Rethinking Public Opinion

It is hard to overstate the importance of public opinion in our society. Not a day passes without medias providing us with “the public’s opinion” printed in headlines. Collecting, reporting, and analyzing public opinion has become a major part of news coverage. The opinion market has become integrated in our society to such a point that it can no longer be untangled from the functioning of our broader political system. Public opinion is seen as a powerful tool that shapes government and business policy. However, the polls that claim to reflect public opinion have inherent flaws that make their representative nature and reliability questionable.

The problem is that despite the rigorous methodologies applied by polling agencies to ensure statistical relevance, major flaws make their method questionable. Low response rate (10% for telephone polling), interviewer effect, question wording, question order, ability to respond (lake of knowledge or not reachable for not having landline), even willingness to respond makes the traditional methods imperfect.

But the greatest critic to be addressed should be that most people feel that their opinion doesn’t count. The truth is it doesn’t – especially if they’re not part of a polling agencies’ panel. That leads to a harsher truth that the majority of our opinions really don’t count. Consequently, public opinion seldom truly shapes the attitudes and strategies of government or business leaders.

In recent years, the scale and impact of social movements has been magnified by the proliferation of Internet and mobile technologies. As we move closer to a globalised and digital economy, many traditional structures that underpin society are being challenged and traditional polling should be one of them.

At Voice we believe that contrary to what is done today, people can actively engage in the creation of public opinion. We believe that the right to ask questions should belong to everyone. We believe that no one should be told what they believe, and that everyone should have access to the results of the research process, so that all may draw their own conclusions. We believe public opinion can be expressed in a different way.

Voice is a social polling platform. It allows anyone to quickly create and share surveys amongst a socially activated community of opinion makers.

Voice turns the traditional survey process from a top-down to a many-to-
many, collaborative experience. We believe this approach can be a new way of empowerment and consensus building.

Voice also aims at radically distinguish itself from traditional survey process by providing an entertaining and enriching experience. We believe that providing a social environment can considerably stimulate engagement and interactivity within the community. By providing a diversified content curated to be relevant to users interest we hope to dissociate this experience to survey polling.

But what if this fun experience could serve a greater good?

In order to build trust, governments and businesses have to become increasingly transparent and failure to do so can have big consequences. We believe that the actual satus quo must evolve and that public opinion based on social polling offers a more sustainable model of dialogue between governments, businesses and their citizens and customers.

As a member of the Voice community anyone has the opportunity to transform the meaning and relevance of public opinion. Social polling has the power and potential to redefine the idea of public opinion and Voice is at the disposal of those who want to create this new source of public opinion.

By proposing this innovative way to exchange opinions we hope to help create a quantifiable, accessible, and transparent resource of global public opinion.

We dream of a place where people can join their voices to be heard.

Felix, Etienne, Alex, Ziyad and Melchior