Five years ago, soon after the debut of Pollster.com, we started posting "Poll Updates" -- quick blog entries with the top-line results for the most recent polls, methodological details, and links to source documents and the relevant poll charts. To our surprise, these quick updates turned out to be both highly engaging and popular.
That’s why we’re excited to announce a major and long overdue upgrade to our poll updates. You can see an example update here, and we will have more details after we fully launch the new system over the next 24 hours. But suffice it to say that the new updates are considerably cleaner, less cluttered and more graphical. More importantly, the underlying system will allow us to publish these updates much, much faster.
We decided to pre-announce the launch in order to give regular readers a heads up on some changes coming in the way readers can offer their comments on the day’s polls. We think the changes will be an improvement, but some explanation is definitely in order.
One of the things about the poll updates feature that surprised us five years ago was the way it attracted a vibrant community of regular commenters, many of whom stayed with us when we made the move to The Huffington Post in 2010 and continue to add their thoughts every day about new polls.
But enabling comments on every update had some drawbacks: The many daily comments get spread out across dozens of new polls every day. Readers have a hard time deciding which thread is worth jumping into, and sometimes very similar conversations repeat in multiple posts.
With the new system, we are going to create a daily, centralized open-thread entry that will allow readers to comment on all of the day's polls in one place. We hope it will become an even more useful forum for discussions of the polls' implications, their methodological strengths and weaknesses, notable findings others have missed or anything else our commenters want to talk about.
Each day's open thread will appear in the morning and remain open for 24 hours. Every poll update will have a link taking readers directly to the latest open thread.
We also want to take advantage of the centralized daily comment thread to highlight the most interesting or insightful comments from the previous day. And we’d like your help on that, so please use the "favorite" button to identify any comments you consider especially interesting or insightful. We’ll review the recommended comments every day and try to highlight one or two a day that stand out.
We hope that our readers will value the new upgrades and hope the change in the comments function gives greater prominence to the Pollster’s community of engaged poll followers.
Find our first open thread here for discussion of Wednesday's polls.