PollDaddy makes a polling engine I like so much that I asked them to provide the technology for the Webware 100 awards. Thanks to them, I couldn't be happier with the way the voting is going. As of this writing, we've recorded more than 980,000 votes. (Go vote!)
Today, the company is taking its technology and opening it up in an interesting way: polls that users create on free accounts are now accessible from a centralized PollDaddy site, and each poll also gets its own page where users can not just participate in it but add comments on the poll being displayed.
The goal, said PollDaddy CEO David Lenehan, is to, "create a community similar to Yahoo Answers, but with the emphasis on polls as opposed to open-ended questions and answers."
I like this new feature since it exposes polls on small sites to more users, and it also lets sites share polls, making results potentially more reliable. And the central clearinghouse of polls makes for good SEO bait. It could drive traffic to the polls' host sites.
PollDaddy is also launching an OpenSocial app next week, which will make it easier for users to drop polls on personal sites, and presumably share results across them.
But I do have two reservations: First, polls are not Q&A services, and it's a very different thing to troll through a database of poll results than to look for answers to questions that you may have. I looked through the polls currently on the system and found very few that were worded in a way that anyone but the original pollster would understand the results of. In other words, everyone knows how to ask an open-ended question, but it appears to me that few people know how to set up a good multiple choice opinion poll. Maybe that's my training in experimental psychology speaking, though.
Also, if you want to use a PollDaddy poll to collect opinions just from your own site's users, be advised that with the free PollDaddy accounts, you cannot opt out of this poll-sharing scheme. To keep your poll focused, you'll need to upgrade to a paid account. TechCrunch also pointed this out.
In other PollDaddy news, Scott Rafer is now an advisor to the company. Rafer recently flipped MyBlogLog to Yahoo. That experience bodes well for PollDaddy's future.