Saturday, January 29, 2011

Brain-dead web polls

People don't know how to create poll questions. I used to do this so I'm very aware of the inadequacies in internet polls.

In my area, the NY Daily News has the worst polls. They loop extraneous phrases into the choices you choose from, so you can't possibly answer the question unless you fall into their ridiculously narrow scope. Today's poll concerns a boat house restaurant. Never mind the issues, just look how they phrase the choices:

Will you be going back to the Boathouse Restaurant?

- Yes, the owner had a legitimate reason to let the workers go.
- No way, those employees should not have been fired.
- I don't know, but I love the Boathouse in the summertime.

See what's wrong here? This is how they should have done the poll:

Will you be going back to the Boathouse Restaurant?

- Yes.
- No.
- I don't know.

See how that works? Note to poll makers: Do not tack on your stupid, irrelevant, qualifying remarks. You make it impossible for anyone with a brain to take your poll. Oh, that's right. I forgot. You only publish for idiots. Never mind.