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opinion pollsPolls are everywhere around the internet. We here at MakeUseOf use PollDaddy for our reader polls and it works great for us. But what if we want to expand our surveys beyond the Internet?

iVoted bills itself as an “Audience Response System“. It differs itself from other polling software by allowing users to respond to a question via a number of digital venues:

  • Web poll.
  • Twitter mention via @ivoted.
  • A text message to 41411.
  • An email message to vote@ivoted.com.

Creating an opinion poll is easy, you simply type in your question and answers:

opinion polls

After you type in the answer, a unique “keyword” is generated for the responses. In the above example the keywords are P0EIXE and P1WOOZ. In the free version of the software these keywords are generated at random for you and there is also a limitation of 30 responses. When you upgrade to the paid plans, the number of people who are allowed to respond are increased (depending on the plan) and you can also customize keywords. For example, I might have chosen MUOYES and MUONO as my keywords.

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After your results start rolling in, you will see results instantly (no need to refresh the site!)

online poll

Using iVoted is a good way to get a multi-platform response system in place with almost no hassle at all. The main differentiator between iVoted and other systems I am familiar with, is that you are able to submit votes via SMS, Twitter and email in addition to the standard web poll.

To submit a vote via Twitter, you message your keyword and mention @ivoted. To send it in via email, put the keyword in the subject line and mail it to vote@ivoted.com. The web link is sadly just a link, you cannot embed the poll into a webpage as far as I could tell. This would seem to be a major feature that people would want from a polling website and I would hope they add to their service soon.

opinion polls

I did run into a couple of problems, which are indicative of the ‘beta’ nature of this service.

The first was that one of my keywords was not working via SMS. Via the web it seemed to work fine, but this could really skew results if you are depending on SMS results. Also of note the SMS functionality only works in the US – it does not work with international carriers.

The second was that when I went back to edit my poll, it truncated my text after a single quote (‘). This is a problem with the code, because in the process of making the code safe from SQL injection they are mangling the actual string.

All that being said, iVoted is a decent free option for small surveys where you need multiple responses coming in from non-web sources. An alternative to iVoted is Polleverywhere which has pretty much the same functionality and prices.

I would say the main differentiator between the two is that iVotes is a “dead simple” setup while Polleverywhere has more features and other options which you can tweak based on your needs. Which website would be best for you depends on the features you need for your opinion poll.

You can participate in the poll I created for this post!

What do you think of iVoted?

  • Vote P0EIXE for I like it a lot.
  • Vote P1WOOZ for It doesn’t do anything for me.

Mobile Text Message: Text the keyword that matches your choice to 41411
Twitter: type the keyword that matches your choice followed by @ivoted
Web: Go to http://ivoted.com/vote/poll/429
Email: Email vote@ivoted.com, with the keyword that matches your choice on the Subject Line.

Like (or dislike) iVoted? Do you have an alternative you swear by? Let us know in the comments!

  1. Mmjjjmmjj
    November 21, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    This complains about ripping off content are ridiculous. I smell some personal issues here. Polleverywhere feels threatened by a group of young programmers that managed to create a similar and efficient system.

    Imagine Oprah suing Ellen because she created the most successful talk show ever. Or Yahoo against Google because their search bars look exactly the same. This is BS (and nobody really cares LOLs).

  2. Mmjjjmmjj
    November 21, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    This complains about ripping off content are ridiculous. I smell some personal issues here. Polleverywhere feels threatened by a group of young programmers that managed to create a similar and efficient system.

    Imagine Oprah suing Ellen because she created the most successful talk show ever. Or Yahoo against Google because their search bars look exactly the same. This is BS (and nobody really cares LOLs).

  3. seaneby
    November 17, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Thanks Dave. I'd like to make it clear that I'm not here to accuse you of not doing your job or glossing over details. Quite the contrary, since this is a public area so we're just doing our part to raise the level of awareness.

    We don't feel threatened by iVoted as a viable competitor at all but it's more about the principle of the whole thing. We simply don't respect people who copy others' work and can't get themselves to be original. Furthermore, when people copy our work and break that principle, we feel its worth the few moments to let others' know that their work is not their own.

    Since you've experienced this too, obviously you know what it's like. For the same reasons you're not worried about those copy-cat sites taking your content and not citing you for it and somehow benefiting materially as a result, we're not worried about them either.

    Again, it's not about the business risk imposed by someone copying our work, it's simply the principle of respecting others' work and doing right by that. We feel strongly about it and will continue to make life difficult for anyone who decides it's "OK" to copy things. It's one thing to take an idea from somewhere or someone, and extend or build beyond it; that's using someone's material or ideas for inspiration. It's a different matter when you simply "cheat" and don't do much of your own homework and copy someone else's work, let alone doing so without citing the originator.

  4. Dave Drager
    November 17, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Thank you for your feedback. Whilst writing this article I certainly did not know about any "copying" that iVoted may or may not have done, and it is certainly impossible for us to know or decide that.

    We often have the same problem with "plagiarism" or even direct copying of our content. After struggling with the issue, we have finally realized that there is not much you can do about except do it better than the imitators - they will go out of business, so to speak, eventually and we end up stronger and better for the experience. In the end - the best program / content wins out.

    I did check on the referenced links - many of the pages changed and are no longer available - and even if they were the same it becomes a he said/he said issue. It really isn't a call for us to make.

    Our readers are very smart and like you had said will be able to sort of the wheat from the chaff. Thank you for your input.

  5. seaneby
    November 17, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Hi Mark,

    I'm surprised since your reaction is missing the point. It's not a "I thought of it first, no I did" debate at all. Poll Everywhere wasn't even close to being the first text-message voting solution in the world, not by a long-shot. There is simply no debate here about "being first." Instead, its informing you that we entrepreneurs, writers and technologists shouldn't care to support reviewing or writing about services that have blatant copying of others' material (see the PDF I've linked to that shows it, without question) without any attribution. Or, at least if we do review them, we look closely at that them to see them for what they are.

    I don't doubt the intelligence of the readers. I'm sure they'll figure it out. I am writing to let you know that, upon closer inspection, it would have been worth mentioning that there is a clearly direct imitation and lifting of content involved here. Readers deserve to know that in the context of any app reviews and discussion. Mark, you're in the media/news business, I'm sure you respect and appreciate copyrights and attribution as much as anyone.

    Also, we have begun the process of dealing with them directly but we also feel the public forum matters so that people have the information accessible. Last but not least, these are foreign developers, which makes the process of legal action more difficult (but not impossible). Other countries simply don't have the same value systems of originality, anti-plagiarism, etc., that we do here in the USA.

  6. Mark O'Neill
    November 17, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Thank you for your comment.

    Our job is to discuss apps, not to get into the whole "I thought of it first, no I did" debate. If you have legitimate grievances with iVoted, then that is something you need to take up with them. Dave certainly didn't know about any of this when he posted his review of iVoted.

    As you have already indicated, we have extensively covered Poll Everywhere in the past, and you have supplied the relevant links. So we will leave it up to the readers to decide which service they would rather go with.

  7. seaneby
    November 17, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Hi David,

    I'm writing to let you know that this service is an blatant rip-off of PollEverywhere.com in many ways. Through mostly basic plagiarism and unflattering copying of techniques, layouts, and design, iVoted has taken things from Poll Everywhere without any reference or attribution (for example, just look at their Plans page). We've chosen to simply let the public know about the knock-offs for now.

    Several other blogger's have noticed it being a rip-off as well:

    http://sedcclint.com/ivoted-po...

    and here:

    http://www.edutechintegration....

    We believe in competition and being innovative and original but the comparison between the 2 sites is pretty awful:

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/113538...

    You also referred to them as "dead simple" and the only reason they may seem "simpler" right now is because they only got around to copying a handful of the easiest things someone could copy from us (not only that but they did a poor job even copying the content, design, and approaches we've taken). Furthermore, if you went through our progressive sign-up process to create a poll, you would see that it is nearly identical to iVoted (which they also copied). The only difference in that process would be the step where we let you choose what kind of question/poll to create rather than assume you want to create a multiple choice poll.

    We think that taking people's marketing content, word-for-word, and using it on your own site would be similar to someone taking your blog post or your reviews here on MakeUseOf.com, putting them up on another site, and calling them their own.

    MakeUseOf.com has written about Poll Everywhere on several occasions in the past so we thank your staff for having taken the time to recognize us:

    http://www.makeuseof.com/dir/p...
    http://www.makeuseof.com/dir/p...
    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/c...

    However, on our reviews (and if you searched Google), you'll see no one has any complaints about Poll Everywhere ripping off a competing product's design and features so obviously.

    If you were write this review all over again and wanted to choose some viable "alternatives" to Poll Everywhere, there are plenty of them that you could choose to do a review on which would offer readers a wider choice as well as not support the seedy efforts of those behind iVoted. For example, there is quickieq.com, ezuku.com, textthemob.com, v5v5.org, firetext.tv, dozens others that we know of that are actually worth a look and maybe even a review.

  8. Anonymous
    November 17, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Hi David,

    I'm writing to let you know that this service is an blatant rip-off of PollEverywhere.com in many ways. Through mostly basic plagiarism and unflattering copying of techniques, layouts, and design, iVoted has taken things from Poll Everywhere without any reference or attribution (for example, just look at their Plans page). We've chosen to simply let the public know about the knock-offs for now.

    Several other blogger's have noticed it being a rip-off as well:

    http://sedcclint.com/ivoted-possible-alternative-to-poll-everywher

    and here:

    http://www.edutechintegration.com/2010/11/removal-of-blog-post.html

    We believe in competition and being innovative and original but the comparison between the 2 sites is pretty awful:

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/113538/iVoted_imitation.pdf

    You also referred to them as "dead simple" and the only reason they may seem "simpler" right now is because they only got around to copying a handful of the easiest things someone could copy from us (not only that but they did a poor job even copying the content, design, and approaches we've taken). Furthermore, if you went through our progressive sign-up process to create a poll, you would see that it is nearly identical to iVoted (which they also copied). The only difference in that process would be the step where we let you choose what kind of question/poll to create rather than assume you want to create a multiple choice poll.

    We think that taking people's marketing content, word-for-word, and using it on your own site would be similar to someone taking your blog post or your reviews here on MakeUseOf.com, putting them up on another site, and calling them their own.

    MakeUseOf.com has written about Poll Everywhere on several occasions in the past so we thank your staff for having taken the time to recognize us:

    http://www.makeuseof.com/dir/polleverywhere-create-text-message-poll-updates-real-time/
    http://www.makeuseof.com/dir/poll-easily-create-live-polls-analyze/
    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/cool-websites-and-tools-edition-182/

    However, on our reviews (and if you searched Google), you'll see no one has any complaints about Poll Everywhere ripping off a competing product's design and features so obviously.

    If you were write this review all over again and wanted to choose some viable "alternatives" to Poll Everywhere, there are plenty of them that you could choose to do a review on which would offer readers a wider choice as well as not support the seedy efforts of those behind iVoted. For example, there is quickieq.com, ezuku.com, textthemob.com, v5v5.org, firetext.tv, dozens others that we know of that are actually worth a look and maybe even a review.

    • Mark O'Neill
      November 17, 2010 at 6:38 pm

      Thank you for your comment.

      Our job is to discuss apps, not to get into the whole "I thought of it first, no I did" debate. If you have legitimate grievances with iVoted, then that is something you need to take up with them. Dave certainly didn't know about any of this when he posted his review of iVoted.

      As you have already indicated, we have extensively covered Poll Everywhere in the past, and you have supplied the relevant links. So we will leave it up to the readers to decide which service they would rather go with.

      • Anonymous
        November 17, 2010 at 6:47 pm

        Hi Mark,I'm surprised since your reaction is missing the point. It's not a "I thought of it first, no I did" debate at all. Poll Everywhere wasn't even close to being the first text-message voting solution in the world, not by a long-shot. There is simply no debate here about "being first." Instead, its informing you that we entrepreneurs, writers and technologists shouldn't care to support reviewing or writing about services that have blatant copying of others' material (see the PDF I've linked to that shows it, without question) without any attribution. Or, at least if we do review them, we look closely at that them to see them for what they are.I don't doubt the intelligence of the readers. I'm sure they'll figure it out. I am writing to let you know that, upon closer inspection, it would have been worth mentioning that there is a clearly direct imitation and lifting of content involved here. Readers deserve to know that in the context of any app reviews and discussion. Mark, you're in the media/news business, I'm sure you respect and appreciate copyrights and attribution as much as anyone.

        Also, we have begun the process of dealing with them directly but we also feel the public forum matters so that people have the information accessible. Last but not least, these are foreign developers, which makes the process of legal action more difficult (but not impossible). Other countries simply don't have the same value systems of originality, anti-plagiarism, etc., that we do here in the USA.

    • Dave Drager
      November 17, 2010 at 7:02 pm

      Thank you for your feedback. Whilst writing this article I certainly did not know about any "copying" that iVoted may or may not have done, and it is certainly impossible for us to know or decide that.

      We often have the same problem with "plagiarism" or even direct copying of our content. After struggling with the issue, we have finally realized that there is not much you can do about except do it better than the imitators - they will go out of business, so to speak, eventually and we end up stronger and better for the experience. In the end - the best program / content wins out.

      I did check on the referenced links - many of the pages changed and are no longer available - and even if they were the same it becomes a he said/he said issue. It really isn't a call for us to make.

      Our readers are very smart and like you had said will be able to sort of the wheat from the chaff. Thank you for your input.

      • Anonymous
        November 17, 2010 at 7:07 pm

        Thanks Dave. I'd like to make it clear that I'm not here to accuse you of not doing your job or glossing over details. Quite the contrary, since this is a public area so we're just doing our part to raise the level of awareness.

        We don't feel threatened by iVoted as a viable competitor at all but it's more about the principle of the whole thing. We simply don't respect people who copy others' work and can't get themselves to be original. Furthermore, when people copy our work and break that principle, we feel its worth the few moments to let others' know that their work is not their own.

        Since you've experienced this too, obviously you know what it's like. For the same reasons you're not worried about those copy-cat sites taking your content and not citing you for it and somehow benefiting materially as a result, we're not worried about them either.

        Again, it's not about the business risk imposed by someone copying our work, it's simply the principle of respecting others' work and doing right by that. We feel strongly about it and will continue to make life difficult for anyone who decides it's "OK" to copy things. It's one thing to take an idea from somewhere or someone, and extend or build beyond it; that's using someone's material or ideas for inspiration. It's a different matter when you simply "cheat" and don't do much of your own homework and copy someone else's work, let alone doing so without citing the originator.

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