What does the world cost? Oh well, then we'll just take a small coke.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Explaining our Poll

The observant among the faithful FCN few may have noticed the evolution of the FCN sidebar poll over the last month or so. The poll started out as third party HTML code that we found at a free survey manufacturing site. The site asked us to simply enter our polling information and press enter. The necessary HTML was then auto generated and we sent the code via email to Uncle Wally who then updated our page. The results are the entertaining surveys you have undoubtedly seen and maybe even participated in a few times.

We were genuinely happy with this arrangement and saw no impetus for change, until Blogger introduced its own polling widget. The HTML is always sweeter on the other side of the broadband, or something like that. The beauty of Blogger’s innovation is that the FCN reader can instantly view poll results without having to navigate to a third party webpage. Those of you who run webpages are familiar with the concept of an exit path; quotidian readers will return no matter what but the transient visitors will forget their browser’s back button.

Techno jargon notwithstanding, we all thought the new poll format was snazzier, so we made the switch after little discussion. No sooner did the new poll grace FCN’s page when it encountered some insurmountable error and was forced into an early retirement.

You may recall the question “Who would you rather see gain 400 pounds?” which graced this page for a period of some weeks with an error message beneath the caption. The normative reader would think the question excessively cruel unless she actually read the answer options, which turned the query into a comic setup. Believe us; the error deprived you of a great laugh.

We had two ways of fixing the broken poll. Both involved deleting the offending section of code and one required returning to the third party poll host to satiate our desire to find your opinion on arcane interrogatories. But instead of acting to resolve the problem, we did nothing. For over two weeks we let the error message reside high on our sidebar, occupying valuable blog space and keeping a working survey from gracing the page.

It would have been so easy to fix the problem, but none of us had the necessary gumption or resolve. In fact, the page started to look more welcoming, more familiar with the error message. We grew accustomed to seeing the weight gain question without any working answers. We got a couple emails helpfully informing us of the problem and we answered both the same “thank you” and “we will notify Uncle Wally,” but we never did notify our web geek.

We got our “F” back from his tour of the subcontinent and we still took no action to remedy our broken poll. To the contrary, we practically gloated in our laze. At first he wanted us to remove it, but after a few days of inaction he too began to see the beauty of a broken poll.

Eventually Uncle Wally logged in and removed the poll. The action was first met by shock and horror from the contributors; we felt we'd lost a part of ourselves and wanted the problem reinstated post haste. Then the new simplicity of a working blogpage, unencumbered by error messages was realized. Our love for the status quo was and is solidified; pretty much whatever the status quo is. For the time being, we will continue without a survey. Afterall, there is a certain beauty to an unadorned page. A very certain beauty.

4 comments:

Kez said...

ahhh... I miss the poll. I mean, I miss the broken poll. I thought the working ones were pretty silly.

Hank the Janitor said...

Haha "the HTML is better on the other side of the broadband" you should totally copyright that or something.

Ally Pie said...

I like that word; it's fun to say. "Quotidian. Quotidian. Quooootidian."
OK, I'll stop now.

A City in Germany said...

* yawn *

I agree with Ally. Quotidian is a fun word. Glad you used it.