While it's not a great fit for our "core" Q&A experience, I've found over time that for the process of running the community, we often do ugly things with Q&A engine in order to get a desired outcome. As such, I feel like site metas and Teams could use a polls feature.

Either when trying to get an opinion from the community (which may involve a pair of Yay/Nay) questions, or trying to run an election for ROs, the 'only' real way is to post multiple answers, and base it off the vote. In some cases we just go entirely off the network and end up using third-party tools. There's a few interesting stories of processes that seem really heavy when trying to run things 'outside' the usual election cycle, or aren't a great fit for Q&A.

Having some kind of lightweight system of polls - possibly as a higher reputation privilege, as something you could embed in a question on meta or inside teams might be useful for the process of running a site. It's an unusual fit for Q&A as a whole, but might be a useful internal governance tool and ease processes where we need to run things or get opinions on direction for a site, or gauging sentiment a little more directly.

This certainly doesn't negate discussion and answers. It does give a more directed way to get an idea of sentiment on a topic.

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    This seems quite related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/233908/… It was a popular suggestion but I guess nothing came of it.
    – Mark Kirby
    Jul 23, 2020 at 17:06
  • Would such questions be tagged polling?
    – Rob
    Jul 23, 2020 at 17:18
  • Optionally - I guess. Jul 23, 2020 at 17:22
  • but if you post the poll open to everyone, you can't ensure you're serving it to the group of people most likely to give you the outcome you want
    – Kevin B
    Jul 23, 2020 at 17:30
  • ... Feature, not bug. Jul 23, 2020 at 17:30
  • @user400654 Why would you have a poll that is just for people who agree with you? Surly the point of a poll is to get a variety of opinions.
    – Mark Kirby
    Jul 23, 2020 at 18:45
  • @MarkKirby I know, right? and yet... site surveys appear to be only shown to people who actively participate in asking/answering.
    – Kevin B
    Jul 23, 2020 at 18:45
  • (which coincidentally is exactly what polls on meta sites would be, only polling those who participate on meta.)
    – Kevin B
    Jul 23, 2020 at 18:51
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    @user400654 OK, I can see you are just being ridiculous, of course a poll on meta only polls users of meta or a survey site only polls users of that site. Websites aren't magic, they can't poll people who don't use the site.
    – Mark Kirby
    Jul 23, 2020 at 19:01
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    eh, more realistic. What use would polls have other than fun... if the results of them aren't representative of any kind of meaningful group of people? on non-meta sites they'd be only for opinions... which are essentially outlawed to begin with, on meta sites they'd only represent the meta crowd and therefore not really be good for anything.
    – Kevin B
    Jul 23, 2020 at 19:45
  • @User, Mark, JG: There is polling, and it reaches a limited audience in some cases, here's >50 views in > 8 months - as-is works, but without it being featured on the main it gets few visits on many sites.
    – Rob
    Jul 23, 2020 at 20:21
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    No it doesn't at all. I'm asking for a specific feature for these products. I don't want a separate site Jul 24, 2020 at 0:56
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    Does this answer your question? Are poll-style questions ever acceptable on meta sites? or Shog9's answer.
    – Rob
    Jul 24, 2020 at 1:29
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    Related: serial voting reversals and meta polls meta.stackexchange.com/q/150180/323179
    – Laurel
    Jul 24, 2020 at 12:30

1 Answer 1


Excellent idea.

In the current setup, that simply thing of asking for feedback regarding the acceptance of multiple options is (close to) nonexistent. And far too often, requests that could theoretically be simple poll requests are "overplayed" with people getting into arguments.

Or, sometimes very annoying, the reverse situation: content gets voted one way or the other because of (dis)agreement. Instead of voting quality, the vote expresses personal sentiment. That is valid for feature request content, but I think it can happen all over the place.

So people that do want to run a poll can't do it. And other people who don't want to be "polled" see exactly that happening to their content.

So the ability for one user to name multiple options, and allowing users to "simply" pick favorites is definitely missing here.

Yet, two concerns:

  • polling can turn complex quickly. In case such a feature gets added and people are using it on scale: expect many feature requests around it.
  • it might be tough to integrate a polling system into the existing reputation gamification concept. Some people might prefer to put up ordinary questions when a poll would be better suited, in case polls are not resulting in reputation gain.
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    hence suggesting it on meta and teams. And ... not getting rep for a poll type thing is a goal of mine :D
    – Aibobot
    Jul 23, 2020 at 18:40
  • That will for sure work with some people. Very much depends on context.
    – GhostCat
    Jul 23, 2020 at 18:54
  • How will you handle edits?
    – Mast
    Aug 1, 2020 at 9:12

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