Yeah, Scorereader, I pretty much agree with everything you say. My inclination, though, is to get maximum participation rather than useful data. People like to play along. Once in a while, the “I Don’t Like” number is even interesting.
You’d be surprised – the polls almost never come from the threads. I don’t spend a lot of time there. There is probably a lot of overlap because I often try to make the poll appropriate for the season, which is also the natural thing to be discussed in the Forums.
The taco poll was inspired by a recent Michael Stern review where he raved about the freshly made tortillas, and how that made such a difference to the tacos. That fit with my own experience, and it got me thinking how much I also enjoy salsas and garnishes that are bright and fresh rather than dull and old and sad-looking. I’m pretty sure that I’ll try to tie in the next poll to the recently announced New Mexico Roadfood tour.
Michael, at times I’ve tried to cover as many bases as possible. Like the poll for mustard type on hot dogs, I included some main types, an “other” category, and a “no mustard on dogs” category. I suppose to be true to my inclusive philosophy I could have also included “I Don’t Like Hot Dogs” as a choice but it starts to seem a little silly to me at that point.
The part of the software allocated to the front page poll is very limited. Not only are all those complex answer choices not available, but even the number of characters for the title of the poll, and the choices, is very limited, which sometimes results in some pretty strange wording as I try to shoehorn the poll into the space provided.