The First Ever MBN Reader Survey

Posted: February 18, 2008 Comments

Google tends to do some fairly awesome things from time to time, and in my opinion, they’ve done it again with a recent addition to Google Docs. You’re now able to create a spreadsheet, and attach a form for data collection. You’re then able to provide a link to your newly created form, and have users provide your data.

Google Docs Logo

I’d really appreciate it if you’d take a few minutes to fill out a quick survey regarding your experience with Monday By Noon. I’d like to use the data to assist me in determining the next steps for this website and the path it is going to take. I’d really like to get some solid feedback regarding your personal opinion of the content which is posted, and what you’d like to see both more and less of in the coming months.

I’d like to thank you in advance if you plan on filling out the survey. Reader participation on this site doesn’t seem to coincide with some of the analytics, so my primary goal as of now is to try and change that up a bit. The MBN Reader Survey is my official starting point. While I don’t expect everyone to fill it out, FeedBurner tells me I’ve got anywhere from 2,100 – 2,300 subscribers, so I’d hope to reach at least a 50% conversion rate regarding the survey. It should only take a minute, and it can be your good deed for the day.

Some notes on the technical details

It should come as no surprise that Google has opted to use less-than-wonderful markup to generate these forms. While I was pleasantly surprised to see the use of unordered lists as opposed to a big fat table nest, there are a number of things which have been omitted.

For instance, there isn’t a single label in sight. The same goes for any fieldset or legend. Elements such as these should really be included without question. I’m not sure why Google has opted otherwise in this case.

There are also a number of empty span elements strewn about the form if you’ve opted not to fill in any help text for a form question. I’m not sure why these empty elements were simply left out of the final product. I realize that these observations are quite detailed and maybe overboard in some respect, but the shortcomings of this implementation seem to be quite easy to overcome.

The overall experience

Google has again done something great with this feature, and I think it could be extremely beneficial to many people wanting to collect information from a range of people. Many times, unless you’re a Web developer, you’re not exactly sure where to get started. Google Docs has provided a quick, easy, and free way to get things done. I hope to see the feature catch on.

Where to find results

As of now, I’ll plan on keeping submissions open for at least a week. On the other hand, if submissions completely die out by tomorrow afternoon, I’ll start taking a look at the results right away. I’m not sure if I’m going to simply append the results to this post, or create something new entirely, which would you prefer (if anything)?

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