(Bad, BAD poll!)

I mock the absurdity of voluntary-response internet and TV polls; you laugh hysterically. It's rather uncomplicated. Submissions appreciated. (badpoll@gmail.com)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Early disclaimer

As you can see from the post times below, this blog is but a few days old. Before going any further with it, a few things...

Why I started this blog:

1) I have to credit blogs like this, this, and this as inspiration since I'm essentially stealing their schtick, only with way less effort.

2) I think voluntary response polls are stupid.

3) I think every statistician, scientist, sociologist, scientologist, etc. in the world knows that voluntary response polls are stupid.

4) I think a lot of people take the results of voluntary response polls seriously, even though they're completely bogus.

5) Even granting that voluntary response polls offer proper insight to public opinion (which I don't but for the sake of argument...), most have superduper obvious flaws that would render them useless even with proper sampling.

6) I find these flaws extremely amusing and worthy of the time it takes me to screen-capture and mock them.

Hater Guy: "Wow. You're a huge, huge nerd."

Ok, that's hurtful, and you're mean. But yes, I am. I should also acknowledge right up front that the idea of mocking polls is very limited, which means one of three things will happen:

A) I'll hit on all the recurring flaws of internet polls (e.g. leading questions, things that aren't opinions but predictions, exclusion of valid responses) very quickly and shut this blog down by October;

B) I'll limit my posts to the most flagrantly idiotic examples and only post every week or so; or

C) With the help of reader participation, I'll post constantly, recycling the same joke formulas (adapted to context) multiple times per week, knowing that people will put up with repetition for a long time before tuning out.

To get rid of the blank space, I have been / will be posting frequently to start, using any example I can find regardless of quality or humor value. I intend for that to change. However, I didn't wanna be telling people, "Hey, check out my new blog!" and then have them find a single shitty post. My goal, now and always, is to guarantee my readers lots of shitty posts.

Lastly, I'm pretty lazy (hence a blog where I'll rarely have to write more than 25 words at a time). So while I'll be sifting the net for random poll sources, I'll no doubt be dipping into that bottomless bad poll well ESPN.com, which has an entire section of their site dedicated to bad polls. Again, reader participation can help alter that. Just be warned.

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