Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Some things you'll be noticing ...

Over the past few weeks I've been updating this site quite a bit. I've been trying experiments with various blog widgets and tools and I think I've almost got everything honed and ready for a new Mid-January redesign of this site.

As you can see ... I've started a new poll. I'm going to place three polls each month on the site that all relate to each other topically. Then, I'll post an analysis of the three polls with some commentary.

If you'll notice, I'm forcing answers. I don't like polls that give the option of "undecided". Answers such as this skew poll results and frankly, I think, make them meaningless.

You may have also noticed this little paragraph break over the last month:

---------- FIX YOUR THINKING COMMENTARY ----------


---------- FIX YOUR THINKING NEWS ----------

or this one:


Why am I doing that? One of the things that saved my critical article about Bidzirk in a recent legal battle was that I reported it ... I didn't just blast off a bunch of looney criticism without any background. Judge Catoe, Judge Herlong, and the 4th Circuit UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS affirmed,

[Smith's article] was in the context of "news reporting and news commentary."

So, just in case it isn't clear that I report news, fact, and opinion here - I've started to place these page breaks within my posts here. It also helps to separate my commentary from the commentary I'm agreeing with or critiquing.

I would strongly encourage you to do something similar on your blog to avoid any legal entanglements.

I've also re-implemented a donation button (look at the right side column to donate):

I used to have a donate button on my website, but for a while I was in protest of Paypal. The crazy Bidzirk attorney also tried to make the case that my website was not allowed to report the news because this was a commercial venture. The argument was shot down by the court with a comparison to newspapers ... "aren't newspapers in it for the money?" I've realized that I may be missing out on a bit of potential revenue. While this site has never been about money ... I do have bills to pay and sometimes my phone bill (verifying information) can be quite high. It also costs roughly $120 a year to host this site and belong to the various analytic / traffic measurement "clubs".


Phurphuxake said...

"If you'll notice, I'm forcing answers. I don't like polls that give the option of "undecided"."

How about a nice clear "NO" choice?

I don't intend to give anyone any MP3 for Xmas....

FYT said...

I know what you're saying, but I'm not interested in the opinion of someone who isn't giving an MP3 player ... I don't mean that sound bad or negative.

I'm trying to poll-shape here. When I do my piece you'll understand ... it will also make since in future polls.

I plan to post the article with three poll results posted and analysis right around the first USA political caucuses - you'll understand more then.

An answer of "Not giving anyone an MP3 player" does not serve to give me accurate results.

Anonymous said...

It gives you accurate results, because it let's someone be honest instead of lying. I'm not giving an MP3 player to anyone, but you didn't give me that option so I picked something else.

I'll leave it to you to figure out which lie I chose.

FYT said...

Then you shouldn't have voted and now have admitted to tainting the poll results.

BUT - this will be my point. All polls are bogus unless a forced outcome with consequences for providing inaccurate results are made. I'll be elaborating more on this in my article.

And for the record ... please don't purposely try to skew polls because you don't like the answers. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I didn't vote in the poll, but I wanted to make a point – if you don't give people every conceivable option, you're going to get bad data.