Poll Town is the new Townhall
After four years of running Townhall, a simple online survey tool, we’ve decided to rebrand and launch a new venture called Poll Town.
The transition is more than just a name change. In startup jargon, we’ve pivoted.
While not a significant detour from the original purpose, to increase civic participation by making it fast and simple to engage, this time we’re changing how we manage and distribute the polls for our customers.
From our research here in the USA, we found that community leaders are still guessing about what people think. They’re also frustrated by low participation levels.
Monitoring and reporting of public opinion is either outsourced to research firms, or handled internally using online surveys.
The problem with research firms is that they are expensive, and take a long time to uncover results. This is a deterrent to regular consultations and keeps the public interest out of the decision-making mix.
Research companies who do telephone polling are in crisis because the transition to mobile phones means less people are willing to answer unsolicited calls.
Tasking internal staff with capturing feedback also has its issues. The public are sick of long-winded surveys, and its a challenge to get their attention and keep it long enough to get results.
Poll Town has been designed to overcome these problems.
How? I’m glad you asked.
To overcome the deficit of attention we are partnering with media companies to place polls in related news articles. This helps to generate a buzz around an issue so the article and poll spread to thousands of people willing to participate.
We broker placement deals with the media publishers to ensure an alignment between the poll content and the news articles where it will be placed.
The poll can be posted on a variety of news sites, as well as websites, blogs and in social media.
Our single question survey has morphed into an embeddable online poll that can be completed easily and shows basic results in real time.
We don’t ask for registration but we are capturing demographic data from participants and asking a few follow up questions to gather richer insights.
The poll widget shows participants that we are collecting cookies. This is used to prevent multiple votes, as well as to store anonymized voter data (age, sex, location) to apply to the next vote made by this person.
AI helps us to moderate user-generated content and we plan to use it across the site to manage data processing in a faster way.
Data Analysis & Display
The public opinion data for our customers is analyzed and prepared as reports, infographic and social media posts for sharing with the audience who participated. By reflecting the key insights back to the community it builds awareness, trust and understanding.
The process can take under two weeks and leaders have a collection of data points to help with their decisions moving forward. Reduces costs and time to capture public opinion data, we think these polls should be a regular activity to encourage an active citizenry.
Meanwhile, the media partners stand to gain a new revenue source to support quality journalism, as well as audience engagement and sharing to drive traffic to the poll stories.
After an action packed four years operating as Townhall, I’m excited about the fresh start with Poll Town.
Our new website goes live on August 10th (2017) in the USA and we’re getting our social feeds activated to keep you informed of our progress.
If Poll Town sounds like a solution you’d like to try, then get in touch to arrange a demo.