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Off topic: Rehashed Polls - Is anyone else bored?
Thread poster: Ty Kendall

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:09
Hebrew to English
Mar 29, 2012

I know I'm not the only one to notice this phenomenon. It's getting to be a bit like groundhog day when I wake up, see the new poll and think "Oh, this again".

Now, I daresay that most polls at some point will be repeated as I understand the inevitability of a certain amount of repetition...especially over years but I refuse to believe that there is such an ideas-drought that the same few polls need to be constantly pulled out the hat.

I'm sure a bunch of
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I know I'm not the only one to notice this phenomenon. It's getting to be a bit like groundhog day when I wake up, see the new poll and think "Oh, this again".

Now, I daresay that most polls at some point will be repeated as I understand the inevitability of a certain amount of repetition...especially over years but I refuse to believe that there is such an ideas-drought that the same few polls need to be constantly pulled out the hat.

I'm sure a bunch of linguists have more imagination than that.

I also see the point that a repeated poll may offer interesting and/or useful insights into habits/behaviours/opinions when cross-compared to the previous (same) polls...but again, this kind of "diachronic" comparison would yield better results over time, as in years, not weeks. Habits/behaviours/opinions do change but they usually take longer than a few weeks or months.

So it's not as if I don't see the other side of the coin, the benefits of repetition. However, when you have.....

1 Nov 2011: How many computer screens do you use to work
18 Apr 2010: Do you use two monitors to work
21 Dec 2009: How many monitors do you use when you work
24 Jul 2009: What is your screen setup
22 Apr 2008: Is a second monitor necessary for translators
24 May 2007: How many monitors do you use to work

...not including the polls asking about the size of my monitor (Freud would have a field day with those polls!) as well as other things...I do get a bit fed up with talking about my monitors.

And the next time I get asked "how do I store my data/backup my files?" I might just say "I commit it all to memory" just to see if anyone else is still awake.

I'd like to believe the provisions about the suggesting and selection of polls are adhered to
(The relevant ones for reference:
♣ Ensure that a similar question has not been asked recently by searching for key terms
♣ Each poll suggestion will be vetted by site staff based on a number of factors, including (but not limited to) adherence to site rules and policies, relevance and interest to site users, and proximity to other poll questions)

...but when (in 2005 admittedly) pretty much the same poll was aired 3 times in 4 days (the "backup" question on 19th, 21st and 22nd July)...you have to wonder what's going on (because the situation doesn't seem to have changed much).

♥ Disclaimer: I'm also not blaming the people who suggest the polls, since they clearly have no control if/when their suggestion gets aired i.e. it's not their fault if they suggested a monitor question 2 years ago which gets published in short succession with similar polls.

...It's more to do with the vetting and the process of the polls. Surely it can't be that hard to ensure that a similar poll hasn't been published in the past...year or so?
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Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 18:09
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

MODERATOR
SITE LOCALIZER
More similar problems Mar 29, 2012

Hi Ty,

I think that this problem is quite similar to endless reposting in forum of the same problem like "How do I..." despite the answer can be easily found in Google, software "Help" and/or previous forum postings...

This is a rhetorical question, I am afraid...

Natalia


 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:09
Hebrew to English
TOPIC STARTER
But site staff are meant to vet poll suggestions.... Mar 29, 2012

I understand that it's a bit of sheer human nature as to why people don't bother searching the archived polls before they suggest their ideas, but now that I have discovered that site staff are meant to vet them for "proximity to other poll questions", I am a bit confused that the polls repeat so often. (The similar issue you mention on the forums is somewhat understandable given that forum posts aren't vetted for similarity to previous posts by the site staff).

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:09
Spanish to English
+ ...
Leeway for newbies Mar 29, 2012

While I agree repetition of polls can be a bit "here we go again", not every newcomer is as savvy as the old hands, so I tend to not bother too much about it.

There are so many other things that get up my schnozz these days that I have to save my bile for these more personal bugbears...


 

David Hayes  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:09
French to English
Agree Mar 29, 2012

I agree with Ty, and am tending to ignore polls more and more at the moment. They could be a great way to swap ideas and experiences, but more often than not they are repetitive and don't go anywhere. Pity. Definite room for improvement in how these are monitored.
But it's also true that there is a lot of repetition on the ProZ site in general: polls, translation questions, forum questions ... and the same complaints about such repetitions!


 

Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:09
Italian to English
+ ...
In memoriam
Yep Mar 29, 2012

David Hayes wrote:

I agree with Ty, and am tending to ignore polls more and more at the moment. They could be a great way to swap ideas and experiences, but more often than not they are repetitive and don't go anywhere. Pity. Definite room for improvement in how these are monitored.
But it's also true that there is a lot of repetition on the ProZ site in general: polls, translation questions, forum questions ... and the same complaints about such repetitions!


I was tempted to vote "filing cabinet" for the recent poll on how we back up our files. Now there's one on ethics, but that's been done too ... I just don't bother.
Catherine


 

Jenn Mercer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:09
Member (2009)
French to English
Physician heal thyself Mar 29, 2012

I assume that while the staff vetting the polls would *prefer* to run polls on new and exciting subjects, some days they just have to run with what they have. The place to suggest a poll is located right under the poll itself. Go for it! You may have the humbling experience, as I have, of suggesting a poll that seemed novel to you only to hear a similar poll ran earlier without you noticing.

 

Charlie Bavington (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:09
French to English
How d'y know? Mar 29, 2012

Ty Kendall wrote:

I know I'm not the only one to notice this phenomenon.


Suggest a poll.

Are you bored with repetitive polls?
- Yes
- No
- What are polls?
- Yes
- Other or n/a
- Yes

Somedays crappy wording bothers me. Pointless carping from buffoons who fail to grasp the meaning of "main" or "most" always bothers me. I worry that I might accidentally ask one of these numbskulls to do some work for me one day.

But most days I just click on the first option that seems sensible and grab me some points towards paying to look at Blueboard entries.


 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:09
Hebrew to English
TOPIC STARTER
Head + Brick wall Mar 29, 2012

Jenn Mercer wrote:

I assume that while the staff vetting the polls would *prefer* to run polls on new and exciting subjects, some days they just have to run with what they have. The place to suggest a poll is located right under the poll itself. Go for it! You may have the humbling experience, as I have, of suggesting a poll that seemed novel to you only to hear a similar poll ran earlier without you noticing.


After searching the polls, for both similarity and proximity, about a month or so ago...I suggested a poll question which I believe probably hasn't been asked before, or at least for a loooong time, ...yet it's never seen the light of day (so far).

A few weeks later, thinking it may "have got lost in the system" (...or whatever), I resubmitted it (probably with slightly different wording since I did it from memory), and suggested a few others along with it for good measure.

Again, neither this specific question nor any others I suggested have appeared. So it's not like I'm just moaning for the sake of it, I have tried to inject some new ideas into the system myself (on the off-chance nobody else is, but I think that's unlikely), but it's the same old déjà vu with the polls.

As I said before, I really doubt the poll repetition has much to do with lack of ideas/lack of choice for the staff vetting them.

@Charlie - How do I know?
Look at today's poll discussion for example...there's quite regularly someone complaining about the repetitiveness of the polls. - I do like your example as a poll idea....what do you think the chances are of it ever appearing?

[Edited at 2012-03-29 17:25 GMT]


 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 19:09
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
It can take years for a poll to appear Mar 29, 2012

But why take this matter so serious? These polls take our thoughts away from work for a few seconds. There is hardly more to it.
If you look at magazines for technical devices, there is every few month a test about cameras, computers, phones, cars etc. you name it.
5 years ago 17" monitors were big, now they are average. So the polls about monitor size are repeated every other year with very good reason.

Don't forget that there are new members arriving each and every day
... See more
But why take this matter so serious? These polls take our thoughts away from work for a few seconds. There is hardly more to it.
If you look at magazines for technical devices, there is every few month a test about cameras, computers, phones, cars etc. you name it.
5 years ago 17" monitors were big, now they are average. So the polls about monitor size are repeated every other year with very good reason.

Don't forget that there are new members arriving each and every day. They hardly view recent polls many years back before posting their own one, which they probably think is unique.


[Bearbeitet am 2012-03-29 18:25 GMT]
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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:09
Hebrew to English
TOPIC STARTER
It is a bit of fun...I agree... Mar 29, 2012

...which is why it loses the "fun factor" when it's on a perpetual loop. Even children get bored of a game if they play it enough times.

In addition, I don't buy the "newbie" argument:
Don't forget that there are new members arriving each and every day. They hardly view recent polls many years back before posting their own one, which they probably think is unique.


After all, the polls are archived so are available to view for all, veterans and newbies alike., there's no reason to assume that newbies are arriving thinking the polls are a new invention...and if people aren't even glancing at the instructions before suggesting a poll, well then....

I'm only moaning because I think it would improve the site to vary the polls a little bit, add some variety and diversity....

[Edited at 2012-03-29 19:00 GMT]


 

opolt  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:09
English to German
+ ...
One wonders what's going on here Mar 29, 2012

Ty Kendall wrote:

...

After searching the polls, for both similarity and proximity, about a month or so ago...I suggested a poll question which I believe probably hasn't been asked before, or at least for a loooong time, ...yet it's never seen the light of day (so far).

A few weeks later, thinking it may "have got lost in the system" (...or whatever), I resubmitted it (probably with slightly different wording since I did it from memory), and suggested a few others along with it for good measure.

...



I'm afraid I had a very similar experience. A poll that I had suggested (after careful research to avoid repetition, etc.) got completely lost, and after many, many months (AFAIR it was about half a year), I decided to submit a support request in order to ask what had happened. A week later or so I just received a note that "your poll is being run", with no explanation for the delay whatsoever.

Like you, Ty, I was trying to inject something new into this category (some humour in my case because my impression was that a rather dull, work-only attitude was dominating in the polls and elsewhere), and I was glad my poll was relatively well received after all, at least that was my impression (it was the tongue-in-cheek one about which animal best represents the translator).

So one really wonders how the polls are being managed, there seems to be no real system behind all that. Or maybe the site's owners are preoccupied with its image and are therefore hesitant to present something "out of the order" of daily business??? That would be really sad.




[Edited at 2012-03-29 20:10 GMT]


 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:09
Hebrew to English
TOPIC STARTER
Same wavelength Mar 29, 2012

Opolt, you seem to have read my mind. What I was trying to get at all along was that maybe there's a better system to manage the polls. I think a few people might have taken it as a personal attack on their ideas, but that wasn't what I intended.

I am trying to offer some constructive criticism, I don't know if it's a queuing system or if the staff just pick one at random, but the current system results in too much repetition, whatever it is.


 

Charlie Bavington (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:09
French to English
Not a serious Q Mar 29, 2012

Ty Kendall wrote:

@Charlie - How do I know?
Look at today's poll discussion for example...


yup whoops, the thread title is a hangover from the original structure of my post which was practically as biting a piece of poll-based satire as you were ever likely to see. But was liable to misinterpretation, so it had to go. Clearly I know how you know cos I read the same stuff


 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:09
Hebrew to English
TOPIC STARTER
I got it...but took me a while :) Mar 29, 2012

Charlie Bavington wrote:

Ty Kendall wrote:

@Charlie - How do I know?
Look at today's poll discussion for example...


yup whoops, the thread title is a hangover from the original structure of my post which was practically as biting a piece of poll-based satire as you were ever likely to see. But was liable to misinterpretation, so it had to go. Clearly I know how you know cos I read the same stuff


Sorry Charlie, I did get it, but it took me a while (the piston hasn't been firing on all cylinders today), I meant to edit the post once I realized, but got sidetracked
Ah well, It will be interesting to see tomorrow's poll.....


 
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