At long last our Blog is live and I can start having an open dialogue about Poll The People, what it's all about and what our plans are for the future... and no doubt the occasional rant or story... let's see how it goes. This will work best if you, our users, share your opinions and thoughts as well as I want to know what you think?
So down to business... is MIKA really the greatest album of all time ? Well with over 4,000 user's votes in the Album Poll so far from over 80 countries...he is... so far. I've always said that I wouldn't consider our polls to be "authoritative" until we were up to around the 20,000 votes mark so we've got a fair way to go yet. It's a good time to clarify the goal of the site though as I often have heated debates with friends and colleagues who question the results. This site isn't designed to create polls which critics agree with or to try and be too cool. We are not the official sales charts, Mercury Prize, or Brits, or Grammys or Booker Prize or Oscars or bloody Eurovision where a small group of individuals decide who wins what based on their opinions with often confusing criteria or some decisions which seem more related to politics than entertainment!
One of the reasons we created the site was to embrace the "widsom of crowds" (good book BTW and well worth a read) which basically states that the larger the group of people who contribute to a poll the more accurate the result. Everyone's opinion is valid... it's taken me almost 14 years of working in the Music Indsutry to learn that and not to judge people on their taste in music especially. If it moves YOU, makes you laugh or cry or has soundtracked an important event in your life, brings back happy (or sad) memories then who are the critics to tell you it's not a great album, film, book etc.
One of the other key reasons is that as media gets more regimented and people's time gets more precious, trying to find new and interesting music, films and books can be a painful process. The one thing that I trust more and more is the personal recommendation of friends and peers who have similar taste to me. So the "Lists Like Mine" feature was created so that you can be connected to people who match some or all of your Top 5 entries very easily and within a few clicks you can find something new, read user reviews and if you are interested click through to purchase from Amazon or even download tracks from iTunes. Very soon we will be introducing a neat little widget that will enable you to listen to clips of up to 60 secs of each track on all the albums in our poll... very excited about that.
Some people have commented that sites like Amazon already do this, but I think it can be done better... they will tell you that people who have purchased xxxx also purchased XXXX, but this is fundamentally flawed. There is no guarantee that they liked the first item they purchased or the other "similar" item ! Whereas someone who has created a list of their Top 5 Albums, has not only purchased them, but is passionate about their choices so their recommendation is personal and guaranteed. Also if you read a review and want to know more before buying, why not send that person a private message and ask them to tell you more about it....trust me they will be very happy to hear from you.
Top 5 Things coming soon..
A very exciting new music poll where your votes will decide the tracklisting of a landmark new album! Album widgets - so you can hear clips of all album tracks Personalised newsletters - telling you which new users have signed up recently with matches to your Top 5s to help you meet interesting new people and discover new music, films and books. In addition to your Top 5s, you will be able to let people know the latest album you are listening to on repeat, film you've just seen that you can't stop talking about or book you can't put down! If you love football... watch this space!