How to add a poll to your blog

One of the major benefits of “Web 2.0” is that it facilitates and even encourages back-and-forth communication between companies and customers.  People can offer real-time feedback in the way of comments, star ratings, reviews, “likes,” “thumbs up (or down).”   Surveys, polls, and other widgets also encourage this type of “audience participation” in fun, friendly ways. 

We have two polls active this week on our Outskirts Press blog.   One is gauging our blog readers’ reaction to the new branded blog we launched this week.  The other is soliciting the winner of our 2010 Best Book of the Year Award.  More about both of those polls later today.

In the meantime, if you blog on WordPress, adding a poll to your blog is very easy. Along the left-hand side of your dashboard is a category titled “Polls.”   Click on that to “Add a New Poll.”  The functionality is self-explanatory, user-friendly, and flexible. You can control, to some extent, the width and color of the poll to make it “match” your blog theme.  You have a number of different settings for how the results are displayed (or whether they are displayed).  Since Web 2.0 is not only about feedback, but feedback ON that feedback, I would encourage you to set the results so they are publicly viewable, at least in percentages if not the actual number of votes.   One thing Web 2.0 has shown us is that people like being heard.  Not only do they want to vote on your poll, but they want immediate feedback that their vote has been counted.  The WordPress polls offer that voting feedback instantly.

Polls can be a great item to add frequently to your blog postings, and WordPress makes it easy.

Speaking of which, in a few hours I’ll talk about our polls that we’re running this week, and include the poll so you can vote (or just see how the votes are turning out thus far)…