Online Poles

Today I was doing some research on the website of a local radio station that I am potentially doing some production bits for (that I’m not allowed to tell you about so that’s going to make for highly exciting blog material). Like a lot of websites they include a variety of online poles at the end of each page. Normally this has something to do with gauging your opinion on some local issue, for instance, “Which local premiership league football team do you think will be relegated this season?”. As I’m based in the northeast of England, the likely answer is all of them, no doubt resulting in even more job losses for the region (O I’m on top comic form today!). I’m not sure whether the most recent pole is meant as a joke or not (I don’t do jokes) but the current pole on the website is: “Do you ever enter online polls?” If this is a joke then congratulations to the team of highly trained joke maestros for that. I thought commercial radio stations were meant to be cutting costs but evidently not as such a joke surely must have come at a princely price. They’re probably paying them in easy to manage instalments although they’ll be tied up in debt for years for hiring talent like that to write for them. Anyway, I thought I’d give you a little treat today and include something that is actually funny in contrast to my usual ramblings.

Well I was going to end the blog post there but I’ve just had a look at some of the results for previous poles that the station have done. Astoundingly, in answer to the question “Are you interested in the US Presidential elections?” 69% thought that the American election results didn’t affect them because “America is miles away”. In another pole, 78% think that Middlesbrough FC will be relegated this season. One pole on the site says “We all love crisps, but which flavour is your favourite???”. Don’t worry, I wouldn’t dream of mentioning such a pole without providing you with the full summary of results. OK, place your bets. According to the survey, 12% prefer Ready Saulted, a mere 10 % choose meat related crisps, 24% espouse cheese and onion, Prawn cocktail manages to take 26% of the votes but just nudging ahead, shocking though it may seem, salt and Vinegar takes the prize with 27 %. Celebrations in the Lineker camp! Surprisingly, the subject of crisps seemed to resonate with the north-eastern voters unlike the great jam debate which sadly paled into total insignificance. “What’s jam best on?” asks the pole but the public refuse to give their opinion on such a matter. Perhaps they fear the consequences of voting. Perhaps there is a jam dictatorship going on and people are being pressured not to vote. Either way, something underhand has to be going on because this pole failed to receive a single vote. All three categories (in spite of their undoubted high-interest factor) failed to elicit any response. “Jam on bread” sees 0%, as does the “jam on toast” option. 0 % is also the result in the “I don’t like jam” category. Surely there must have been something wrong with the computer that day. Perhaps someone forgot to switch it on and so the results were not calculated or maybe the computer couldn’t handle the surge of voters who rushed to their computers to vote. Also I imagine that many voters tried to cheat the system by attempting multiple votes resulting in terrifying anarchy causing the computer to overload and finally crash. Maybe one day, a super computer will be built that can handle such a voting spree. Until that day, the great jam debate must remain an intriguing mystery. Perhaps the answer will not even come in our lifetime. Still, it’s probably for the best. I imagine the revelation will end up causing a major war. I shudder to think (which is one of the reasons I tend not to).

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