Last night Bing hosted what they are calling the largest live online poll in history – 12.9M votes. The live polling opened at 6:00 PM PST at the start of the United States Presidential State of the Union Address. The results are free to view at: http://www.bing.com/politics/stateoftheunion.

The way that this poll was set up is fascinating to me. Using simple demographics to establish research segments, the information collected ended up being quite useful and relevant to many news analysts in the media. Washington Post, Boston Herald and Deseret News are just three of the many news outlets that pulled data from the totally public report to support their analysis and findings on the event – other social media measuring tools included “peaks” in Twitter activity.

As Bing successfully demonstrated, this sort of structured, up-to-the-minute polling is possible and provides information that many people are interested in. This could very well be a platform for other major broadcasts like sports events and television shows. Seems like a no brainer to me to solicite public opinion for free, create an engaging viewer experience, and gather valuable information simultaneously at little to no cost to the users of the information.

How would you feel about participating in, or using results from similar studies? Leave a comment below to let us know your opinion.

-Lee Sumner, Research Analyst

2 replies
  1. Stephanie Vanterpool
    Stephanie Vanterpool says:

    I participated and clicked my views during the state of the union. I found it interesting to see the results in real-time. However, I think there are two variables that may bias the results.

    1) You had to vote positive or negative every 10 seconds. There were not subject changes that often and it was hard vote positive or negative at times when he was mid thought.
    2) The live results showed more negative viewpoints than when I saw the final results after his speech. Seeing that everything was voted as negative made me want to vote my response as more positive to counteract that.

    What was other’s experience?

  2. Lee Sumner
    Lee Sumner says:

    I saw those things also and had the same response. 1.) I didn’t vote every 10 seconds… I only voted when I heard something I liked or didn’t like. 2.) I suppose the fact that that “bias” applied to everyone makes it a little more interesting. I don’t think I would have had such a positive user experience if I weren’t allowed to see how the rest of the country was voting.

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