Forum:The main page poll

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This thread was archived on 30 June 2014 by Liquidhelium.

It's from March.

Do we still care about this? We seem to be out of good ideas for questions, or maybe no one cares, or maybe we really like the current question. Whatever it is, this seems to be another in the pile of dead projects.

If we do still want to keep it, first off, why? And secondly, can we at least have a queue of polls to be made? Most of these seem to be made up on the spot "lately". If no one cares, can we just remove it.

This isn't a call for attention that we need a new poll. It won't be good enough to just change it now and then call it a day. Because then the poll will just turn 3 months old again. The poll has been dying for over a year now, and it's not good to keep something that will only ever show how much attachment we keep to dead projects on the main page.

Discussion

I am a poll and so can you MolMan 19:23, June 20, 2014 (UTC)

Remove the polls. Instead have a box at the top of that colomn for events. It can have an actual image/banner for an event instead of just one lame line on the middle of the page. Of course this would require these images to always be there - we can't have a half-assed or empty box on the main page. Ancient talisman.png Oil4 Talk 21:14, June 20, 2014 (UTC)

Don't think that will ever happen. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 21:24, June 20, 2014 (UTC)
A man can dream ;) Ancient talisman.png Oil4 Talk 07:21, June 21, 2014 (UTC)
I asked in CC for a FOG logo to be added next to the front page info about the FOG event. Could we make it happen? 5-x Talk 10:00, June 21, 2014 (UTC)

Comment - I like the poll. It's not a dead project, it does get updated, just not on a monthly basis. I'd be a little sad to see it go, I like seeing what the community votes on. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 21:24, June 20, 2014 (UTC)

I'm not opposed to the existence of the poll, but I don't want another (although obviously much smaller scale) wikipost. If we're going to continue with the polls then we need to get new ones more often again. A simple but boring solution would be just ask what people think of X recent update. Ancient talisman.png Oil4 Talk 21:35, June 20, 2014 (UTC)
It's really easy to ask in the chat what our next poll should be. All one has to do is ask a question, the answers are easy to come up with. We just have to stay on top of it. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 16:20, June 21, 2014 (UTC)
I support keeping the poll system. I will help keep it updated. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 16:57, June 22, 2014 (UTC)

Comment - Poll project could be a valuable tool and I'm against removing it. In addition to RuneScape-related stuff, that space could be used to ask wiki readers some questions about what they expect from us, what could be improved on the wiki, what event would they like to see organized, and so on. We just need to be consequent and come up with a new poll every month. Also, the poll module deserves to be above the featured image, not below it. 5-x Talk 10:00, June 21, 2014 (UTC)

MODULE?!?!??! LUA?!??!?! MolMan 10:44, June 21, 2014 (UTC)
We shouldn't be using the poll results to make decisions on the wiki. First of all, the wiki is not a democracy, and as such, decisions should not be made based on what the majority thinks. Second, a poll on the main page is not representative of the community. Not everyone who uses this wiki goes to the main page every time they use it. Also, only people with a strong opinion in regards to a certain question tend to vote in these types of polls, not people who may have a more subdued opinion. Smithing (talk | contribs) 14:07, June 21, 2014 (UTC)
There's nothing wrong with asking for popular input. We won't be making major decisions or anything that matters with this. Why can't we use popular opinion to guide our editing? MolMan 14:42, June 21, 2014 (UTC)
It seems you've completely misunderstood my comment. I'm not saying decisions have to be made based on some polls (in fact I haven't mentioned any implications to asking wiki users questions in a poll format, have I?), but poll results could yield some valuable information about the readers and their views on various parts of the wiki. It's just an idea. We could just poll stuff and then host a discussion if there's perhaps something worth doing in that area. Or not. And I believe some types of questions could indeed fit in the current poll format. 5-x Talk 14:45, June 21, 2014 (UTC)
I don't think I misunderstood it. Polls that are not representative of the community, such as the one placed on the main page, are pretty worthless; they don't give a good idea as to what people in the community think. Decisions to guide our edits should be based on merit. For example, if a page is of particularly bad quality, but it is one of the most viewed on the wiki, we could use that knowledge to decide if it is worth editing the page. But polling on the main page will not be of much help, if you're looking to see what the community thinks we should edit. Smithing (talk | contribs) 16:15, June 21, 2014 (UTC)
How are they not? 2000 votes is not a sample size to scoff at. MolMan 16:19, June 21, 2014 (UTC)
The sample size is not the problem; it's the way the poll is taken. If the sample is not representative, it's worthless, no matter what the size of the sample is. (My explanation for why it's not representative is above.) For example, take Literary Digest's 1936 opinion poll on who would win the US presidential election. Literary Digest polled 2.3 million people, but their predictions were not good nor correct since they were not representative of the population. Gallup, which had a far more representative poll, was able to predict the result with a far smaller sample. Smithing (talk | contribs) 16:37, June 21, 2014 (UTC)
Except this isn't a political debate and you have no way of actually proving this is unrepresentative other than your statement that it could be. Why are they not? There's nothing to it other than scrolling down the main page, and from there, only sample size can decide how valuable the poll can be. You're overstating both the invalidity of the poll and how much that actually matters. If we can get 500 people choosing the same suggestion, maybe we should actually do it. We're not just about informing the general audience, and we should do our best to appeal to every niche we can within reasonable bounds. MolMan 16:43, June 21, 2014 (UTC)
What's your point exactly? 5-x suggested using the poll as a way to gather feedback on wiki changes, which surely you can't disagree with? Feedback is always good to have. Nobody suggested making it a binding poll like power-to-the-players. It would just be something we could use as a measure of what people think.
Nobody suggested using the poll to make major decisions, if that's what you're scared of. Ancient talisman.png Oil4 Talk 18:28, June 21, 2014 (UTC)
It shouldn't be used to garner feedback because it is a poor system. There's too many problems with it for its results to be considered. One of the problems with it I didn't mention is that the results can immediately be seen. There's no way of knowing how many people have voted or were influenced to vote for something just because a lot of people voted for it. Mol: I stand by my explanation for why it's not representative. This current system does not account for people who don't visit the main page, or otherwise have no way of knowing of the poll. So how exactly is it representative? There's too much uncertainty to how much these variables might impact the results of the poll. If we can't be confident of the uncertainty, then the system should not be used. For example, say we were asking "What type of articles do you feel are the worst on the wiki?" to figure out what articles we should edit. Say 500 people chose the option "Quests", more than any other option. However, because this sample does not include people who don't visit the main page and we don't know if the sample is representative, it could actually be the case that the RS Wiki community actually thinks that these are the best articles on the wiki and would prefer we work on other articles first. Could you give me an example in which knowing that 500 people voted for an option might mean something?
A better idea of a polling system would be one that is linked to on every page (via a notice) so that anyone who uses the wiki knows of it. The poll should also not make the results immediately available, per above. This would be a much better way of getting feedback than this bad system. Smithing (talk | contribs) 16:48, June 22, 2014 (UTC)
I don't see how "doesn't visit the mainpage" is a valid reason to exclude this from being representative. A person may only use quest guides in your example, and not see how they are better than the other pages they don't read. Many people never see that brown box message for whatever reason; I can probably find countless examples of people not knowing they had talk page messages. I can also remember a few times where people had never noticed the side bar message. Probably because they always ignore stuff that isn't part of the article. The only way we can possibly satisfy your anal definition of "representative" any further is to make it stupidly intrusive; which is not ever going to happen. The main page may not be the best place for a poll, but be you certainly exaggerizzling how poor it is of a host. Results being immediately visible is not something we really have any say in, you can take it up with Wikia. MolMan 16:59, June 22, 2014 (UTC)
I could change the example listed to one that didn't have the problem, but the point would be the same. I'll try to explain my position better. Say that we ask the question: "Have you played RuneScape in the past 30 days?" For this question, we're relying on the fact that people who visit one page on the wiki will have similar activity levels to the whole community. What if people who tend to be more active tend to use the main page more often because it's more likely they bookmarked the page? Another example: "Do you like the new change we made to the wiki?" What if people who use the main page tend to be more active on RuneScape, and thus are perhaps more willing to accept change? There is too much uncertainty concerning the reliability of a poll that is only included on a single page on this wiki. Say I'm exaggerating (or, err, exaggerizzling) all you want, but I see no reason to believe otherwise.
Based on data from similar wikis, I'm confident a low proportion of people use the main page. However, that is not the case for every page on the wiki; everyone here visits a page on the wiki. As a result, if we make a link to the poll available on every page, we're more likely to get a sample that is in line with true results. It's never going to be perfect, since that would be unreasonable as you've shown, but it definitely will be better. Smithing (talk | contribs) 04:30, June 25, 2014 (UTC)
Those who notice the poll could also be correlated with something, introducing a similar bias. I'd like to clarify that I don't disagree the poll is a proper sample for legitimate statistics, but for what it matters, it does not need to be a formalized process. I was expecting you to possibly throw out this suggestion, but I guess you either don't like it or it didn't cross your mind: sidebar poll. I have no objective reasons for it being there, but it may be able to produce a stronger sample that we can compare to the mainpage poll. MolMan 12:12, June 25, 2014 (UTC)

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I seem to remember the vast majority of our traffic comes from a reader googling a item/npc/etc. getting linked directly to the page in question and leaving straight away. Whether this is a reflection on how poor our search and/or navigation is I don't know, but the overall point is that a fraction of our readers see the mainpage. I for one only go there when someone draws my attention to it, such as the existence of this forum. I find RecentChanges to be a far more useful landing page for me, and that's what I have my preferences set to.

A sidebar poll is possible, but I'm a bit hesitant to implement it should it ever get consensus. Wikia don't like us modifying anything that isn't content-related. I'm not sure if it's staff benevolence or blind luck that so many of our skin modifications have gone unchallenged, but I'd rather not start pushing our luck by ramming the sidebar with custom modules and inviting staff to look just that bit closer at what we're doing. cqm 17:35, 25 Jun 2014 (UTC) (UTC)

Mol: I don't find the argument that "[t]hose who notice the poll could also be correlated with something" particularly convincing. Every poll, including the main page poll or those from polling firms, have that problem. For example, someone who never or rarely ever picks up their phone is unlikely to notice a telephone survey. Yet, most people with Statistics degrees or experts in the subject still consider these types of polls reliable. Hence, there's no reason we should not find them fairly reliable.
On the other hand, with the main page poll, there exist concerns of coverage error. There are many potential sources of bias from a poll that is only included on one page of the wiki that might be significant. Only a small proportion of users visit the main page, and we don't know how big the sampling bias would be here. There's too much uncertainty. I hope I clarified my position a bit more now. I don't have any objections to a sidebar poll, although we should get approval from Wikia before we even consider that. Smithing (talk | contribs) 02:43, June 28, 2014 (UTC)

Comment - Guthix, just because something is inactive doesn't mean we should just get rid of it. WikiPost actually required work so that's understandable, but making a new poll is a matter of, er, two minutes (as are FA and UotM nominations, but that aside...). And it doesn't even need regular maintenance. The poll is just a bit of fun (people like voting - this is fact) and it only needs to be updated once to twice a month. User_talk:Fswe1 Fswe1 Brassica Prime symbol.png 15:19, June 21, 2014 (UTC)

It was more than just being inactive. I think I've done a majority of the polls for the last year or so, and most of these were pulled out of my ass. The best case scenario is that we do 1 poll a month. But if we go 3 months without one just because Mol is out of ideas, it makes Mol wonder if anyone cares anymore. If there were a queue of poll questions, I would have no problem updating the poll once a month. I'm not taking a strong stance on anything because I don't really care. I had no idea what the response would be when I wrote this forum, but, currently, it looks to be going in the direction that we keep it. However, you can't just oppose its removal if you don't even want to put forth one tiny iota of effort in helping it get back on track. MolMan 15:25, June 21, 2014 (UTC)
I would update the poll sometimes but then you began doing it so I stopped paying attention. User_talk:Fswe1 Fswe1 Brassica Prime symbol.png 07:40, June 22, 2014 (UTC)

Comment - I don't think we should get rid of it. I honestly don't get why we haven't updated it for the past few months. There were plenty of opportunities to make some good polls. -- Megadog14Talk 19:21, June 21, 2014 (UTC)

The fact that we didn't shows a lack of caring. The reason for this thread. MolMan 19:23, June 21, 2014 (UTC)
"I honestly don't get why we haven't updated it for the past few months. There were plenty of opportunities to make some good polls." RS:BB Ancient talisman.png Oil4 Talk 21:11, June 21, 2014 (UTC)

Eh. Don't abolish the polls just because we're too lazy to think of a dumb question once a month. Surely we're capable of at least THAT. As for using the polls to gather user opinions about the wiki, I'd say generally not. As Smithing notes, unscientific polls are notoriously untrustworthy, and I can't imagine how we'd be getting that much constructive feedback from a set of predetermined options anyway. However, it would be an effective way to get the average RSW reader to participate and have his or her voice heard easily, so maybe there are times where this would be useful. White partyhat old.png C Teng talk 04:20, June 25, 2014 (UTC)

One tangent about the polls though—I keep noticing that there are invariably too many options, and often, the options are overly detailed. The current poll, for example, would be a lot less unscientific if it kept the answers at "I like it" "I don't like it" and "I don't know/care". Of course, it's not like we're trying to make "scientific" polls here, but still, keeping polls accurate is kind of the point of polls. White partyhat old.png C Teng talk 04:25, June 25, 2014 (UTC)
Again, it's not about being lazy, it's about being apathetic. If we don't care about the poll at all, we shouldn't have it. If we're just lazy, we need to fix that. MolMan 12:15, June 25, 2014 (UTC)
Neutral I think Garfield said it best. There is a difference between lazy people and apathetic people. Apathetic people don't care, lazy people do care, they just don't do anything about it. Personally, I don't think we need any polls on the front page, especially since they don't really do that much. Keep em, get rid of em, replace them with an image of the sleeping giant chin for all I care. --Deltaslug (talk) 18:28, June 25, 2014 (UTC)
I see. Still, even if we're apathetic about the polls, that doesn't mean the readers are. 244 people voted on our current one. That's not a ton, but it's still significant. I'm not sure what the ideal sample size would be, though. White partyhat old.png C Teng talk 07:29, June 26, 2014 (UTC)

Oppose abolishing - Have we entered into something of a demolition phase when it comes to sources of community interaction on the wiki over the last year or so? I like the poll. It's a very straightforward, tried and tested way of getting general opinions from the community and I don't want to to see it go. We can easily handle coming up with a question every month now that the issue of its lack of maintenance has been brought to our attention. It would be a different story if very few people voted on it. But it always gets a healthy level of engagement from viewers. I vote we keep tee hee. Ronan Talk 23:03, June 27, 2014 (UTC)

Comment - Monty's suggestion to make a list of poll questions is a sound proposal. I will gladly work on this with anyone else who may be interested. Ronan Talk 23:16, June 27, 2014 (UTC)

Should we keep the main page poll?
Please vote below. Results will be shown when you have voted.
You are not entitled to view the results of this poll before you have voted.
There was one vote since the poll was created on 18:54, 24 September 2018.
poll-id 30600A7545E45B3B4C26FD7F8370610E

Top kek MolMan 23:17, June 27, 2014 (UTC)

Closed - The main page poll will be kept. Individual users are encouraged to keep it updated, and may arrange among themselves how best to do so. As always, results of a poll cannot be the sole basis for decisions. --LiquidTalk 20:30, June 30, 2014 (UTC)