Google’s killer crowdsourcing tool

I just created a questionnaire asking what you would kill in a newspaper’s budget if you had to cut costs. Please do go fill it out now.

This is made possible by the new Google Forms, which enables you to create web or email forms people can fill out, with the results pouring into a spreadsheet. This is incredible for surveys and other projects in which you want to gather a lot of data — like WNYC’s Are You Being Gouged project. It’s so simple but so powerful.

(Inspired by Steve Rubel)

  • Interesting. Missing one big feature, though.

    No comments.

  • Dwight,
    My fault.
    I also should have set it up with radio buttons so I could compile the data. I was just doing a two-minute demo.

  • Brian

    Haha, those who are advocating the elimination of copy editors probably haven’t spent much time in a newsroom. Or read raw copy.

    Interesting responses, though.

  • Critics are in trouble. Makes sense.

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  • It’s hard to divorce one’s personal responses (essentially “what I read”) from the sections I know attract advertisers.

    For example, I couldn’t care less about the lifestyle section, but I really like the fact that advertisements in those sections fund investigative, national or political journalism.

  • There are other free or cheap questionnaire sites out there, like, which has more features. I have no affiliation; I just like to support the little guys. :)

    • Randa

      I find I have the same draw to supporting the ‘little guys’. Going to try the survey though. Auto fill into a spread sheet has definite merit.

  • jbw

    You have it all wrong. I would keep all those sections and drop all those sections. I would drop the national and international parts and keep the local parts. I want local reporting in my local paper, local sports, local business, local entertainment, editorials and opinion pieces about local issues. The national and international stuff should go, it’s done better online.

  • I think the forms app is a great idea, but it doesn’t yet work as well as advertised. The form within an e-mail doesn’t always work, and it’s inconsistent with some browsers and operating systems. I can’t wait to use it, though.

  • I just wrote up a screed about opinion columnists being a now-unnecessary vestige of historical circumstance. No opinion columnist is doing anything the blogosphere isn’t doing better. See

    One of the sections that annoys me the most in the Boston Globe is the car reviews. Not only does the reviewer say very little of local relevance, but he comes off as kind of a smug, I-have-the-best-job-in-the-world attitude that reflects the reality that all he’s doing is promoting the dealer advertisements.

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  • Great new forms makes it much easier.