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How to poll the public on the Web?
February 17, 2008 6:43 PM   Subscribe

Where can I go on the Web to create an informal public poll to gather data for my next book, which happens to be about board games?

I'm currently co-authoring a book of board and card games that can be played with "usual equipment", which includes things like standard decks of cards, Chess sets, six-sided dice, and so on. Almost everybody has most of those at home. There are some borderline cases, however, such as Chinese Checkers sets, double-nine dominoes or better, Scrabble sets, and so on. We would like to poll our readers to see which of these sets of equipment is really common, and which is not.

Because we are writing this book for an intelligent general audience, it's important that we don't inadvertently include equipment that only gamers have, such as 30-sided dice. Therefore, we can't just go to a site like BoardGameGeek or a gaming Yahoo group to ask this question. The people who are likely to answer the poll at those sites will not be representative; they will probably own far more game equipment than most people.

I would like to set up a poll and watch the results filter in for a couple of weeks, but I'm not married to the idea of a Web survey; if there is some more efficient or convenient way to gather the information we need, I'd like to hear about it. Scientific rigor is also welcome, but not absolutely necessary.

Thanks!
posted by rwhe to Writing & Language (9 answers total)
 
Survey Monkey seems to fit the bill. We use it internally at work, and the cost for the service is minimal and per-month.
posted by ellF at 7:41 PM on February 17, 2008


Amazon's Mechanical Turk service might also work.
posted by Wild_Eep at 9:04 PM on February 17, 2008


SurveyMonkey is great, but note that you'll still have to recruit the people to fill out the survey.
posted by winston at 9:14 PM on February 17, 2008


Vox is a blogging community that has daily user submitted polls that are quite active.
posted by livinginmonrovia at 3:28 AM on February 18, 2008


Try Vizu.com, which hosts polls that publishers embed on their blog or can be answered from the Vizu website itself.
posted by ukdanae at 3:37 AM on February 18, 2008


Google Forms
posted by caek at 4:34 AM on February 18, 2008


You can pay Facebook to host a survey and specify how many responses you need and what target demographic.

Here's some data for you.

Games available in my household:
Scrabble
Super Scrabble
Backgammon
Chess
Cards + poker chips
Carcassonne +expansions
Mah Jongg

Games not available in my household:
Checkers
Risk
Monopoly
Dominos
All other games that need equipment
posted by roofus at 6:21 AM on February 18, 2008


You might have to pay a little bit, but Wufoo is way better than Survey Monkey. You'll have an easier time building the forms, better access to the results, and the survey will look decent.
posted by heresiarch at 6:58 AM on February 18, 2008


We're going with Google Forms. It doesn't cost anything, we don't care how it looks, and most of the other services cited above make you recruit your own sample anyway.

Thanks, everyone!
posted by rwhe at 11:28 PM on February 20, 2008


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