Hello! Well, I finally figured out and cleaned up the new site survey area that was introduced (kind of by surprise) to the site this week! But it's one of those good surprises. It should now be much easier to get survey-style questions systematically answered, and the dedicated area for surveys is a whole heck of a lot more visible. (It sits about dead-center in the main navigation line. Direct link here.)
Here's What Changed:
1. Past Polls in Forums Moved to New Central Survey Area. In the past, any member could create a poll as an addendum to a forum post. All previously entered polls (about 34 of them) have been moved into the new Surveys area in the main nav line. I've streamlined some titles, closed some ancient polls, and updated you on the status of all polls that were related to site suggestions. You'll find those updates in the comments area of each survey. Also, the original forum posts that were associated with these polls were not lost. They remain where they were originally posted but now direct to the Surveys area for the poll.
2. Survey Functionality Has Been Greatly Enhanced. As before, any community member can still post a survey, but now you can control (in the "Settings" area) when it opens and closes, whether the results are anonymous, whether members can change their answers, and when results will reveal (any time or after the survey closes).
By default, anyone (in the whole wide world) can view all survey questions and results, but only Cookie Connection members can answer surveys. (Just one perk of membership! ) And only super admins (that's me) can make results completely private, which might be appropriate for contest voting, just as an example.
3. Surveys Are More Easy to Find. Again, having all polls (now "surveys") in one central spot should make them easier to locate and answer. In the main viewing area on the Surveys page, surveys are ordered from most to least recently published. But I've also added widgets in the right hand column that highlight special surveys, our hottest surveys, and so on. Note that closed surveys are also included in the main list, so there will always be a visible record of what questions have already been asked.
Survey Best Practices:
I encourage everyone to check out the Surveys area - and I mean don't just read and answer the surveys there, but also feel free to create surveys of your own. But before you do so, please read and follow these best survey posting practices:
- Start by searching the Surveys area to see if your question has already been asked. (The site search function - aka magnifying glass icon - is at the top of every page, on the right side of the main nav line.) Duplicate surveys will be deleted, unless there's some very good reason to open an old subject again.
- If you have a site suggestion, you should always create a survey for it. Without enough member interest in a suggestion, I usually cannot justify the financial investment.
- Always preface all site suggestion surveys with "SITE SUGGESTION:" in the survey title area.
- Always review the survey settings and be thoughtful about how you set them. Again, the settings you can control are: (1) anonymity (or not) of respondents; (2) answer changes (allowed or not); (3) open and close time; and (4) results reveal. There is no right or wrong way to set them, but different surveys and survey goals may dictate different choices.
Phew! I know there's a lot here, so I'll stop while I'm still (possibly) ahead and allow you to digest everything - and play a bit.
If you have any questions about this new area/functionality, please post them in the comments below (rather than emailing me) so that everyone has the benefit of seeing your questions and my answers.
Revision: December 8, 2015