Improving Polls

I use polls a lot on my campaign and I think they a pretty great feature.

In fact, they are easily the highest point of participation on my Patreon. Almost every single person who signs up at the poll input pledge level takes a minute to vote on ideas every month for every poll. They are simply designed, they let patrons participate in direction, they are quick to use, and they don’t require patrons to craft specific feedback.

I’ve found the simple nature of the input results in a lot more people participating than when I did “submit your ideas” style posts - which barely 20% of the people at the same pledge level participated in.

As much as I love the polls though, I think there are a few points they could be improved on.

Better early access integration - Right now I can set an early access date on my polls to trigger right after the poll ends, and everyone can see the results of the polls and know what content to expect. This is useful because I don’t have to make a new post to let people know that new content is coming and what it is, but also because people that aren’t at the poll level can see the kind of polls I offer at the poll tier.

I have to intentionally set the “poll-end” timer up to match a date rounded date to make the polls public. Since those two date formats don’t line up sometimes, matching it can be a bit tedious.

I think turning this into a feature would be nice. A simple a checkbox in the early access options that says “allow public access after poll ends” would be great.

Post visibility and post participation unlinked - Alternatively, give us the option to have “viewable to all” as a checkbox when making a poll. This would allow anyone to view the post, but only pledges at the poll participation tier to vote.

That way people who aren’t pledging can still see the options on the poll. If they like the choices they might increase their pledge to participate immediately instead of having to wait until it ends to decide if they want to participate in the next poll.

Instant Run-off as a polling option - This is pretty self explanatory, but instant run-off or ranked voting would be the ideal way to run votes. Nearly every poll ends with the winner getting less than 30% of the total vote and I wonder if it really would have won if we had been using a better format. I feel like the actual winner isn’t really winning sometimes.

Sometimes I’ll offer two similar choices and the winner ends of being the opposite thing just because the similar options split the vote, and I have to tailor my polls with that in mind.

Simply display the poll options, and instead of having them pick one in a checkbox, have them arrange the options in order of preference from top to bottom. Then lock them in with a check box. It can display the current results when you lock them in and you can unlock them by unchecking the same box again. I think this is the most important feature I would like to see implemented.

Editing windows - I’ve had a couple times where I’ve published a poll, made an error, and had to go back and edit them… only to find out I can’t and just having to make another post about the error or deleting the poll entirely and restarting it - both of which contribute to spam.

I’m not entirely sure why we can’t edit our own polls, I understand it allows us to manipulate the results, but as the creators we should be the one person they trust. Manipulating results of a poll would be self-sabotaging and you shouldn’t design features around very niche cases when any serious creator wouldn’t dare manipulate a poll like that. A creator who did that would be found out immediately and the response would probably not go well (scamming a group that basically funds you doesn’t sound very bright).

I don’t know, this is more of a nit-pick. Maybe there’s a technical reason you can’t edit polls and I don’t understand the issue. Proofreading my polls and not making them at 4am would probably also be a viable option.

Thoughts from anyone else? Any other poll changes people would like to see?


Wow!! This is awesome and gives so much detailed feedback. I’ll make certain the product team sees this.


Thank you! :B

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I would like people to be able to add poll answers I hadn’t thought of. In the middle of a poll your only other option is to put a comment in but then it’s impossible to know how many really would rather have this new answer.


I really like a lot of this; I wish we had the ability to do a “weighted” poll, with for example patrons getting more weight than followers, and followers getting more weight than the general public (in the case of a totally public poll).

But for right now, the one wishlist item I would really like is the ability to see who voted for what. Yes we can download the CSV and yes that is the most important data source, but imagine if we could hover over the number of votes to the right and get a list of patrons or whatever that voted? Something similar to when we hover over the number of likes. That would be a nice touch and easy to implement.

I don’t get a lot of attention on my posts. It does seem that what @Watsup says is true: polls get more attention (eventually) than other kinds of posts, but my most recent poll got 12 total votes, so basically I see it as a neat opportunity to use this as a jumpoff for more interaction with my community.


I really would like to see editing windows available. For not allow manipulate the results they could let you edit the poll only within an hour from started the poll for example.