More tools to research

What have you used? What can you offer feedback on?

From Mark Lewis

We should start this project with a direct survey of our audience. Google Docs has a handy form that would work well for our purposes. We can send it out as an email link as well as embedding it on a site page. After a week or two run, we can collate our results into numerical and text data sets.

Throughout this period we should also be using social to promote a UGC “blitz” for the week we publish the experimental edition. This could include everything from general appeals to distribution of assignments (ex. We need a perfect image of the new courthouse. Who can help?)

We may also want to start basic blogs or forums where readers can rant for or against us. Our worst customer is our best friend. We could simply call it “feedback.”

Some good free tools:

Google maps — we’ve all used them but that doesn’t lessen their greatness

http://www.jaycut.com — free online video editor (just got out of beta…again)

http://www.swivel.com — free graphics and spreadsheets

http://www.aardvark.com — shows promise for crowd-sourcing

http://www.photopeach.com — free audio slideshows; very similar to Soundslides

http://www.flickr.com — photo galleries with social functionality; journalists tend to shy away because of ownership limitation, but it’s still a valid tool. Great example: http://www.flickr.com/groups/consumerist

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