Slack App Support Page

Getting Help

When you are using Open Agora Slack application, it displays messages containing lots of buttons. At any time, if you are lost, do not hesitate to hit the help button: Screenshot of Open Agora's help button It displays explanations relative to the buttons contained in the current message.

If you are experiencing any kind of trouble with the polling app, please do not hesitate to contact us. You may also type /poll feedback your feedback/question/request directly in Slack.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. How do I create a poll?
  2. How do I vote? Can I change my vote?
  3. Is it possible to see the result during the vote?
  4. Can we see who specifically voted for each choice?
  5. Is it possible to allow multiple polls in a (private) channel?
  6. What does "Condorcet" mean?
  7. What is the meaning of the scores displayed with Condorcet result?
  8. Can we restrict /poll command to a group of users?
Question 1: How do I create a poll? Top

Perform the following steps:

  1. Type /poll new "The name of your poll" "A first choice" "A second choice"
    In this line, "new" is optional. You obtain the following message: Screenshot of Open Agora "new" command  in Slack
  2. Then, you may display your poll for everyone in the channel by hitting the Publish button, or by typing: /poll publish
    It produces the following message: Screenshot of Open Agora "publish" command in Slack This message is the center of interaction with your poll: you may create your vote and consult the result by clicking on relevant buttons in this message.
  3. Optionally, anyone in the channel may add other choices at any time by typing
    /poll add Another choice, "A choice, with a comma", Yet another choice
    (choices separated by commas, you may do this several times)
  4. Optionally, you (only the creator) may remove choices by typing /poll remove 3 (here, 3 is the number of the removed choice).
Question 2: How do I vote? Can I change my vote? Top

In order to vote, simply hit the Vote! button in the published post, or type /poll vote: Screenshot of Open Agora "publish" command in Slack (vote button highlighted)

It opens a new "voting" message in Slack, similar to this one: Screenshot of Open Agora "vote" message in Slack (1) By clicking on "choices" buttons you select Rank 1 choices (the choices you prefer).

Once you have selected at least one choice you may select choices for other ranks using the + Add rank button: Screenshot of Open Agora "vote" message in Slack (2) This button creates new voting ranks.
Note: since ranks with no selected choices cannot exist (having choices at rank 1 and choices at rank 3 would be the same as having choices at ranks 1 and 2), if at some point you remove all the choices of a given rank, the application will automatically "compact" your ranks.

Once you have selected choices at several ranks, you may browse between ranks and update your vote using direct buttons: Screenshot of Open Agora "vote" message in Slack (3)

Question 3: Is it possible to see the result during the vote? Top

Yes! You simply need to hit the Result button in the published message, or to type /poll result: Screenshot of Open Agora "publish" command in Slack (result button highlighted) It will display a new message containing the current result of the poll: Screenshot of Open Agora "result" command  in Slack, Condorcet

In the above picture, Condorcet provides choices ranked from the most consensual to the least. This list takes into account all the ranks in the vote of each voter.
(for more details, see the FAQ on Condorcet voting system)

If in this message you hit the Majority button (or type /poll result -majority), you get the following display: Screenshot of Open Agora "result" command  in Slack, majority This vote count only presents the sum of the choices at first rank of each voters. When voters cast votes with more than one rank, Condorcet result is more accurate (see below). In our example, three choices have equal score in majority but Condorcet tells us that Choice 2 is the most favorable with 60 % approbation versus all other choices.

Clicking the Pie button (or typing /poll result -majority -pie) leads to: Screenshot of Open Agora "result" command  in Slack, majority

Whenever the poll is non-anonymous, use the Voters button (or type /poll voters -l) to get the detailed votes of each voter: Screenshot of Open Agora "result" command  in Slack (including the choices of each voter)

Whenever the poll is non-anonymous, you may also use the Details button (or type /poll result -l) to get the votes cast for each choice: Screenshot of Open Agora "result" command  in Slack (including the votes for each choice)

Question 4: Can we see who specifically voted for each choice? Top

Use the Voters button in the result message, or type /poll voters -l: Screenshot of Open Agora "result" command  in Slack, Condorcet It produces this message: Screenshot of Open Agora "result" command  in Slack (including the choices of each voter)

Click the Details button (or type /poll result -l) to get the votes cast for each choice: Screenshot of Open Agora "result" command  in Slack (including the votes for each choice)

Question 5: Is it possible to allow multiple polls in a (private) channel? Top

Currently, it is not possible. We believe that it would induce too much complexity for our users. However, users may always create new channels in order to consider several polls.

Question 6: What does "Condorcet" mean? Top

Voters may cast several votes ranked by preference (the first ranks being used for the preferred choices). The Condorcet method is an approach that takes into account every voter's preferences.

When they differ, the Condorcet winner is a better choice than the simple majority.
For example, consider a poll with 3 choices A, B and C. Assume that 5 voters rank A before B before C; 7 voters C before B before A; 4 voters B before A before C. Obviously the majority winner is C, with 7 votes (vs A, 5 votes and B, 4 votes). The Condorcet winner is B for the following reason:

  • B is before A 11 times (7 CBA and 4 BAC), A is before B 5 times (5 ABC), so B is better than A.
  • B is before C 9 times (5 ABC and 4 BAC), C is before B 7 times (7 CBA), so B is better than C.

The Condorcet method is, also, very efficient to break equality for a small group of voters (and when it does not, it really means that each solution is equally good for the voters). For example, the screenshots in this question underline this. The majority yields three choices with equal score, however, for Condorcet, choice 2 is the best choice.

In order to find the Condorcet winner, we use Schulze's method. This method helps breaking equality in many cases.

For a deeper introduction to Condorcet voting system take a look at our blog post on this topic.

Question 7: What is the meaning of the scores displayed with Condorcet result? Top

Consider the following result: Screenshot of Open Agora "result" command  in Slack, Condorcet

Choice 2 is the Condorcet winner, it means that it is better than any other choice for voters. Furthermore, it has a minimal satisfaction rate of 60 %: this means that it gets at least 60 % of victory versus any other choice.

Choice 3 and Choice 4 are second Condorcet winners, it means that they are better than all other choices except choice 2. Furthermore, they are preferred over these other choices (excluding choice 2) at least 59 % of the time.

Choice 1 and Choice 6 are third Condorcet winners, they are better than the last remaining choice (5). Furthermore, they obtain at least 58 % of victory versus choice 5.

Choice 5 it is the worst possible choice for voters, it has a score of 0.

Important note: these scores reflect "approval" of a given choice with respect to choices with a worst ranking. They do not add up to 100. It is deliberate.

Question 8: Can we restrict /poll command to a group of users? Top

Yes, in order to do this you have to create a private channel where you will hold "sensitive" restricted polls.

Basic Commands

Command Description
/poll [new] poll_name [choice1 ...] Creates a new poll (1 active poll max. per channel), described by poll_name with some initial choices. You may use double quotes (") in order to bound the poll name or choices.
Example:
/poll "What is you favorite color?" blue "light green" "RGB(255,0,0)"
/poll add choice1 [, choice2, ...] Adds new choices for voters (can be called multiple times) on the active poll. You may use double quotes (") in order to bound choices (in particular if they contain commas).
/poll publish [result] Publishes the list of available choices in the poll channel. This makes the poll visible to all users inside the channel.
If called with the result parameter, publishes the current poll result to the channel.
/poll show Private display of the available choices for the current poll, with clickable buttons. It has the same effect as clicking on the Vote button of the publish message.
/poll vote num1 ..., num2 num3 ... Sends a new vote for some choices, in decreasing order of preference. Users are allowed to re-vote, thus replacing their previous vote (more details in the FAQ).
If called without arguments, shows the current vote, and clickable buttons to update it, just like /poll show.
/poll result [-majority [-pie]] [-l/-v] [publish] Private display of the current results for the current poll, according to the available votes.
By default, Condorcet results are displayed, "-majority" toggles majority display. In this case, a bar chart graph is displayed, which can be replaced by a pie chart using option "-pie" additionnally.
Use the "publish" parameter to publish results globally to the channel. If the poll is non-anonymous, parameters "-l/-v" also display the votes of each voter.
Note: the resulting message contains buttons that enable easy navigation between each of these options.
/poll close [-l/-v] [-silent] Closes the poll: votes can not be recorded anymore, final result is displayed.
If the poll is non-anonymous and a parameter -l/-v has been used, it also displays the votes of each voter.
Option -silent closes a poll without publishing it to the whole channel.
/poll help command Provides a detailed help on a given command.
/poll help [-a] Lists basic commands. Option -a lists advanced commands.

Advanced Commands

Command Description
/poll create poll_name Deprecated, use /poll new ... instead.
Creates a new poll (1 active poll max. per channel), described by poll_name, without choices.
/poll remove num1 [num2 ...] Removes choices with index num1 num2 ... (and associated votes). Only for the creator of the poll.
/poll voters [-l] Lists the users who have already cast a vote for the active poll.
Option -l may be used for vertical ("list") display; when the poll is non-anonymous, it also displays the choices of each voter.
/poll anon[ymous] Turns the poll into an anonymous poll: nobody (not even the poll creator) can see who voted what. Only the poll creator can use this command, and it cannot be reverted.
/poll open Reopens the closed poll (before any other poll has been created in the channel).
/poll delete Permanently deletes a closed poll and the associated results.
/poll feedback feedback text Sends feedback to the Open Agora team: bugs, suggestions, congratulations, anything is welcome!