Twitter trashes skewed Daily Mail poll

Right-leaning British newspaper The Daily Mail found itself with egg on its face on Friday as one of its infamously non-neutral polls was targeted by psychologists on twitter.

The poll which had the decidedly non-neutral question ‘should the nhs let gipsies to jump the queue?’, raised the ire of a number of psychologists who as part of their research staunchly defend questionnaire neutrality.

An email and tweet campaign got under way encouraging people to vote yes on the poll, and so it was that right-wing rag saw 96% of the polled answering yes (with traffic that apparently almost crashed the newspaper’s server).

An interesting story in itself, but one with lessons for bands/writers/ businesses trying to promote themselves online. Hold on now! We’re not suggesting you start posting xenophobic poll questions in a tacky bid to increase your hits! No, but this combination of normal polling with email and twitter can be a great and powerful way to boost traffic.

An example: you’re a writer, so you put a poll on your site asking ‘who is the most important novelist of the last 5 years?’. You send out details of the poll to your email list – if you have one. You send it out to your facebook friends, and you post a link on twitter (making sure that the title of the tweet is short and snappy enough to encourage plenty of re-tweets).

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