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This article was published on March 25, 2008

Revenge of the Polls: Strawpoll and YouPop

Revenge of the Polls: Strawpoll and YouPop
Ernst-Jan Pfauth
Story by

Ernst-Jan Pfauth

Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He a Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He also served as The Next Web’s blog’s first blogger and Editor in Chief, back in 2008. At De Correspondent, Ernst-Jan serves as publisher, fostering the expansion of the platform.

If I remember it well, one of the first interactive parts of the web I was confronted with was a poll. I used to paste them in my sites, to see how many visitors actually paid attention. Since then, the web evolved to web 2.0 and polls are quite old-fashioned. We don’t want to express our opinion by just saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’, we rather write a blog post or shoot a short video. Yet the quick voting systems seem to get more popular again. Today I stumbled upon two fancy polling tools: Strawpoll and YouPop.

Polls on Twitter

Some people say Twitter is a waste of time. I dare to differ, but of course there are plenty of ways to turn it into a time-wasting tool. One is Strawpoll. Everyday, Rob Goodlatte and Dan Romero post one of life’s most important questions on Twitter. An example: Better Harrison Ford performance: Star Wars (1) or Blade Runner (2) ? Followers can reply by sending: @strawpoll Blade Runner. I’m a replicant bird! . Yet what makes this tool earning the label ‘fancy’ is their website. They track the results in a ridiculously good-looking way:

StrawPoll2014Tiny polls in 140 characters or less

Video polls

So Strawpoll gives a good overview of what Twitterazi are thinking about mr. Ford’s career, yet it feels like something is missing. Maybe the voters have forgot about the heroic performances of Rick Deckard in Blade Runner and are just blinded by George Lucas’ movie branding skills.

YouPop takes away this problem by offering video support in polls. So now voters can watch the two trailer to revamp the feelings they had with the movie, in order to make a good judgment:

YouPop co-founder Robb Knie suggested on ReadWriteWeb that YouPop can also be used for deciding what movie you want to watch with your friends. You just embed an YouPop with two trailers on your Facebook or MySpace account so your friends can make the call.

Functions like that make me think that this rich-media tool defines the future of web polls. We want to be better informed, visually triggered and entertained, before we make a decision. Videos and pictures create a more intense experience which not only leads to more engagement (= better monetization) but will also generate some viral magic. Especially when it comes to the category ‘chicks‘.

To support the last statement: the most popular YouPop isn’t using any videos, just cleavage pics of Lindsay Lohan. How typical..