I've never used the Joomla "polls" component before so I was suprised today to realise that there is no option to disable the "results" button.
However you use a voting system it's results are always dependant on the number of participants in the vote. Or perhaps I should more accurately say in politic-speak the election turnout.
If you have a potential electorate of 1,000 then a poll with only 20 voters produces meaningless results.
As any politician will tell you, those people with strong views either for or against, will always participate and others will either not vote or will follow the crowd. That's why one of the basic tenets of any election is privacy. All votes should be made in secret and the results of the vote should not be known until the vote has closed.
If only 2% of the electorate express an opinion is it right to make statements or carry out actions based on their responses?
If I can see that 90% of the voters to date have chosen Option A will I even bother to vote for Option B?
Today I visited a web site that made the following statement
"Due to the overwhelming response, the Joomla! 1.5 Online courses will begin in January of 2009."
Sounds good doesn't it?
Whenever I see a statement like that I always wonder "How many people responded? How did they respond? What exactly were they responding to?"
On this particular web site the answer was directly below the statement in the form of a joomla poll that asks "I am interested in online Joomla training?"
And if we click on the "Results" we get the answer.
9 people voted "Yes, definitely"
8 people voted "If the price was..."
I don't know about you but that's hardly an "overwhelming response" to me.