New for the reporter’s tool belt

Google FormsGee, where I have been, asleep or something?

A Steve Rubel twitter drove me to his Web site where he’s trying out a new Google Docs feature that allows users to create Web forms and collect the data in a Google Doc spreadsheet. Anybody can create them.

The feature apparently went live on the sixth.

I tried one and the only problem I noticed is that web-based version of Outlook (OWA) wouldn’t write the data when the form is sent in an email, but otherwise it worked great. The form can be sent in an email or just the link to the form.

This looks to be a great tool for journalists. Newsrooms that want to quickly do a survey and collect data can without programming help. No need for a Web monkey to create a form and a database. Just do it yourself. If you can fill out a form, you can create these Web forms.

You start by creating a Google Docs spreadsheet and click the “share” tab. Then under the “invite people” heading, choose “to fill out a form.”

Couldn’t be simpler. Google continues to make Docs useful. For me, it’s more than beginning to have the features that I want from MS Office and MORE without the stuff I’ve never used anyway.

Seems a crime we used to have spend all that money on MS Office licenses for what, the right to upgrade to next year’s version? Glad those days are over.