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Taskforce in Focus: Poll of the Week

Since its inception in 2014 (That’s 2391 to us) the Poll of the Week has been a source of intriguing inquiries, pondersome proposals and thought-provoking examinations. Today we meet with the Poll of the Week Facilitators Lt Commander Jocelyn Marshall and Lt Commander Genkos Adea so we can learn more about this important part of our community!

Taybrim: Thank you for joining us. Can you please start by giving us a short overview on the Poll of the Week and how it supports our StarBase 118 community?

Marshall: Sure thing. The PotW is a forum-based poll we run on Star Trek and group related topics every week. It’s a community activity, so we encourage everyone to get involved in commenting and finding out how people think, what their favourites are, what we all have in common — that kind of thing. It’s an excellent method of attracting participants into a deeper discussion, drawing people onto the forums, and sometimes we have a chuckle along the way.

Adea: We definitely have a chuckle; some might even say a guffaw. But yes, it’s also nice to have the wide difference of questions. Sometimes we do a nice contentious “favourite TNG character” poll, but other times we have a great debate over a “choose your own way” style poll or the more hypothetical “what if’s” of the universe. I think it’s that versatility that gives PotW its longevity. We can be serious, or we can be flippant. Most of us try to pitch it somewhere between the two.

What is your favorite thing about working on this taskforce?

Adea: Getting answers that are completely out of left field. We always put a “tell us in the comments” option in every poll, and people do! A good example is that I recently ran a New Year’s Resolutions poll, and I wrote it with a slant of “What do you want from SB118 this year?” and many people replied telling us all sorts of things about their personal lives and hobbies. Which is just nice; it helps to build our community when we discover things we have in common apart from Trek.

Marshall: New discoveries and re-discoveries about Trek for me. I’ll come up with an idea for a poll from something I’ve read in the week, watched on streaming, or listened to, and have to come up with a selection of choices. The process can send you into the wild chasms of lore. But that’s my favourite bit — taking that dive into the canon and the trivia to find the episodes you’ve forgotten about, or small instances of something happen that affect everything else.

Who can join the Poll of the Week?

Marshall: Any member can join at any rank. We work on rotation with four members at the moment, so once a week, a member will run a poll. Everyone takes turns and we pool ideas in the interim, so if anyone gets stuck for a poll idea, there’s a bank to choose from. The time commitment isn’t much, either.

Adea: I’m fairly certain anyone can join, but I don’t recommend it. What Jo doesn’t want people to know is that we’re forced to write thousands of these polls each day, and she picks the best. Please, get the word out! Tell my family I love them. But in all seriousness, anyone can join, and it’s really not that much of a commitment, so it’s really perfect for a fresh-faced ensign who wants to dip their toes in the task force lake, or a seasoned Commander with too much time on their hands.

How would a new task force member join the Poll of the Week?

Adea: Head to the forums and reply to our recruitment thread, or if you’re on Discord, we have our own channel that you can join through the roles channel.

Marshall: We’ve also got a submission form, in case someone has a fantastic idea for a poll, but isn’t down for the commitment. They can submit what they like here, and we’ll expand on it.

What is the most fun thing about working on the Poll of the Week?

Marshall: Getting responses from everyone in the ‘Fleet. When we get an excellent discussion rolling on the forum poll, or a poll that really gets people talking, it can generate a lot of fun. The difference in opinions of people here is wild.

Adea: Letting your imagination flow with suggestions for answers; I often find the most obvious answers don’t get the most votes. So closing your eyes and taking a few minutes to come up with a few more eccentric or out there answers, often results in more engagement.

Thank You so much for your insights on the Poll of the Week!

You can read more about the Poll of the Week on the wiki.

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