will be the right time. I have ZOO issues, hence my late response, so I completely understand.- posted via Engagio

      2. Jen Berrent

        Interesting. ¬†Not sure I would have such a strong reaction to red in general (there are some offensively bright reds). ¬†If my answer is “no” than it is inherently a negative, which does connotate red. ¬†Aesthetically I agree that the look and feel is appealing with the green and blue though.As an aside, political polls generally embrace blue for democrats and red for republicans, and I don’t think people who click on the republican feel a negative reaction to the red. ¬†

        1. Max Yoder

          Just for fun, here’s an early example of the red/green buttons. And no, I didn’t come up with the question ūüôā

          1. Jen Berrent

            I think the Obama thumbs up may be a bit more leading than the red/green!

          2. Donna Brewington White

            I’m glad to see that you changed the (left vs. right) position of the thumbs up vs. down. ¬†It was counterintuitive to see thumbs down as the first option. ¬†Obviously, someone figured this out but in case this aspect is still being tested, I wanted to give my .02.I wonder if a case can be made for a neutral option? ¬†Some may bypass the poll because they don’t know or don’t have an opinion, and you’d never know. ¬†If that is a large number, this might be informative as well.Cheers!

      3. jacopogio

        a suggestion: you should try a test version where one could vote by clicking directly on the picture (say on the 2 persons) … Good work! ūüėČ

      4. Lucas Dailey

        In defense of red for no:Though we do have a conditioned emotional bias to green and red, the importance of that bias has to be weighted against the intuitiveness of the alternative. If people have to hunt for their desired option, that’s a big negative.Particularly¬†since people will have an opinion before their eyes roam near the buttons, at that point the colors are less likely to cloud their opinion, but more likely to direct them to the right place.Also what little bias the colors may have pales in comparison to the bias of the site it’s embedded on! And whatever the person was reading before that article, etc.Bias never reaches zero. Be aware of the trade-offs, but give yourself some¬†leeway¬†if it will make a better overall product.One thought to help differentiate if you keep similar colors: don’t make the icons¬†symmetrical.¬†Anthropomorphically, how tight the first is and the thumb angle could give some clues. I bet we could tell if a photographed thumbs-up/down was flipped. But that’s pretty minor ūüôā and we like symmetrical icons.

        1. Max Yoder

          All very well said. Thank you for the feedback, Lucas.

      5. Cam MacRae

        Thumbs up/down doesn’t always take the meaning you or I would intend – in some (fewer and fewer, mind you) parts of the world it’s an analogue to the one fingered salute.If you scale such that cultural sensitivity is an issue you might consider offering the choice of an alternate icon.

        1. Max Yoder

          Absolutely. I’m excited to have that problem.I should note that Japanese- and Portuguese-speaking countries have taken a liking to Quipol and, thus far, not complained about the thumbs. My second-biggest market is Brazil.

          1. Cam MacRae

            Less of a problem with younger people as they watch enough TV that they get it, and may even have adopted it, but offering a way not to have to “get it” is a nice flourish.Applies to parts of the Middle East and the Mediterranean too.

  24. panterosa,

    I was just writing that I felt blue was a problem color when Jen Berrent made the same comment. But I don’t simply disagree with the color read, how it is perceived as having a personality, like the green’s acceptance debarking. Green/blue are too close to each other visually, which is a serious problem for people who are color blind, about 8% of the population.I would add texture to each choice to add some distinction.Also, regarding William’s great point about polls within a poll, I’d love to see a series of questions yield a venn diagram. That would be a great way to dive more deeply into some questions.

  25. Barry Nolan

    Especially good UI for mobile and 1-touch.

  26. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    Expressing an opinion is egoist – it is MY opinion.¬†I like what I like. I petition for what I believe in. Given a choice of beef or lamb, perhaps I want a Waldorf salad. ¬†What I especially don’t want is my views anonymously¬†channelled¬†into a monochromatic superficial choice, by someone else’s oversimplifying assumptions.Next two paragraphs are deliberately provocative – please take as illustrative …Tell me Fred – have you stopped beating Gotham Gal ? – A simple yes or no will explain all – but will you participate – Can you with a yes or no?So I did not vote, you dare to assume I care about US politics to the exclusion of European issues, you risk characterising and isolating me.Opinion polls are inherently non-participatory whether you partake or not ¬†– ¬†However – at AVC opinions and polls are preferred and long it should be !

    1. fredwilson

      She kicks my ass

      1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

        Fred – I figured as much ūüôā ¬†And so we would have it !

      2. ShanaC

        good women do that :-p

  27. kskobac

    It’s not bad – but I’m more interested in seeing how “Go Poll Go” develops a solution for embedded polling. ¬†I love the real-time nature of their product and the commitment to rich visualization (

    1. fredwilson

      i just checked them out. they look good. i will try them the next time i want to do a poll.

  28. Dan M.

    Nice, but:¬†1. On ce you click on the Quipol button, it shows voting is closed, and you can’t even read the comments or see the results.2. Once I clicked on the comments link on, I was able to cast my vote again… refreshing the page will do the same.3. The colour schema (blue vs. green)¬†is not that great.

  29. leigh

    Here’s the problem with polls for engagement — when you are doing an interview, the worst thing you can do is ask a yes or no question. ¬†It¬†absolutely¬†KILLS the¬†conversation. ¬†Open ended questions on the other hand do the exact opposite but they don’t really fit into a nice chart unless you were to do sentiment analysis (which is pretty inaccurate on a good day).¬†

    1. awaldstein

      Bingo! You have a great user sense of perspective Leigh.I’ve used polls forever. Never with complete satisfaction.To work they need to push the conversation forward. They are like language and need to feel contextual and natural when used. And the biggest one, they need to give back value to the poll taker while being used. That sense of purpose needs to be ingrained in the process. The more abstract it is, the less it will get used and the less value for user and pollster it will give.

      1. Diesel Laws

        Spot on @leigh:disqus and @awaldstein:disqus . This is something I feel we are working towards with Barkles. It’s important to keep the discussion going vs ending it with a button press of Yes/No.That said, there is a place and time with Yes/No buttons and embedded into a blog with an additional comment system is vital. Without the actual comments, the discussion stalls and the value gained from the poll is all.We would really love your feedback and opinion on

        1. Donna Brewington White

          Is that honestly your real name?  Cool.

      2. Donna Brewington White

        Once again, a really astute comment Waldstein — how do you know all this?I absolutely agree that the more contextual and natural the better…and the sense of purpose is essential to the quality of the results!For instance, I want to know whether people are voting yes or no they WANT Romney to win or they THINK he will win, otherwise, the results don’t mean much. In this case I can imagine that votes could represent either.And the immediate reward is important. ¬†There is a reason that game mechanics work so well.

      3. JLM

        Moving the conversation forward — the most important question ever asked:”And then what happened?”

    2. Max Yoder

      Interesting perspective, Leigh. I’m following the sentiment analysis field as closely as I can. Will be fun to see how it evolves.

    3. Nick Grossman

      Reminds me of the early polls — they were preference polls, that then triggered additional questions, which over time built up a preference profile. ¬†They were really fun to do, and included a number of question formats (but all multiple choice). ¬†This has kind of a similar feel.

      1. leigh

        I remember thinking they were stupid — and i thought it was stupid — and then the email recommendations started to come and they were really freakin’ smart — and then I thought i was stupid bc it was brilliant- posted via

      2. JamesHRH

        Leigh and I are breathing the same air today……I thought they were stupid too.¬†And I never fit into one of their buckets, so Hunch never predicted my tastes accurately. I still think Chris D is sharp, but I must be a statistical outlier.

        1. leigh

          lol more importantly, drinking coffee – i’ll buy next time :)- posted via

      3. mattshamus

        I remember the signup process and specifically enjoyed the questions they asked (there’s something about answering questions about yourself…). In fact, after they felt like they had enough info to serve you some reasonably accurate content, they also let you continue on and answer more questions if you wanted to hone their profile of you. I ended up answering several x more questions than necessary, just because it was a nice UI and there was something fun about it.

        1. Nick Grossman

          yeah, same here

    4. ShanaC

      Never tell the engineers that though

    5. JamesHRH

      Polls are always used to start a conversation, if you listen to any radio morning show. Doing them sucks; talking about them is fun I guess!

      1. LE

        Quinnipiac University made a name for itself with it’s polling and gets untold amounts of free national publicity.¬†…Physicians and hospitals now regularly use the results of biased “best doctor” polls in their advertising which is, essentially, a beauty contest. Ditto for Martindale lawyer ratings.I’ve also seen physician rankings run by healthcare consulting companies as a way to generate more business. Not something most people are aware of or the media ever brings out and discusses.¬†

      2. leigh

        Medium matters in that case though don’t you think? – posted via

        1. testtest

          applicable, i think.the internet medium wraps around old media: radio, tv, film, books, aural expression, photos.

    6. Donna Brewington White

      I agree that binary questions can be a conversation stopper and in an interview are not very informative.  However, if wielded properly, they can be great as a lead in to follow-up questions and particularly to narrow the field in order to dive deeper.But, yes, doing that on a website is a different story.I like that Quipol allows comments.  I think I actually exhaled when I saw that.

    7. fredwilson

      that explains a lot of why i’m kind of “meh” on them. thanks Leigh

    8. Ronald

      Quipol seems cool, but I am not sure what their big differentiator is. ¬†Seems more like a PollDaddy poll on steroids. ¬†I guess there is some value to that, but I don’t see it as being a game changer. ¬†I recently came across an iPhone app called Pollbob that is more focused on real time polling. ¬†They seem to be onto something and already have a strong following. ¬†I don’t think anyone has executed the polling space well enough for it to reach the mass markets. ¬†Does anyone remember the website BuzzDash? ¬†They were pretty cool, very similar to GoPollGo, but the website was eventually shut down.

  30. Diesel Laws

    Very nicely done Quipol ( cc @twitter-48452788:disqus). It’s good to see others in the polling/question space focusing on nice interface design.We’re working on allowing embeds in the future as well. (right now we’re focusing on building the community) – example Dogfight:¬†

  31. Cima

    I liked the way it looked, though I have to agree with some of the comments here that it would help if users could easily identify the labels for the results. And the comments within the widget might be too much. With a name like Quipol, users might expect that after voting, they can move on immediately. Maybe a simpler version could work on RSS readers like Google Reader and more complex ones with comments and social networking can be embedded on blogs and websites.  

  32. Max Yoder

    I should note that video Quipols are on the way.¬†Vimeo and YouTube support is rolling out over the coming weeks. Here’s an example:¬† again to the AVC community for the honest, polite feedback. I need it.

  33. OurielOhayon

    nice but limited in the type of questions you can ask. check out gopollpo

    1. fredwilson

      i just checked out gopollgo. hate the name. but they look nice. i’ll give them a try the next time i want to do a poll.

      1. OurielOhayon

        Agreed on the name_____________________*Not sent from a computer ****News: meet Appsfire at the MWC 2012 Barcelona*

      2. ZachKupperman

        Check out Pollbob ( and download the app – we are mobile social polling with a real-time twist.¬† The focus is on polling in real-time and making it easy, entertaining, and rewarding.¬†Would love everyone’s feedback on the app.

  34. Trevor Gilbert

    The thought I have with polls on blogs (especially ones with comments enabled) is what is the poll adding to the discussion? If everyone will be posting a more nuanced version of their thought a minute later, why embed the poll at all?Something to consider which may be more valuable for blogs is a poll that doesn’t count votes directly, but instead tracks sentiment based on comments and displays those results.

  35. mikenolan99

    I’m interested to learn their revenue model…

  36. Luke Chamberlin

    Green means ‘thumbs up’ and blue means ‘thumbs down’? This is confusing.

    1. William Mougayar

      I was confused too with these colors. Green/Red is more common for Yes/No. 

  37. Brandon Burns

    i doubt the problem with polls is the widget being used, but probably the question / asker. either the question is engaging, or the asker compelled me to answer, or not.however, using a photo to draw in a user + quickly digestible options for answering are standard UX best practices to increase engagement. kudos to Quipol for allowing photos and iconizing the buttons.¬†also, having only two options for answering and the short, easily-scanned question helps, too. but that’s probably more thanks to the asker.

    1. Dave Pinsen

      The photo is a nice touch.

      1. Max Yoder

        I think video is going to be really helpful. Photos are great, but video will do a lot of the up-front work for the poll creator by educating voters and providing rich context to the question.

        1. Dave Pinsen

          That will be interesting to see. Congrats on this post, btw.

          1. Max Yoder

            Thank you, Dave!

        2. awaldstein

          Yes…video is super sticky.But as soon as I hear anyone using the idea that they have to educate the market in order to gather a response, everything changes.Education on anything including political issues isn’t really the domain of the pollster. You agree or no?

          1. Max Yoder

            Yeah, my word choice was poor there. I shouldn’t have said educate. A better way to have put it would have been “getting the voter up to speed” in any sense‚ÄĒnot just in the case of political stuff.That is, with a video, I can show you a recent clip from about a recent incident, and much of the context of that incident becomes readily apparent.Video can express a lot with a little, so creators of video Quipols can use it to set up their question really quickly.If that doesn’t make sense, let me know. It’s been a long (but good) day ūüôā

          2. awaldstein

            Hi MaxDidn’t mean to jump on you at all.I’m just really sensitive whenever I hear terms like ‘educate the market’ thrown around.It’s the marketer in me that can’t be controlled ūüėČ

  38. guest

    it would be interesting if you could ask this same question every month and quipoll would show how the results change over time (specific to this community) as we progress through the election, to use this specific example. that would create some data that could become engaging, etc. and set apart the service from other static polls

  39. Dave Pinsen

    It’s interesting how the poll results on AVC differ from national polls on this. The national polls have this a lot closer.In the Real Clear Politics average of national polls, Obama leads Romney by 1.9%. But in a match-up against a generic Republican, a generic Republican leads Obama by 1.2%, which suggests the impact of negative ads (by Gingrich’s Super PAC) on Romney. If Romney wins the general, he will of course be the target of more negative ads, but those will be offset by negative ads targeting Obama.

    1. fredwilson

      another problems with blog polls. our community is not a representative sample.

      1. Dave Pinsen

        That’s not a problem if the purpose of the poll is simply to gauge the views of this community. If the purposes of it is to predict an election, you’re better off with a scientific poll or InTrade.

        1. Max Yoder

          David, you nailed it. Quipol isn’t about accruing scientifically “accurate” data‚ÄĒit’s about understanding where your specific audience stands on any issue, and using that insight to better engage with them in the future.

          1. Dave Pinsen

            Good luck to you with this, Max.

          2. Max Yoder

            Thanks so much, Dave. If you don’t mind, I’m going to shoot you an email. Would love to keep in touch.

          3. Dave Pinsen

            Go right ahead, I wouldn’t mind at all.

        2. andyidsinga

          I just checked out intrade, they have:Obama to win at 54.4%¬†Romney to win at 38.2%so¬†definitely¬†closer than AVC poll :)link:¬†…¬†

          1. Dave Pinsen

            That will narrow once it becomes a head-to-head race. The current Real Clear Politics poll average has Obama leading Romney by 2.3%: http://www.realclearpolitic…But it’s worth bearing in mind that Romney is currently facing a headwind Obama isn’t: negative ads (mainly by the Super PAC supporting Gingrich). In the general election, Obama will face a similar headwind.

          2. andyidsinga

            thanks for reminding me of realclearpolitics ..good site.

          3. fredwilson

            yeah, i was thinking about dave’s comment earlier todaypolls of who you are going to vote for are different than who you think will winthe polls he cited were “who are you going to vote for”the AVC poll and the trading markets are more “who is going to win”

  40. Dave Pinsen

    As for the UX of the poll widget: not bad. Nothing revelatory about it, but nice.

  41. MartinEdic

    The widget repeatedly crashed Safari on my iPad. Have not had that experience on this site previously.

    1. Max Yoder

      Really sorry to hear that, Martin. I have no idea what would cause it to crash, but I’ll see if I can replicate and fix the error. Again, all apologies.

      1. jacopogio

        suggestion: I think you should try a test version where one could actually vote by clicking ON the Picture … (say on the 2 Faces)

  42. MartinEdic

    And, btw, yes or no polling is almost worthless. It is too easy to game the results when you have no profile of the respondent through other questions.

  43. MartinEdic

    Honestly, this is so minor league I’m surprised you featured it. There are dozens of these things out there and this is not innovative.

    1. fredwilson

      you wouldn’t be surprised if you met Max. he’s the kind of person you want to feature.

  44. Cynthia Schames

    Looks nice on iPhone. As others have mentioned, hover is not an intuitive action on iOS, the blue/green feels insipid (let poll creators choose color schemes?), and I personally don’t feel that polls add real value though the ability to comment is a differentiator. Remember, the AVC comment community is highly engaged & active. The vast majority of readerships are not.It’s a nice to have…feature. In ultra-widespread adoption (attainable only through rapid & widespread integrations) they might be able to aggregate enough data to provide valuable Analytics that are monetizable. Otherwise, what makes this more than a cute add on?

  45. Vinod Khurana

    have you tried urtak (….similar idea . worked really well for the blaze. the user engagement was outstanding

    1. Vinod Khurana


    2. fredwilson

      yeah, i saw them at the techstars demo day

      1. Mike Geer (MG)

        Defintely keep an eye on them, Fred. Great team!

  46. LE

    Not a fan of the name quipol. What do others think? In 1 hour the poll so far drew 11 votes. Cast a vote to see the results. I also would like to see people’s opinions on why they voted either way.I would add to the initial screen (where you vote) a count of the total votes received so far. You currently only see this after clicking through.

    1. jason wright

      I’m with you on that one. ‘Quipol’ doesn’t do it for me.

    2. fredwilson

      i didn’t get it until max explained it to me

    3. jason wright

      “Quipol is a¬†portmanteau¬†for quick poll (it’s pronounced like kwi-pol)” – Max.If the word ‘portmanteau’ has to be deployed to help explain a brand name then that brand name is already in trouble. Polling is ‘mass’, and ‘portmanteau’ isn’t.

      1. LE

        Not to mention the fact that you have to then grab many other obvious typos or phonetic spellings of the name as well. This is always a problem but a much bigger problem with something like “qui”.Even “pol” needs “poll” variation. And I could come up with plenty on this.Even your name, “Wright” if passed along by word of mouth would need:Rite, Right, Write

        1. jason wright

          “Even your name, “Wright” if passed along by word of mouth would need:”Tell me about it! – wanna swap? ūüôā

        2. Max Yoder

          All fair points, gentlemen. To be honest, it hasn’t been much of an issue since launch. People certainly mispronounce the name, but I don’t think it’s anything for me to spend time worrying about. Time will tell.

  47. Tony Ratliff

    I personally know Max and although this is his first attempt at being an¬†entrepreneur¬†– I’m sure Quipol won’t be the last thing he does. He’s funded this project himself and has kicked butt to surround himself with the right people, collect feedback and launch Quipol. Here’s the deal: he really isn’t that concerned about the $, but more about the experience he’s gaining as a young entrepreneur and creating a great product. Kudos to the AVC community for some awesome feedback, and Kudos to you, Mr. Fred Wilson for helping young entrepreneurs like Max.

    1. fredwilson

      it’s one of my favorite things to do

  48. Michael Carper

    The first issue that pops up for me is the disconnect between the question being posed, and the yes/no answer. I read the question and realize it’s about presidential predictions. However, I can’t simply vote on one candidate or the other. Instead, I have to go back and read the question to see which candidate is being positively asked about: “Will Romney be president?” or “Will Obama win again?” So in this case, it’s more intuitive for me to pick one of two people, as opposed to picking yes/no.This was more apparent in another use of Quipol in a Wired article about the Best Nerd in Movies or something like that. The set up was the same: you were voting on two people. However, unlike this case, the candidates were presented equally. The question was “Is person 1 a better ____ than person 2” and it was difficult to keep them straight when you were only voting up/down. It’s the kind of confusion you cause when you ask a question, but precede it with “not.” I have to think too hard to translate my answer to the question into the widget’s answer format.

  49. tzury

    @twitter-48452788:disqus you built a nice piece of software!it is elegant and well designed.since this is a widget to be embedded in other platforms, consider adding another layout, landscape in addition to the portrait one.

    1. Max Yoder

      Right-o! Thanks, @tzury:disqus.

  50. Larabee

    I know these photos are meant to be humorous, but they very much resemble Kerry’s face the last time I saw him on TV ūüôā

    1. gleslie

      What was that about? Is there a Fight Club on the hill?

  51. gleslie

    Props to Max for letting Fred throw him to the wolves. This is one of my favorite parts of the AVC community. Where else can you get the opinions/critiques of so many talented folks while your product is being developed? Cheers to you, Max and Fred.

    1. Max Yoder

      Thanks a lot. It has been a fun experience.

      1. JamesHRH

        If you cannot learn from listening to AVCers, you have an input problem!Good for you for taking the feedback Max!

        1. Max Yoder

          Thanks, James. I’m trying to talk Fred into starting critique-Quipol Thursdays ūüėČ

    2. LE

      “throw him to the wolves”Hacker News ( ) does this normally labeled as “show HN” posts.¬†I think there is an opportunity for someone to develop a site solely around critique and commentary on startups as well as other ideas. I would angel fund that idea.

      1. Cynthia Schames

        I’d start up that company in a heartbeat.Hmm.

        1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          1. Cynthia Schames

            I’m actually being serious, Dino.¬†It’s being done, but as a very, very wise Dinosaur has said repeatedly: execution is everything. See

          2. LE

            My thought would be that the site should allow people who make comments, improvements or ideas to have some tangible benefit if the idea takes off or gets funded. ¬†That could become quite addictive even if the benefit was nominal (which I don’t think it needs to be.) Everyone likes to see their ideas implemented.¬†

          3. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          4. LE

            She sells. I think that is needed in any idea.

          5. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          6. Cynthia Schames

            Oh @FAKEGRIMLOCK is well aware of my sales techniques, LE ;)I agree that conversation, ideas and debate would be the keys to making this a success.  In fact, I would envision it very much like, well, this thread. I have been mulling over the idea of a tangible benefit since earlier today, actually. I was thinking about a Kickstarter-style spiff if you will.  Upvoted feedback reaches a certain level and earns the commenter a 3 month subscription, 6 month subscription, annual subscription, etc.



        1. LE

          $10,000 or $15,000 plus a three letter .com (if needed). I have no doubt others will want to get involved once a prototype is working.

          1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          2. Cynthia Schames

            RIGHT being the operative word. ¬†It can’t be just “hey, come throw crap at these people’s idea”, obviously.¬†I think this calls for more beer. And at some point, less public discussion.¬†Since I can’t reply to “idea that sell self” comment directly (which, hey @disqus that is a weird convention), I will do here. Granted, the idea has to sell itself, but do you and I really need to go into the whole discussion about how sales is not actually dead again? Because guess what fundraising is? Sales. Guess what marketing is? Sales. Guess what a great UI is? Sales.So…there’s room for sales knowledge & skill in any and every startup, regardless of how vehemently certain Code Reptiles love to negate the value of skill sets other than your own. Because I’m here to tell you that it’s a rare coder indeed who is actually an effective salesperson and who has the time and/or inclination to dedicate himself or herself to the *discipline* of actually building a selling machine that makes sense, connects with users, and (gee) produces revenue.Which is a crazy longwinded way of saying…(insert image of Godzilla in New York Harbor). Because you know you want to work with me.

          3. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          4. Cynthia Schames

            Not what I said, either.

          5. LE

            “THINK HARD ABOUT EXECUTE RIGHT MVP. IT LIKE JUDO MOVE. NO WASTED ENERGY, FIND POINT IN WORLD”Call the ball.On a aircraft carrier landing, the fighter pilot must consistently grab the third wire to move up in rank. ¬†So the deck has to be approached at exactly the right angle .

    3. Donna Brewington White

      Wolves? ¬†I beg your pardon.(I agree that it is commendable — but AVC is one of the best places on the web to get knowledgeable, diverse, honest yet civil feedback…for the most part.)

      1. gleslie

        I agree, Donna. And I don’t mean to imply that AVC feedback isn’t civil. More¬†congratulating¬†Max as he takes that necessary (and often humbling) step of exposing his hard work to respected opinions.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          Oh, gleslie, you didn’t imply that AVC isn’t civil. ¬†You made a great point and you made it well.I must stop messing with people. Or not. ūüėČ

  52. ShanaC

    So, polls.I did publisher side work at one point.  Yes Рpolls are engaging.They also have a tendency to be stuck in site real estate that should be held to push people to read more articles.  Important if you are advertising driven. So I feel very ehh about most widgets for blogs as a result.

  53. Dan Bowen

    I find the ones that combine the poll with comments are the most interesting to me…MSNBC uses these regulary that take your poll selection and then a short comment, about the length of a tweet…I find those much more engaging than a simply click-poll.

  54. TedHoward

    Like most startups and now even Jawbone, it’s broken for 40-50% of all users. Otherrwise, looks and works well.

  55. Ryan Berryman

    I think polls offer the user very low return for responding. ¬†They also suffer from the “lemon problem” of all the low-quality ads appearing as polls (this poll, for example — I’ve seen several incentive ads with this basic theme). ¬†With the polls mimicking the low quality ads, the user is not sure whether the poll is genuine and whether the use of any information provided is harmless. ¬†Too many “risks” and little / no return for engaging. ¬†At least with text comments, the return to the user is engaging in the conversation and getting their voice heard.

  56. Otto

    “Liking” is a lazy way to engage a blog and I would like to see the Internet move beyond it at some point. There is way too much value put on being “liked”. It makes things soft, cannibalistic, and lacking imagination. People write just for likes, which is a little better artistically and intellectually than writing for the Google bot, but it still feels dull. “Likes” can be a misleading metric too and a poor measure of quality.Likes are to the Internet what drive-thrus are to fast food. They’re convenient but eventually you realize you’ve wasted a lot of time and fuel for something that has little nutritional (intellectual) value. You realize you’ve been had, but it somehow became mainstream so policy now makes it part of the infrastructure to the overall determint of culture.Polls are generally a narrow minded engagement process too but they can sometimes drive discussion, like here. That said, a crowd like AVC doesn’t need a simplistic poll to get a conversation going.

    1. LE

      “There is way too much value put on being ‘liked'”People like things that they agree with. But they also like things that they understand and that they can appreciate because of past knowledge or experience.@awaldstein:disqus¬†can appreciate wine and I can appreciate good quality industrial shelving. If I pointed out to you things about the shelves you might appreciate the quality as well. (You see, anything can be art.)¬†There are probably many readers of this blog that in the past have done things that have turned out successful that other people didn’t like (didn’t think was a good idea). I have many times. In fact, that is where the opportunity is. In thinking in ways that others don’t think or even if the idea is explained they still don’t understand.

      1. Otto

        I like your way of looking on the bright side. I also like how you and I both got a like for our comments today.

    2. fredwilson

      new disqus avatar. i like it.

      1. Otto

        Thank you. It’s graffiti that I snapped a photo of while visiting Olbia, Sardinia a few years ago. I have it up on Flickr with a Creative Commons attribution share alike license.

        1. Otto

          Also on Instagram. If anyone is interested, let me know.

    1. Max Yoder

      ūüôā great question. I’m thinking somewhere near that Bubble Car.

  57. Tom

    Most people with some level of numeracy find traditional polling (random surveys) to be fairly uninteresting given how inaccurate they tend to be, due to response bias, slanted questions and the fact that many people don’t even respond accurately if you’re asking about future plans. Put that poll on a web site, where the sampling is no longer even close to random, and it just becomes even less interesting.¬†I can see some limited situations where it’s useful to poll visitors to a site (“Should we allow comments?”, “Do you want more stories like this?”) but in most cases the results have little or no meaning outside the context of that site.

  58. Neil Braithwaite

    My partner and i have built a political/polling/social site that addresses most of the concerns people here have about basic up/down, yes/no polls. ShowGov.comWe built the site because we believe the majority of polling is politically based and that more often than not, people have more to say than just yes or no on political issues.We also believe that having a sight where every elected representative can be easily found and engaged is paramount in these highly charged political times.Our site offers users the ability to poll every ‚Äúviewpoint‚ÄĚposted by a politician as well as comment directly to that specific post oreven start a new discussion with that politician or other user.¬†Sure there is competition out there, but I defy you to findone as user friendly as¬†BTW, you can contact me directly for more information or ifyou want to discuss investing in the project. And because 2012 is going to bethe most politically charged year of our lifetime, there‚Äôs no better timingthan now to get involved. [email protected]

  59. Andrew K Kirk

    Big ups to @twitter-48452788:disqus and @Quipol:twitter! Great coverage on @AVC:twitter 

  60. Geoff

    It should have a don’t care not interested response ūüôā

    1. Donna Brewington White

      I was thinking something along those lines as well — something to denote neutrality but to register “I was here.”

  61. BillMcNeely

    WOW! I read through most of the comments. I did not see one person that shared there view/ answer to the political question posed.  Interesting.  

    1. Donna Brewington White

      We’re on task. ¬†New technology to discuss. ¬†More interesting.

      1. BillMcNeely

        When I was in consulting with BearingPoint, the financial & tech practice folks from Philly, NY, and SF would always complain about the former military and gov practice folks talking policy/politics. Financial & tech practice would always want to talk about celeb, tech and business topics. Just an observation from an outsider. Good to see.

        1. ShanaC

          Sounds like how my friends talk.  At some point, you have to learn how to talk holistically

    2. ShanaC

      Because sometimes talking about politics feels like we’re beating a dead horse. ¬†I do wonder sometimes if we should just formally move into a ceasar-ific period, as pur system that we have now just sucks so so royally.

    3. fredwilson

      when politics enters these threads, they go crazy. nobody had time for that yesterday

  62. jason wright

    Quipol? I prefer Moipol.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      Vous¬†√™tes¬†tr√®s¬†dr√īle, JPW.

  63. Daria Steigman

    The widget doesn’t show up in my RSS feed — which is a problem. It did when I ran it through my nifty new Google Reader extension, but you can’t count on people to have that and/or take the extra step.By the way, agree with those that have pointed out that polls do not allow for nuance. Which is what blog comments are all about, right?

  64. Brad Wisler

    The binary nature of Quipol doesn’t seem to stifle the conversation. In my experience, it seems to steer it in a constructive direction, avoiding the flame wars that often go way off topic. It also seems to be a great way to get some feedback from users who want to weigh in while remaining anonymous. At the same time, it should prevent people from posting offensive comments anonymously, since they have to connect in order to comment. All that being said, I mostly like it because it’s ridiculously easy to create and embed one, in stark contrast to the other polling solutions out there.

  65. Eric Leebow

    Polls are always good, and there are plenty of polling sites beyond this one, and location based polling has become popular. ¬†I’m looking to build polls into my site, yet it’s a different kind of poll. ¬†I think this is a great idea, polls for blogs. I’ve seen it before, yet what makes it unique from ¬†The name “quipol” isn’t something I understand right away.

    1. Max Yoder

      Eric, Quipol is a¬†portmanteau¬†for quick poll (it’s pronounced like kwi-pol)Also, I don’t use‚ÄĒand have never used‚ÄĒGPG, so I can’t really speak to technical differences.In short, I’m kind of worthless to you right now :(One question for you, though: do you blog for FreezeCrowd or someplace else?¬†

  66. Donna Brewington White

    My first thought was, “Oh, no, Fred, polls?” ¬†I don’t really like polls. ¬†Except when I am particularly interested in the results, but then it is frustrating if it is something I care about but I don’t feel as though I can trust the results. So the way the question is asked is important, and depending on the topic, so is the polled audience.¬†Then I did the Quipol¬†poll and I thought, “Okay, this could work.” ¬†I like the way the results are presented and that there is room for comment — the ability to comment seals the deal for me — and that it is simple and elegant — you get quite a bit for what you put in.But polls are only as good as the questions being asked by users so the tool may be judged on an aspect over which you have no control.Hopefully users creating polls will look at the polls on the Quipol site which are excellently done. ¬†Or users could be offered a short guide to creating an effective poll.I do think that polls can be a valuable step toward engagement — as one of the clubs in the bag. ¬† Not everyone is like the typical AVC commenter who will engage either readily or when provoked. ¬†I bet even lurkers would respond to a poll. ¬†Which could lead to a comment — or at least a greater sense of connection to the content.

    1. Max Yoder

      That comment really fired me up, Donna. Thank you.¬†I’m¬†hesitant¬†to create a “Guide to Creating Great Polls” because I think my core users are smart enough to know which actions beget which results. Still, everybody needs technical help, so I’m attempting to build out a FAQ page. It’s coming along:¬†…¬†Again, thanks for your feedback.

      1. Donna Brewington White

        You are very welcome, Max. Seems like you are onto something. All the best to you!- posted via Engagio

    2. BillMcNeely

      Do you think this polling tool could be used with infographics? Infographics can illicit a “thats nice” reaction as well. Maybe away to get the viewer to ineract with the data.

  67. James Poling

    Unless I’m missing something this doesn’t even seem like a poll. It’s more like a giant true/false widget. It looks great, but I still wouldn’t call it a poll.

  68. Marc Delurgio

    Wow, Quipol just got a bevy of great product feedback!¬† I like what they’ve built so far.¬† As evidenced by the volume of AVC comments on almost every post, I think there is an opportunity to model reader reactions in a more quantifiable way than comments.¬† Very few people have time to read all the comments (I sometimes wonder how some regulars here have so much time ūüėČ and I think the quantification of reactions can be extended (beyond a single poll) throughout the article.¬† For instance, hover over a sentence and like/dislike, or write succinct reactions like “disagree,” “company x does that,” “good luck,” etc. ¬† Maybe too complex, but it seems like there is an opportunity to model reactions in a more contextual, simple way that avoids making everyone read so much.

  69. matthughes

    Well said. 



    1. Max Yoder

      I tried the SCROLLBAR. It was not smartphone-friendly in the least, so I can’t agree with you there. Would you mind elaborating on what sucks about the commenting interface? I do understand that it’s not full-featured, but I’d think you’d be able to appreciate that when you consider that Quipol is still a MVP.Thanks, Fake Grimlock.



        1. Max Yoder

          Thank you for elaborating.

    2. fredwilson

      3) Romney has a lot of work to do 

  71. John

    You should check out the polls created by Wedgies. ¬†They are designed to work really well with Twitter and other social media, but also have a secret embed option that they’re playing with as well. ¬†I created this sample Wedgie (poll) and tweeted it out:¬†!/tech…¬† It’s limited to 2 answers, but works well when you only want 2 options. ¬†Plus, it auto votes when you click on the link so you always get engagement.Another new survey website worth looking at is: ¬†It’s still new, but has some pretty polls. ¬†#vegastech

  72. FlavioGomes

    Fast easy interesting – Pick three

  73. the truth

    love the picture of them all beat up

  74. John

    Sorry for the shameless pitch but I guess CIVICSCIENCE ( hasn’t done enough marketing on this topic yet. CIVICSCIENCE polls can be found on sites like PerezHilton, NY Daily News, and hundreds of others. Engagement starts with simplicity, first, then intelligence. Content is fed into polls from a massive library of professionally designed and curated questions (as well as those provided by the site/blog publisher), so that the poll content is germane to the site on which it appears. Then, through a cookie or other unique identifier, we deliver increasingly relevant questions to users during each session/page load. We’re mining over 150 million poll responses (and growing fast) to optimize for engagement. The benefit to the publisher goes beyond the engagement; We provide unimaginable audience analytics through data mining and predictive modeling. We automatically weight results based on census norms (or custom norms), for example.¬†

  75. Max Yoder

    Hey Paul,My team I did our best to minimize load issues, and the work seems to be paying off. This page, with a Quipol installed, has a Page Speed of 91. I checked a few other text posts by Fred, and they all hovered around 89-91, implying that nothing’s slowing down at all.The worst Page Speed that I found came from this post with a video in it, which¬†received¬†an 81.¬†…I know that the more things you load the longer the wait-time, but Quipols appear to have a negligible effect on page performance. They’re pretty lightweight.

  76. Rohan

    Tough feedback…