Time Magazine names Wisconsin-based Pollster.com one of the 50 Best Websites of 2009.

The advantage of Pollster.com, according to website co-founder Charles Franklin, is that it fills a “new media niche” with very specific, unbiased political polling data, which he says, had never been done by traditional media.

“To aggregate other people’s polls and try to put all the polling in perspective, that’s what Pollster does, as opposed to simply having our own poll which we report but ignore everyone else’s.”

Pollster.com had won a national prize for innovation in public opinion polling, was recognized as a big idea of 2008 by New York Times Magazine and just this week picked as one of Time Magazine’s 50 best overall websites, along side the likes of Google, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, YouTube, Amazon, and Wikipedia.

The UW-Madison political science professor says his site is unique in helping the visitor to understand the polls with the help of graphics, figures and pictures.

“The most important things are, we’re nonpartisan and we treat all political views equally in our analysis. And the other is, we’re very visually oriented. You can see the data, you can see what’s happening, you can see which polls are typical and which polls are different from everybody else.”

Franklin says, after a lot of planning, natural curiosity and a dose of serendipity, Pollster.com launched in 2006.

With the help of co-founder Mark Blumenthal, Pollster immediately established itself with political junkies and news media nationwide. Franklin says the site had over 100,000 unique visitors in its first month of operation, and quickly escalated from there, with over 400,000 visitors on election day 2006. The audience grew to over 1-million visitors per month during the 2008 election campaign, to over 4 million on election day alone.

Next week Pollster.com celebrates its 3rd year anniversary.

Jackie Johnson report (2:04)

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