The polls are closed, the votes are counted, the results are in, the people have spoken, and I have a mandate .... (have I missed any cliches?) ... let's discuss. In fact, let's dive right in and thoroughly over-analyze the results, because over-analyzing is my specialty!
First up, the results of the poll that was supposed to test whether these polls produce valid results:
When asked, "Do you participate in polls on blogs?" 15 voters said, "yes."
... wait for it ...
The other 3 voters checked the box that said "No I hate them and never participate in them."
Uh... what? But.... hello, you just participated in one! Clearly, saying "I never participate" is incorrect!
Apparently some of you voters are not the brightest bulb in the box ... not the sharpest knife in the drawer ... not the quickest player on the court ... not the most brilliant star in the sky ... uh-oh, there I go with my cliches again. Sorry.
Let me be more succinct. To the three of you who voted in my poll to tell me that you "never" participate in blog polls (and I'm not naming names, you know who you are), in the words of Bill Engvall:
Here's your sign!
And yours. And yours.
Wear it with ... uh ... pride?
Ok, I admit it is possible you are not in fact stupid; perhaps you are merely sarcastic. Or perhaps you like to go around to web sites with polls and vote the opposite of how you really feel. In which case, I am still giving you the "sign," but you can just keep it as a memento and will not have to actually carry it around.
Either way, these results certainly cast doubt on the validity of the other two polls, eh?
Nevertheless, here are the results of the other two polls:
(And here I must interject that, now that the votes are in, blogger won't let me read the original wording of the questions. There must be a way, but I haven't found it, so I am paraphrasing based on what I remember writing, so if you remember the wording of the answer choices differently, you are probably right and you don't need to berate me in the comments for it).
The poll regarding comment moderation asked, "Does comment moderation deter you from leaving comments?"
2 of you said, "Yes, I never leave comments on blogs with comment moderation."
10 of you said "It's annoying, but I comment anyway."
6 of you said, "It doesn't bother me."
Wow. Those results are pretty clear. I mean, if someone took the time to vote, it likely means one of two things: (1) they felt strongly about the issue; or (2) they are the sort of reader who is most likely to participate in my blog -- whether by answering poll questions or by commenting.
Since I am apparently annoying the overwhelming majority of the folks who voted in my poll (and that group likely consists of the same group of folks who would be likely to comment), even to the point of keeping some folks from commenting, I am going to alter the comment moderation feature.
As I've said before, I love your comments. I hang on your every word. I don't want to miss them.
On the other hand, because I don't want to miss them, I like comment moderation for older posts because it notifies me that a new comment has arrived.
So, a compromise is in order. (See, Obama would love me. I'm all about trying to work with people to make everyone happy).
I previously had comment moderation turned "on" for posts older than 3 days. I've changed that to 10 days. I'll scroll down to see if there are new comments for posts within the past 10 days. Or check my email more often. Or something. I just want to make your lives a little easier, and I hope you will leave me more comments now that you know you probably won't have to deal with comment moderation.
And, rest assured, I will always post your comment, even if you disagree with what I have said or say things I disagree with. So, please, don't let a little moderation on really old posts stop you from saying whatever is on your mind. I'll be sure to read it, and may even respond if it's the sort of comment that needs a response.
The only exception would be a personal attack on another blogger, or a racist rant, or other comments that are just flat-out mean. But those would be deleted even if I didn't have comment moderation, so there's not much difference there. And truly, I have not had a problem with any of those issues so far. My readers (all of you) have been basically kind and respectful, if sometimes a little snarky or sarcastic for fun, which I love.
The last poll asked, "Does word verification deter you from leaving comments on my blog?"
I am clearly paraphrasing here, but the results were as follows:
No one promised to comment every time if I would just turn off the stupid thing.
2 voters said they hate it and it sometimes deters them from commenting.
1 voter said it's annoying, but they probably wouldn't comment much anyway.
6 voters said it doesn't stop them from commenting.
10 intrepid souls said they would march through the fires of heck to comment on my blog, so a little word verification certainly would not stop them.
2 voters (probably 2 of the 3 who said they "never" vote in polls) said they "love" word verification because it is so much fun to see what apropo nonsense words it produces. Or something like that.
So, a clear majority either likes word verification or doesn't mind it. I could just leave it turned on. But 3 voters (probably some of my most involved readers, as explained above) are at least marginally annoyed by it. So, here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to turn it off for now. But if I start getting spam comments again, I will turn it back on again and feel secure knowing that most of you will still share your thoughts in the comments section.
If the 2 of you who voted that you "love" word verification are sad, well, I'm sorry. Maybe it will be back soon!
That was a lot of fun, wasn't it? I hope you all feel that your input has been carefully considered and analyzed, and that a fair result has been reached.
If not, please feel welcome to leave a comment telling me so.