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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Polls for Blogger

Polls for blog direct from Blogger

The New Blogger (formerly Blogger Beta) has a new feature recently - polls. In the LAYOUT (Update: Layout is now DESIGN), you can click "Add a Page Element" and select "Polls", then click "Add to blog" and you will see the following "pop-up" for setting the poll:

New Blogger poll setup

Note that you can allow either only single vote or multiple vote, plus you are not limited to just 4 answers (choices), but by clicking "Add another answer" you can add one more choice. I haven't tested it, but I assume that it would be possible to add an unlimited number of choices. You can also set the date when the poll should be close, but because the year is limited to 2 digits, from experience with setting post dates, you probably cannot go beyond 31st December, 2009. Plus it don't look like you can have an open dated (no closing date) poll.

Also, you can only put the poll in the sidebar, Header (if you follow the instructions at Add graphic, poll, ads, etc,. to New Blogger blog Header, in the footer, or above (or below) the main column (post) if you follow the instructions in the post Add search box, poll, ads, etc., to the top (or bottom) of the main column (posts). However, you will never be able to add as poll direct into a post with New Blogger. You can see an example of a poll at the bottom of the left sidebar of Testing Blogger Beta (now New Blogger or just plain Blogger).

The would be how the poll will look like before anyone has voted in the poll:

Poll added direct from Blogger before anyone has voted

However, note how the poll looks like after someone has voted:

Poll added direct from Blogger after someone has voted

Note that part of one long answer (choice or text) is hidden by the result.

These are the deficiencies with the New Blogger latest feature - polls.

Polls using third party sources

If you find the above too limiting, you will have to turn to third party sources. One of them is online polls. I am not clear if the poll is free and there is an extra or upgrade and polls are only a 30 day free trial. However, I believe the poll is free, since the link say "sign up for FREE POLL" and the "Next step" have is a link Get a Free Trial of EFM Feedback (second thought: this mention of "Free Trial" blur the picture a little and now I am not sure if I signed up for a free trial or signed up for something free with option to upgrade at extra cost).

Anyway, I have set up a demonstration poll at Poll: Should Blogger make Autosave an option?. But please don't let the word "demonstration" discourage you from voting, as I genuinely am interested in the result. You will know why if you surf over to the above post. The only question is whether it is an open ended poll or it will stop working after 30 days.

I hope you will take the time to vote as it only take micro-seconds and if I get enough response, I will try to submit the result to Blogger as I have been pestering them go give us the option to turn it off when the circumstances require it. I have given some reasons why Blogger should give us that option to help you decide how to vote. Really hope you vote because if I get enough response, I will submit the result to Blogger and hope that if enough bloggers want it, they will give us the option.

I also have set up another demonstration poll at Poll: Raw garlic is the most powerful antibiotic plus health food. The difference between the two is that one allow multiple vote (choices) and the other only a single vote (choice).

By the way, Free Online polls for blogs only works with Internet Explorer 6.0 SP1 or later, or FireFox 1.5 or later, so if your visitor counter (click BACK button to get back to this page) shows many visitors using other browsers, you may want to think hard about using the poll. Another thing I don't like is that I have used up a lot of my time testing, and have found this irritating thing about this free poll. They use a double opt-in and you must use IE or FireFox to be able to opt-in. Further, after opting in I created a poll, then log out. The next time I tried to sign in again, I get the message "You do not have access to this content at this time" and I have to opt-in once more to get access. It is a great utility to create poll, but I regret to say this, you are likely to meet a lot of irritations along the way. Maybe it is because I was not using the utility the right way and you may have better luck. I suppose if this interest you, you will have to try it out yourself. I may have got my facts wrong.

However, the thing I like about Free Online Polls is that you get very much more flexibility and choices than the poll available from New Blogger. You can add your poll anywhere including the post or the sidebar. This is because you can change the dimension of the poll/results to make it narrow enough to fit into practically the sidebars of practically alls templates. See screenshot below:

vovici poll setup page

By using the drop-down menu, you can change the width to fit the width of the sidebar of your blog. Of course, you will have to know the width of the sidebar. If you don't know how, refer to How to find the width of the blog Header, main column (posts) and sidebar. After setting the width you want, you will probably see a poll/result box like the one below, which uses the default 150 pixels width:

Vovici poll voting box


  1. Hi Peter,
    sorry to write again not about subject, but I have a problem and I still cannot contact you by email, don't know why my mail box refuse to send gmail ... ? So you don't need to publish this comment, it's just my way to ask you for advice.
    Well, maybe I shouldn't change blog address so often but now I put all my blog work with address
    and by accident I saw copy of my blog existing with my old blog address, signed by someone else - this blog exist since this month and has copy of all my articles, which are published minute by minute, one by one. I will say once again that I used this address before, but I've change it - and the date of publication is not my job.
    Peter, can you take a look on it, to see if it's not some copy that I could make by myself, that it's connected to me? to my current blog? What can I do, I cannot believe that this happen to me ... Please help me. Thank you in advance.

  2. I have some polls on my blog, but there is a problem with them. I have a lab in the library, with students coming in and out all day, every day.
    Since the first class came in and voted, no other class has been able to vote. It always only offers the option "Change my vote".

    Can this be fixed?

  3. Hi

    Try clearing cache and cookies: What to do when you don't see new post, updates or editing of template, etc. (plus how to clear cache and cookies. The part you want is the lower half of the post. Please feedback on the result.

    Peter Blog*Star
    What a grateful blogger did for me
    (no one should feel obligated. Everything completely voluntary. However, by doing so, you may also help your visitors find helpful information and help. You may even pick up various ways of linking sites there too)

  4. hello. My big problem with this poll widget is that people is able to cheat it, cleaning their cache and voting several times?
    Do you think there is a solution for this? If it's not possible to block the multiple votes at least could be possible to record the ip address of the voters?

  5. Hi Giorgio,

    I don't think you have control over that. Widgets are under control of the widget creator and that is Blogger. Why don't you contact Blogger support or if you have problem here, try Trick to contact Blogger support.

    Selecting "Report a bug" or "Make a suggestion" is the easiest way to get to a contact form.

    Peter Blog*Star
    Earn with blogs

  6. Peter - wat I would like to know is if there is a way to see any analysis for polls. if I post a poll on my blog, can I see IP addresses of people who voted? can I see anything about people who voted?

  7. Analysis? Never thought of it. As far as Blogger's poll, there is no way. Perhaps third party poll, but I have never gone that deep so don't know.

  8. How come I do not see a layout button on my settings?

  9. LAYOUT has now been renamed DESIGN

  10. Is there any way I can post a poll on my blog without having visitors to sign in? I think those who do not have a sign in user name should be able to vote too.

  11. Is there a way to tie a poll to an individual post, because if there's not, then it's completely idiotic.

    Thank you. :-)

  12. The answer is in the post itself. You can add a poll directly in a post but not the Blogger poll.

  13. Hi!
    With the new blogger design..can people vote more than once (ie ...once a day) until the polls close? OR...once they have voted..that's it?


  14. Hi
    Can a person vote more than once on the blogger poll. Ie once a day or once they have voted that's it? Would like to do a poll with a time period where people can come back daily to vote. Does blogger allow this?


  15. For Proverbs...., just use third party polls.


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