Experimenting with PollDaddy in my blog

This is the post I mentioned in my earlier post, How to encourage audience response.

First off, I must tell you that I am not a great fan of polls, but for the purpose of testing I signed up for a free account with PollDaddy.com.

After signing up, I created a new poll. Framed a question. Wrote possible answers, etc. Initially, I designed a poll at the PollDaddy website. Then, I realized that once you signed up with a PollDaddy, you can perform all these tasks right in your blog’s dashboard.

Here is a sample poll embedded on a post. (Don’t mind the question and answers. They are here for demo only. Feel free to use the Vote button or the text links to explore it.)

Poll settings

The PollDaddy comes with various options like:

  • How you want to order the answers whether multiple choice, random order, etc.
  • How you want to display the poll results
  • How you want to block repeat voters

The PollDaddy also comes with various settings for display styles. The one you see above is only one of many styles.

Can I embed a poll in my blog’s sidebar?

Yes. But you cannot embed the same poll you embed in your post like the one shown above if your post page and sidebar have different dimensions which is the case most of the time.

You need to set up a different poll although with the same question and possible answers with a different size and style to match your blog’s sidebar.

How do I embed a poll?

On the post page, that is easy. Click Edit on the left control panel under Polls to show the list of polls. Select the HTML code which outputs two ways of embedding the poll, a shortcode and a javascript.

Use the shortcode for WordPress.com-hosted blogs like this one.

How do I display a poll on the sidebar?

If you are like me who set up the sidebar using widgets, you would be wondering where the PollDaddy widget is. There is none.

To embed a poll on the sidebar, use the Text widget. Enter the shortcode of the poll.

Where is the poll on this blog’s sidebar? I don’t have one. I don’t want to have a poll displayed all over this blog. Remember, I said at the start, I am not a great fan of polls?

Hope you found this post useful.

How to encourage audience response

Every blog owner loves discussion and interaction with, and among, the blog audience. Interactions by way of audience responses show the blog is alive, and the blogger is not alone.

With a WordPress.com-hosted blogs, I found that you can (or at least WordPress.com has provided the tools) generate audience or readers’ responses with the Ratings plugin pre-installed in a WordPress.com blog and Polls using an interface with PollDaddy.

Let me share with you in this post my observations on the Ratings plugin. PollDaddy is my next post.

The Ratings plugin is located on the left control panel after the Comments section. When opened, the plugin has two sub-sections, the Settings and Reports. To enable the plugin, open Settings and choose where you want to display the ratings.

You can enable it for blog posts, pages or comments by selecting the corresponding tab and ticking the check box. You can also easily position the ratings either below or above each post, page or comment using a drop-down box. For purposes of testing, I have enabled the plugin for my other experimental site, When on the Road. The illustrations are sourced from that site.

The result of your selection is instantly available. When you view your posts, posts or comments, you will notice the ratings image (defaulted to 5 stars for the post or page) and the thumbs up or down for the comment if you also enabled the plugin for comments.

If you are using widgets to customize your blog’s sidebar, the ratings plugin also has a Top Rated widget. As usual, just drag and drop the Top Rated widget to where you want it to show. You can customize the Top Rated widget too by selecting the options you want.

That’s all there is.

*** Note: If you noticed the first screenshot above, there is that 1 Votes displayed. 1 Votes? Sorry, we don’t have access to the plugin file to edit it. But not to worry. With 1 more vote, that should be right. 😦