spoor

I was reading about the PollDaddy acquisition, and now I keep thinking of the version of Spore on my sister’s iPod, where you float around in a big foetid pond absorbing whatever helpless little bits of plankton you stumble across, trying to get big and strong enough to survive to the next level.

at times we have been pushed to the edge due to our various growth spurts over the past couple of years […]Thank you to all of our users who have stuck with us through good times and “down times.”

Down the hatch with you, little drowning minnow! This is opportunism, pure and simple, despite what Matt is now trying to tell us about his fascination with all things poll-related:

For a year or two now, I’ve been minorly obsessed with polls and surveys as a method of lightweight interaction that engages casual users of your website and also can get you some really fun data to play with.

‘Minorly’, I suppose, is the operative word, since I have never seen him put a poll on ma.tt and he didn’t bother publicising the polldaddy shortcodes when they were first introduced. In fact, the only use I have ever seen Automattic make of polls was the recent admin interface surveys, which as we can now see was motivated as much by a desire to play with the new toy as the need to canvass user opinion. So, yeah, flannel.

People were asking for polls pretty much from day one on wordpress.com, but their requests were bracketed alongside those wanting chatboxes, adsense and assorted other blogspot-esque tat, and ignored by staff accordingly. I know timethief did a lot of work sourcing workarounds in the face of Automattic’s indifference. If I’d fielded the queries and done the testing and sent the feedbacks and now had to listen to Matt trumpeting his ‘obsession’ with the blasted things, I don’t know whether I’d giggle or spit.

It would actually have sounded better to say ‘yeah, we didn’t really get the whole poll thing at first, we thought it was all a bit teenage and downmarket, but our users kept on and on and on and in the end we caved in because we love them soooooo much.’ Except, of course, that would be flannel too, because they don’t love us that much. They love the plankton which pushes them to the next level, and that only once it’s been safely digested.

In honour of the occasion, we should really have a poll:

what the hell is that orange thing?

5 Comments »

  1. As an aside, Matt’s blog now has threaded commenting. I wonder if that’s the ID stuff being added in.

  2. I would have voted for floppy cow-pie had you given me the chance.

    PS: I wonder why there are 47 votes yet this is only the second comment?

  3. Polls beat comments, clearly.

    (Intense Debate are probably sitting in a corner muttering darkly while everyone dances attention on the Polldaddy guys.)

  4. Well they did get invited to Breckenridge, Colorado for the gathering. (At least that’s what the post says. I don’t recognize any of those faces.)

  5. Manual trackback.

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