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Help & FAQ • Wotasa



What is Wotasa?

Wotasa is a website where users can freely compose lists of comparable items and/or give their votes and opinions to polls already posted by other users to produce an ordering rank among alternative options and thus helping future decision making (see also How does Wotasa work?).


How does Wotasa work?

Basically in Wotasa you can perform the following actions:

A) Look for an argument of your interest and see the lists already posted by other users to find out how the preferences of the people who decided to vote are distributed among the various items. You'll also find it useful to discover extra options you can take into account for further reference.
B) Take part in an ongoing poll by answering to the question presenting the issue. Give your vote and opinion to a specific item and express your preference to help future users make up their mind.
C) Make a new page about an interesting topic and let other users interact with your list by voting their favourite items. You may also insert extra options to already existing lists and suggest different kinds of changes.
D) Interact with the growing community of Wotasa users finding people who share your interests and discussing topics you like.


How lists are initialized / what is a warming up list?

When a new page is made (option C in How does Wotasa work?) it obviously starts with zero votes, but the first editor can choose to initialize the list to give a first rank to the items he/she chooses to account for. Some "virtual" votes are then allocated to the existing options as specified by the editor; for example some possibilities are

  • "As I entered them": the items are ordered as entered by the list maker thus reflecting his/her preferences
  • "Web popularity": an algorithm tries to estimate how much the items are popular over the Internet; starting with the most present to the most difficult to find
  • "Start equal": all the items start with the same amount of virtual votes
  • "Random": the items proposed by the editor are shuffled and presented in random order

This practice aims both to give a first answer to the question proposed and to stimulate viewers to vote (especially if they don't agree with this first ordering rank). A message alerts other users that the list may not reflect the preferences of people who voted so far and it's labelled as a "warming up" list.

During the "warming up" period the votes given by people are added to the initial "virtual votes" until a sufficient number of users has contributed to the poll (a number also specified by yhe editor, say 100 votes) and the rank can be considered more reliable. Then the "virtual votes" are discarded. This process may also help to make the list more "stable" in the first period of time limiting sudden shifts of items' position as a consequence of only one or two votes.
Discuss about this policy in Behind Wotasa.


Why should I publish a page/list in Wotasa?

  • because it's simple: make your ne3w list with an assisted process in only three simple steps with no programming skills required
  • because it is visible and accessible: most Wotasa's pages are visible by anyone and you (as editor) can reach a wider number of voting people thus making your polls more trustworthy
  • because it doesn't expire: one disadvantage of pools placed, for example, in forums is that they can only be accessed by members and they soon become obsolete and forgotten even if interesting or they could be useful as a reference for other people. Wotasa does not delete your polls and they can always be reliable and up to date avoiding to discover the wheel over and over again
  • because it's useful and fun: you can easily know what do people think about your issue and account for that in your decision making

Why should I give my vote to a Wotasa list?

  • because it's important and it helps: you can express your preference and become useful to other people looking for reference
  • because it's a start: vote by vote, step by step, one drop at a time you can contribute to generate useful information
  • because it lasts: your votes won't be lost and you won't be asked the same questions over and over again
  • because you can do more than just vote: discover more ways to interact, more space to discuss, more users to connect with in Wotasa

Why should I register to Wotasa?

  • because it's free
  • because so you can access more advanced features (more options in the "page creation" process and more interaction with existing lists and users)
  • because you get a personal page and you can better interact with the rest of the community

Are polls results reliable?

No, but it's a start (see Behind Wotasa page for further discussion about this topic).


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