Is it possible, or even allowed to organise polls at SSE? I think it could have benefit to discussions, but there are some risk (misusage).

What are your thoughts?

  • The SE model pretty much rules out polls, and currently the functionality doesn't exist. I would not expect it to be implemented. – Rory Alsop Apr 27 '14 at 17:22
  • ok, thanks for the response! – Arnoud Traa Apr 28 '14 at 11:29

Polls were considered in the earlier designs as something separate from questions, but weren't ever really explored. The problems we have with questions also apply to poles, namely, quite a bit of duplication. Polls also generally tend to have a very short useful shelf life before the options that everyone voted on are no longer really as relevant as they once were. This is probably exacerbated to a degree on our more technology-intense sites, but applies pretty much everywhere.

They also overrun a site quickly if not tightly contained. I only know a little bit about Sound Design & Engineering but boy, I can sure vote on polls confidently

Folks have used questions as polls in the past and arrived at pretty much the same conclusion - they don't really hold value over time. If you arrive to one on a site like Stack Overflow or Super User that hasn't been closed, good luck getting a new option / opinion on them that actually gets noticed. Once the party is over, folks forget all about these old questions and then folks finding them two years later don't see them as very useful.

That's why we discourage it on the main site. On meta, they can be useful in order to get a quick consensus from those that actively participate here. On the main site, it's better to just describe what you're trying to actually accomplish with as many caveats as you face, then you should get some nice and narrowly-scoped answers with recommendations, which generally serves the purpose.

I'd like to officially support them in some manner, it would be easy to do here, but hard on Stack Overflow, and the mechanics would have to adjust well to either scale. It's an interesting problem I'd like to revisit this year, because they are wildly popular and a great on-ramp for new contributors. They just break our current model.

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