6.1. Problem

There are basically two reasons why polls are used on a web site: because the site managers may be interested in what their users like (perhaps so they can modify their advertising or product offerings, or maybe in a more general sense to understand their users better) and to help users feel like they have some input to a site and make them feel like they are part of a community of users. Good polls always contain targeted questions that can help the site's managers to know who their users are and what they want to find on their site. This information can be used to identify which parts of the site to improve or modify. Polls are valuable for e-commerce sites too because they can indicate which products are of interest and in higher demand. Armed with this information, e-commerce businesses can highlight those products, provide more detailed descriptions or case studies, or offer discounts to convince users to buy from their site. Another use for the information is to attract advertising revenue. If you look on a typical medium to large-size site, you will frequently see an "Advertise with Us" link or something similar. If you were to inquire about the possibility of advertising on a particular site, that site's advertising department would likely give you some demographics regarding the typical users of that site, such as age, the region or country they live in, common interests, and so on. This information is often gathered by direct or indirect polls. The more ...

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