03 Sep2007

I am experiencing temporary poll brain freeze as a result of drastically reduced caloric intake. Over the course of the past two years since I have introduced the poll feature, I have asked 36 poll questions and received between 200 and 1,100 responses to each poll question. On average, the number of responses has been about 600 “votes” over the past few months. Since best I can figure, there are roughly 8,000-10,000 regular Marketmanila readers who visit the site at least 1x a week, and a core of roughly 2,500 readers who visit at least 1x a day, then only 8-10% of all “regular” readers have ever answered a poll question. That is, however, more than double the paltry rate of 4-5% who have ever left a comment on this blog. Increasingly, I run into people who are incredibly knowledgeable about some of my recent escapades and it turns out they are avid readers and total lurkers. Hmmm, maybe I should restrict certain posts (the really good ones) to folks who have participated in the comments section in the past… :) Better eat more breakfast before I get downright ornery, Marketman. At any rate, what is the point of this post? I am curious what YOU, the readers, would ask Marketmanila’s audience if you could formulate a poll question? If you have any bright ideas for a poll question, please leave a comment here. And if you don’t find the poll feature useful or interesting, let me know as well, maybe I can just take it off completely… Thank you!



  1. Grace Lopez says:

    MM: Please don’t take off the poll. I find it very interesting, silly questions or not. I can’t think of a poll question right now.

    Sep 3, 2007 | 9:51 am


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  3. MRJP says:

    Ang hirap naman ng assignment, MM! I can’t think of any ideas for a poll question but I certainly like the poll section in this blog.

    Sep 3, 2007 | 10:01 am

  4. peterb says:

    I have questions…but in poll form…err…i’ll think of something later…

    Sep 3, 2007 | 10:17 am

  5. Fabian M says:

    Your participation rate sounds pretty good already :)

    It’s tough to think about a question, but make it related I guess to whatever is in your mind right now. A poll about breakfast, health food, starvation, etc he he. Just poll what you’re curious about — never mind if participation may not be too high. :)

    Sep 3, 2007 | 10:23 am

  6. ykmd says:

    Since many of your readers live abroad or have eaten at Philippine restaurants abroad, how about asking what they look for in a Philippine restaurant? I am usually disappointed by the quality of the food served at the Pinoy restos here. If you ran a poll, maybe some would-be restaurateurs would take notice. Sorry for being so vague, but this was what was on my mind today -I am on hospital call for the long weekend and so can’t cook :) Hunger and stress do not a good combination make!
    Good luck with your diet BTW, you’ve done it before (well, almost) so you can do it again, I’m sure!

    Sep 3, 2007 | 10:28 am

  7. bernadette says:

    If I were on a diet myself, I would ask people how they do theirs. So, you won’t feel like you’re the only one missing on rich foods too :-).

    Sep 3, 2007 | 11:01 am

  8. bluegirl says:

    Love your polls Marketman! I find them interesting and the response nos equally interesting.

    Since you’re on a diet, how about a poll question related to diet? Perhaps like how many of your readers are on a diet? Or how many times have they dieted and gained it back? Or what kind of diet did they have the most success with?

    I personally read your blog to help me stay on my diet (I’m trying to loose my last 5lbs – very very difficult). I can lOOk, salivate and drOOl all I want but the food is definitely out of my reach! Since my eyes can eat more than my tummy, I look at the pictures several times in a day till I get tired of it (and hopefully my appetite get tired of it too!)

    Sep 3, 2007 | 11:04 am

  9. Paolo says:

    Diet is not enough. You’ve got to do heavy exercise everyday.

    BTW, I just arrived from Manila yesterday.

    Visited the places you’ve mentioned here in your blog..i.e. Market Market, Cupcakes and serendra. Almost signed up for a Condo at Serendra.

    Sep 3, 2007 | 11:15 am

  10. titashi says:

    i like your polls too MM, i enjoy answering them and looking at the results. any poll, related to food or not, is okey with me.

    Sep 3, 2007 | 11:20 am

  11. Blaise says:

    Ayan, I voted na.. ;)

    Sep 3, 2007 | 12:11 pm

  12. MegaMom says:

    How about how many readers are overweight, just right or don’t know? Walang dayaan guys, after all MM was candid enough to share his vital statistics. Here is the link to the US NIH website where one can calculate body mass index: http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/ where readers can find out whether they are overweight or not.

    Don’t want to sound like a party-pooper, but the ultimate goal would be to perhaps share some “healthier” recipes we have tucked around somewhere. Eating well and eating healthy don’t have to be mutually exclusive, right?

    Related to obesity is diabetes, a big health problem among Pinoys. As many as 2/3 of ethnically Pinoy adults are prone to it. I’d like to see some recipes of Pinoy foods for diabetics too. Diabetic recipes I have are from American cookbooks, and the food besides being unflavorful are also unfamiliar.

    Sep 3, 2007 | 12:33 pm

  13. Marketman says:

    Megamom, I like the weight poll, hmmm, have to formulate one… Paolo, yup exercise is ramped up as well, an hour workout yesterday, 30 minute leisurely walk and a swim. Heavy exercise 3x a week, a light walk on other days…

    Sep 3, 2007 | 1:03 pm

  14. MegaMom says:

    Hahaha, MM, you ought to have a disclaimer saying you are not to link the IP addresses with the poll answers…LOL. Since I suggested it, I will take first dibs, thank you!

    Sep 3, 2007 | 1:11 pm

  15. lee says:

    Hello MegaMom… I am underheight. :) I cast my vote.

    Sep 3, 2007 | 1:56 pm

  16. nunosapunso says:

    problem is with bmi i am of normal weight but still feel that i am about 2-3 kilos overweight. I have a muffin top when I wear jeans so that’s annoying.

    Sep 3, 2007 | 2:21 pm

  17. elaine says:

    I’m currently reading the book mindless eating which you featured in your previous post and I personally find it helpful in controlling my ‘fatty’ food intake.. and also, I like the poll feature. It’s quite fun and I wouldn’t mind answering some serious stuff questions too. I guess you can formulate poll questions related to your current post, current events..I always find it interesting!

    Sep 3, 2007 | 2:48 pm

  18. clarissa says:

    hello! another poll question (though i’m not sure if this has been asked already)… who are MM’s reader’s fav celebrity chef???

    Sep 3, 2007 | 3:27 pm

  19. smiles4angels says:

    hehe. being young i’d start with the usual “who is your first kiss” and all sorts of autograph questions. but i would be interested right now is the statistics of your readers… where do they come from (home province), jobs, age range, lets also add the BMI range… :)

    Sep 3, 2007 | 4:02 pm

  20. suzette says:

    how about top ten diet food/ recipes? very apt and timely :)

    Sep 3, 2007 | 4:45 pm

  21. Arvi says:

    How about a poll on what your readers have for breakfast? (rice, bread, cereal etc.) Good luck on your diet!

    Sep 3, 2007 | 4:53 pm

  22. honey says:

    I’m confused about the poll. My weight is just right but the problem is, I’m too short for my weight :D

    Sep 3, 2007 | 7:04 pm

  23. Ruth says:

    How about what is your favorite book about food? Not cookbooks, but books about food? Or author?

    Am an avid reader about food writing and was just so happy to find out that Fully Booked in Serendra has one whole shelf dedicated to that genre.

    Sep 3, 2007 | 7:54 pm

  24. MarketFan says:

    How many other food blogs do you visit regularly? Would be nice to know what other food blogs your readers are interested in but difficult to ask in a poll, right?

    Sep 3, 2007 | 8:02 pm

  25. Apicio says:

    May be you can poll us as to what kind of new Filipino cookbook we really want:
    Basic primer a la Enriqueta David-Perez’s
    Updated and glossed primer like Cook’s Illustrated’s Best Recipes
    Culinary Adventure like Jeffrey Steingarten’s
    Photographic extravaganza for the coffee table like William Sonoma’s or Culinaria
    Reminiscences like Memories of Philippine Kitchens and Cocina Sulipena
    Compilations like Cid Reyes’s Kusina I and II (sans commercials PLEASE)
    Historical Speculations like a few of Doreen Fernandez’s

    Sep 3, 2007 | 8:46 pm

  26. Mila says:

    “What topic/s should MM rant about?” :D

    Seriously, hmmm, how about a travel poll? Favorite xmas destinations?

    Sep 3, 2007 | 10:07 pm

  27. Liza says:

    The polls are fun. My kids like to check on the polls while I read the message posts.

    Why not formulate a poll that would provide you with added insight about the cookbook you had mulled over. Questions like ‘how many recipes should a cookbook have for you to buy the book (at x amount)’ or ‘how much would you pay for a cookbook (with x number of recipes)’ or ‘what do you look for in a cookbook before you buy one’.

    You could also try to find out what sports your readers are into, how much exercise, or if we do exercise at all, or if we have purchased exercise equipment that have ended up gathering dust as towel racks.

    Am sure you’ll think up many interesting poll questions and we’ll be here to cast our votes.

    Sep 3, 2007 | 10:42 pm

  28. danney league says:

    Where are the best, affordable and authentic Filipino, Chinese and Thai restaurants (in order) in the Philippines? I know one of the best affordable and authentic Filipino restaurants is Aristocrat. Very homey and with authentic Filipino food but what about Chinese and Thai restaurants?

    Strange enough, there are 3 nice Chinese restaurants in Ensenada, Mexico namely San San, Hong Kong Restaurant and 2001. There are two nice Chinese restaurants in Cancun too. There is one Chinese restaurant in the heart of downtown Copenhagen but very expensive and a nice affordable one in downtown Stockholm, Sweden. There is one Thai restaurant in Old Town San Juan, Puerto Rico near Fort El Moro.

    Maybe MM should visit all those Chinese, Japapanese, Thai and other restaurants and give us an overview of their food ratings and exceptional value and presentation and of course taste and prices.

    Gaining weight? Work out!! That is what I’m doing and eat in moderation.

    Sep 3, 2007 | 11:59 pm

  29. doug says:

    Well I guess this is an opportunity and avenue for me to have my profound curiosity answered about the readers of this blog. What is our commonality why we are loyal, addicted and dedicated to this blog? The obvious is our passion for food, but is it a vessel for us also to link ourselves to our identity (for living in foreign country), a forum and medium to attach ourselves to our culture or just a past time for being homesick. What satisfaction this blog gives us? Yeah I know, such a deep ala “search for essence of life” question- but curious about the dynamism and importance of “blogging” in today’s society.

    Sep 4, 2007 | 5:48 am

  30. corrine says:

    I like health-related topics. I hope many of you saw Jamie’s School Dinners. It started last night at 9pm and I think will go on for 3 episodes. I think our children have to eat healthy food and take healthy drinks. It starts at home. How about a question like who among you will ban soda from your home starting tomorrow? :-)

    Sep 4, 2007 | 9:26 am

  31. CecileJ says:

    Hmm, hard to formulate multiple choice questions…How about:

    1) If you ate a dish that you really liked at a restaurant, would you try to replicate it at home or just go back to the resto when you get the craving?

    2) Aside from Filipino food, what other type of food is your favorite: American, Asian, European, Mediterranean, Chinese,Indian, etc.

    3) What beverage do you take to accompany your meals? Fruit juice, iced tea, wine, soft drinks/sodas, agua de maynilad?

    4) When you are unhappy with restaurant/store/etc. service, do you: a) take it all in stride, smile and walk away; b) walk away but fire off an acerbic e-mail to the company; or c)rant and rave right there and then?

    5) If you could have only one single use implement to take with you on a first-time trip that would keep you away from home for 5 years, what would it be? a) fish pan; b) grape scissors; c) bone marrow spoon. ;)

    Sep 4, 2007 | 10:37 am

  32. perkycinderella says:


    Just a thought…..How about asking your readers what province they are originally from? And what native dish they want you to feature.

    Sep 4, 2007 | 10:51 am

  33. Arvi says:

    Another suggestion would be to ask your loyal readers what food item would they want to receive this coming Christmas? You can come up with this poll on November.

    Sep 4, 2007 | 11:11 am

  34. jules winnfield says:

    well why don’t we find out whether the mm food loving legion is willing to put their money where their mouth is. pun intended on this one. the poll is which one of the five senses are they willing to give up if ever? sight? taste? smell? hearing? feeling? honestly, of the 5, i’m waving bye bye to them taste buds… sorry guys, just being real.

    Sep 4, 2007 | 11:15 am

  35. Marketman says:

    jules, I think I would give up taste, too, and lose weight in the process…, but then again losind one’s smell sense might not be as drastic…perkycinderella and arvi + others, I have asked folks what dishes they want Marketmanila to feature, and for Christmas as well, they are in the archives for last year… CecileJ, I actually did some of those questions in the earlier stages of the poll, like if you found hair in your food, would you raise a stink, as for it to be changed, set it aside, etc. :)

    Sep 4, 2007 | 1:34 pm

  36. MegaMom says:

    Apicio, I will probably keep coming back to the site and vote seven different times using different IP addresses. And I will rant about not having an “All of the above” choice.

    Jules W, saying “bye” to taste is probably a good choice because the sense of “taste” is actually 2/3s accomplished by smelling. Ever wonder why when you have a stuffed up congested nose, you can not “taste” your food?

    MM, I like Liza’s suggestion: how much would you pay for a MarketMan cookbook?

    Sep 4, 2007 | 1:44 pm

  37. Lissa says:

    Hello Marketman! Since you’re on a diet, I’d ask MarketManila readers what their favorite healthy vegetable dish is. When the votes come in, I’d make the top five dishes in the kitchen, and post the recipes to share to fellow dieters. = )

    Sep 4, 2007 | 5:52 pm

  38. tei says:

    your top five favorite: (each)

    -> romantic place/resto for a special date
    -> feel good resto (not so expensive, just right, but never fails to satisfy you each meal/visit)
    -> buffets
    -> cafe /coffeeshop
    -> restaurants that have since closed down but have fond memories of it (used to it there during childhood, etc) and that you would love to there again if only they would open their doors again.

    Sep 4, 2007 | 11:39 pm

  39. tei says:

    sorry.. “it” should have been eat.

    Sep 4, 2007 | 11:40 pm

  40. Silly Lolo says:

    Megamom: You rock!
    Lee: You’re too funny!
    Doug: Do you really want to go there?
    MM: Now what are you going to do with this information?

    Sep 4, 2007 | 11:51 pm

  41. Marketman says:

    Silly Lolo, I have already used one of the ideas in the current poll on people’s weight… other ideas may be used in the weeks ahead. I have to say, most of the commenters suggestions require a post, not a poll, since they could have well over 5 answers… Liza, you have given me ideas…thanks!

    Sep 5, 2007 | 7:59 am

  42. maria says:

    the polls are important! aside from being interesting, they give you a gauge on who your market will be for your book!!! i’ll email you poll questions when i have some free time.

    btw, i tried cutting carbs from my diet before and it really gave me horrendous headaches! i lost the weight but gained it back when i couldn’t fight the pain anymore. right now, i’m trying to exercise more instead. : )

    Sep 5, 2007 | 12:48 pm

  43. lee says:

    More than 20 pounds ABOVE your ideal weight: Leading the poll! yeah

    Sep 5, 2007 | 2:46 pm

  44. Anna Banana says:

    How about a poll on which foods (groups? categories?) people are allergic to. I am allergic to seafood, my daughter is allergic to chicken and chocolates. My nephew is allergic to fish. And the list goes on with the rest of my family members. It is a nightmare to prepare saturday night family dinner!

    Sep 5, 2007 | 10:45 pm

  45. Silly Lolo says:

    Lee: In your case and mine, about 6 inches underheight!

    Sep 6, 2007 | 12:47 am


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