November 14, 2007

Initial Glitches With Metro Vancouver Survey Fixed

I sent the following email to Metro Vancouver tonight. They're doing good work, and I don't want to criticize, but I've been having some trouble with their public response channels so I'm making this public on my blog:

Hi, I attended the public forum in Burnaby tonight, and really enjoyed it. It was great to meet many concerned citizens and speak with Metro Vancouver staff.

I have a question about the questionnaire: Have you considered providing the option of an online survey using an inexpensive service such as Survey Monkey? Or perhaps your IT staff could set up an internal, free, open source survey application on your own servers.

I would much prefer to be able to select responses and type my answers into an online web application. I will fill out the questionnaire by hand and fax it in, but it would save me time, and it would save you collation, data analysis, and transcription time (and costs), if the questionnaire was available online, and all of the results went straight into a database.

I happen to have a fax machine because I work from home, but other people will have to find an envelope and postage. I also note that on your website, you ask the public to print out and mail in the questionnaire. If I may be so bold, that is so late 20th century :-). And so wasteful of resources: paper, envelopes, ink, and moving the snail-mail around with internal-combustion engines...

The lower the barriers to access, the more responses you are likely to get. A survey a click away would make my day!

Update: my email message to the address on the paper survey bounced...

Update 2: I finally noticed that the paper survey says I can fill out the survey online here -- but I cannot see where....

Update 3 on Thursday, Nov. 15: The survey is now online! Thanks!

Posted by Paul at November 14, 2007 10:27 PM