These Guys Don't Use Chads:
Planet Project™ Continues!
From Sierra Leone to the Arctic Circle
Pollsters Adopt Local Customs to Let
Millions Worldwide Instantly Share and Compare
Opinions in the Planet ProjectPoll

Note from Planet Project:

Dear Planet Project participant,

Planet Project has made history by becoming the largest poll ever conducted via the Internet. People from over 231 countries took the poll in eight languages and the Planet Project has received tremendous worldwide media attention.

We added a new poll dealing with the US Election controversy and within minutes this set of questions soared to the top of the list (beating 'Sleep' and 'Dating and Sex' which had been neck and neck for most popular polls).

The Planet Project was originally scheduled to be only a four day event but as we've watched the number of participants growing hour by hour we've decided to keep the poll open for several additional weeks to enable more people around the world to have their opinions counted.

With the hope that you'll come back and take additional polls we've also added some cool new features to the site that will introduce each of the modules with mini-movies. Because of the new features, when you come back to the Planet Project site you will need to re-register to take new polls.

Please invite your friends and family to help us continue making Internet history by participating in !

SANTA CLARA, Calif. Oct. 30, 2000 – Thousands of Planet Pollsters are departing for the far-flung reaches of the earth to conduct the world’s largest interactive Internet-based poll, called the Planet Project™ ( Rick Smolan, director of the Planet Project poll and creator of the Day in the Life photography series, today announced many of the remote locations and the organizations that are providing volunteer Planet Pollsters.

The Planet Project poll, which will take place November 15 to 18, will include not only the opinions of people connected to the Internet but also the responses of people without Internet access - from Inuits living north of the Arctic Circle to Huli Wigmen in Papua New Guinea. Millions of people are expected to participate in the poll, with topics including religion, sex, crime, health, dreams and education.

The Planet Pollsters, equipped with laptops, handheld computing devices, acoustic modems, wireless modems and portable transmitters will be conducting the poll in more than 115 countries.  From homeless shelters in Los Angeles to Rwandan refugee camps, the Planet Project poll is being conducted in person by these pollsters in an effort to bridge the “digital divide.”

“This is the most ambitious effort ever undertaken to allow people around the world to share their hopes, beliefs and concerns with one another, offering us a glimpse of what it’s like to be a human being at the beginning of the new century,” Smolan said. “Making this enormous undertaking possible required nearly two years of technical planning and cross-cultural collaboration.”

Polling from Pole to Pole
Locations where in-the-field polling will take place include McMurdo Station, Antarctica, where poll taking must be coordinated with the station’s daily satellite connection to ensure participants’ answers are transmitted.

“Those of us living in Antarctica are extremely isolated. The Planet Project poll gives us an opportunity to feel connected to the world on issues that affect our lives,” explained Valerie Carroll from McMurdo Station.

At the other end of the earth, Inuits living in the community of Inuvik, north of the Arctic Circle, will send their answers over the Internet to the Planet Project’s Mission Control Center in Santa Clara, Calif.

War Refugees to Participate
"The Planet Project will also shed light on what is on the minds of those who face war and conflict in their daily lives," Smolan said. Farah Shafi Kamal, a pollster from the International Education and Resources Network (I*EARN) organization will poll Afghani refugees in Pakistan. Andrew Greene, a student coordinator from I*EARN, will poll refugees and civil servants displaced by civil war in Sierra Leone. I*EARN is a non-profit educational telecommunications network serving educators and students, and is one of the many organizations supplying pollsters for the project.

Elizabeth Biblekaj from the non-profit organization Women for Women will poll displaced Albanians living in Prishtina, Kosovo. Volunteers from Afrique Enjeux, an organization working for sustainable economic and social development in Africa, will be polling Rwandan refugees displaced during the war.

Nepalese Participate Using Solar-Powered Lab
In many locations, polling will take place in communities just beginning to receive access to computing technology. In Dalanzadgad, Mongolia, pollsters will survey the remote Gobi people, who have recently opened a Community Information Center to connect their town of a few thousand to the rest of the world. In Costa Rica, polling will take place with residents of rural villages who have just recently received solar-powered computer labs and satellite connections as part of the Lincos project. Lincos is a service organization that provides rural populations with communications equipment.

Pollsters Adopt Local Dress and Customs
As part of the Planet Project technical infrastructure testing, some pollsters have already visited some remote locations. In many cases, to conduct the global poll across cultural divides, pollsters must to adopt local customs and explain foreign concepts taken for granted elsewhere in the world.

Vera Lentz, who is polling Yagua Indians living on the Rio Momon in Peru, was requested by the Yagua Indians to wear native dress to make them feel comfortable answering the poll. To gather their responses on health, she also had to explain the concept of “stress” since the Yagua Indians have no such word with similar meaning in their vocabulary.

Roger Garwood, a freelance photographer polling aborigines, drove 500 miles into Australia’s Great Victorian Desert to reach the community of Ninga Miya. Garwood used a globe to help illustrate the scope and scale of this global project to the aborigines.

Other polling locations include:

  • Cabinda, Angola
  • Xingu Region, Brazil
  • Isla Meanguera, El Salvador
  • Dushanbe, Tajikistan
  • Tbilisi, Georgia
  • Yongin City, Korea
  • Skopje, Macedonia

The Planet Project poll will give people around the world their first opportunity to share views and opinions and then instantly compare their responses with people of other nations, ages and sex. Many employees from 3Com Corporation are also serving as Planet Pollsters. 3Com originally conceived of the global poll and has underwritten the project with support from many other leading technology companies including: Harris Interactive, Sun Microsystems, Akamai Technologies, Inc., Oracle Corporation, BEA, Mercury Interactive, Macromedia, Eucid, AT&T, LightPoint and Euphorion.

The poll will use technologies never combined before. The results will be analyzed by Harris Interactive, a leading global research company selected for its expertise in research methodology, techniques and analysis.

As part of the Planet Project poll, 3Com is also committing $1 million in 3Com Learning Solutions to connect students in schools around the world. One aspect of the project is to cast light on and make a contribution to solving the issue of the “digital divide” which, in some cases, is influenced by geography and in others by socioeconomic factors.

About 3Com Corporation
3Com (NASDAQ: COMS) simplifies how people connect to information and services through simple-to-use connectivity products and solutions for consumers and commercial organizations. The company also provides access infrastructures and IP services platforms for network service providers. For further information, visit or the press site at

About Against All Odds
Against All Odds Productions, co-founded by photojournalist Rick Smolan and Jennifer Erwitt, created the best-selling “Day in the Life” books as well as From Alice to Ocean, Passage to Vietnam, 24 Hours in Cyberspace, and One Digital Day. AAO specializes in the design and execution of large-scale global projects that combine compelling storytelling with state-of-the-art technology. AAO projects have been featured on the covers of Time, Newsweek, Fortune, and U.S. News & World Report eight times. In 1996, AAO produced 24 Hours in Cyberspace: Painting on the Walls of the Digital Cave, at the time the largest collaborative Internet project ever to take place. ABC and Ted Koppel devoted an entire episode of “Nightline” to document this event. Located in Sausalito, Calif., AAO can also be visited at

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3Com is a registered trademark and Planet Project is a trademark of 3Com Corporation. All other company and product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

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