Surveys Via Google Spreadsheets

Google snuck another very cool feature into their Spreadsheets application: Surveys. Thanks, Jeremy Brown, for the tip!

I thought I would play around with it today.

Here's what I've learned:

1. It's pretty easy to build a simple survey. Create a new spreadsheet in Google Docs, click the Share tab, invite people to fill out a form.

2. You're then taken to a new window that wherein you will create your survey questions.

3. Once you've entered in your questions, you can then proceed to a page that shows both a preview of your survey and a way to invite others to participate in your survey.

4. As surveys come in, the answers are added in real time to your spreadsheet.

All in all, pretty cool stuff. Except for a few little bugs.

  • Don't plan on adding questions after you've begun a survey. Google doesn't know how to add your new questions very well.
  • The same goes for re-ordering your questions. Once you begin the survey, leave it all alone.
  • We also noticed a frustrating bug with the chat feature (while viewing the spreadsheet). Once the text reaches the bottom, it drops out the input window. Ugh. Closing the spreadsheet and opening it again fixes the problem.
If you're interested in the survey itself:
  • You may click here to take it.
  • You may click here to view the results in real time.
  • I also figured out how to make the spreadsheet embeddable. In the Publish tab, there's an link for "More Publishing Options". One of file format options is "HTML to embed in a webpage". I used that code to embed the spreadsheet below. Imagine the possibilities.

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