Here’s a time series chart of the first 1000 votes in our baby name poll. This shows vote totals over time using the exact same interface as the stock charts in Google Finance.
EDIT: Well, it turns out I made some pretty crazy formulas and broke my own charts. I’ll have an update soon to tell you how to make cool charts and how not to break them. The voting form works, though, so don’t be afraid to contribute.
EDIT: the chart is a little hard to read in my narrow blog format, here’s a link to the full-sized version.
The first jump on September 8th came from sending out the link to friends and family via email, through my blog, and over Facebook. The second jump, starting after 5 p.m. or so, came from an internal mailing list at work. From there the votes slowly accumulated until October 2nd, when this was featured in the internal news at work. The poll has been picked up on a couple of forums and websites now, which probably accounts for the rate increase on the 3rd.
How did I create the chart? On your spreadsheet, click the “Insert Gadget” link and choose Interactive Time Series Chart. You’ll need at least two columns, one with the timestamps from your form, and another with the vote count. Since every row represents a vote, I just used the ROW() function in the second column to get the count.
I’m still working on getting it to update automatically as new votes come in, and I’ll also see if I can get the graph to show lines for each name to see relative popularity over time.