Saturday, July 7, 2007

Poll Update: Share Food With Strangers

During the past week I tried the new poll feature Blogger is test-driving through Blogger-in-draft. I ask readers in a post on Friday how they would respond to a stranger asking for a bite of their food in a restaurant. The idea came from listening to an interview on NPR between John Burnett and a couple Jeff and JoJo. Obviously this was an unscientific poll. I offered it as an alternate method to crafting a full comment. The feedback has been interesting because in addition to the poll votes which seem to be cast by readers other than the two commenters, there are my visitor stats and keyword data to consider in the mix.

As you can see below only 2 people cast actual votes and they indicated that they might concede if an unused utensil was provided. This probably coincides with Jeff and JoJo’s group of "initially hesitant but eventually persuaded to share group."

At a restaurant the person at the next table asks for a taste of your food; how would you respond?

Sure, here you go (offering your own fork) 0 (0%)

Well okay; but ask for a clean fork. 2 (100%)

Why? 0 (0%)

Uhm, I'd rather not. 0 (0%)

No. 0 (0%)

Votes so far: 2

Poll closed

In comments, two readers offered opinions instead of votes (that is an assumption, but the votes do not seem to align with either of the comments). Both commenters used the word interesting but the similarities end there. One commented that it would depend on who was asking but her usual “reaction…is to laugh” when people behave outside acceptable social standards. As humans we do that don’t we; when we find ourselves in an uncomfortable spot we seek to diffuse the discomfort as quickly as possible. The second commenter offered that the request, in a nice restaurant where need was not an underlying factor, could simply be countered with “if you want to know, go order your own!” In the interview John Burnett expressed a similar sentiment with his comment to Jeff of “trust me, it’s delicious.” This poll could not replace Jeff's spontaneous question where several dozen subtle influences would come into play but it hopefully became a thinking point on how we perceive ourselves within our social exchanges.

In my visitor stats I had more people land on the page related to the post than the total of those who voted or commented. Of those visitors, three had been directed by search queries for Jeff and JoJo, taste, and NPR. So several people were out there who heard either the trailer or the interview and were trying to find out who Jeff and JoJo really were. Of course another possibility is that someone heard the broadcast and realized they had been part of this impromptu social study.

Thanks to everybody who participated and especially those who commented or voted. I think I will do this again in the future. Maybe Blogger-in-draft will figure out the poll header code and even put it inside the post instead of the sidebar by that time. Other than those cosmetic issues I thought it was pretty easy to install and write up my query and possible answers.

1 comment:

Sylvia C. said...

Hey Deb,

I voted that I would share (with a clean fork), and talked to my husband to hear his insights on this strange concept.

He made a strange face and said he wouldn't share. But, I know him, and I think he would (with a clean fork, of course).

I think this "out of the norm" stuff is interesting, too.

Have a great night!

Sylvia C.