Project Play logo

Week 4: Semester 1

Feedback Thingies

This week, you’ll learn about how to get feedback from your community, an important part of Library 2.0.

You’ll learn:

  • Why it’s important to get feedback from your community
  • How to use blog comments to get feedback
  • How to get feedback using an online survey tool called SurveyMonkey

Listen to this week’s podcast and read the content below. If you have questions about anything along the way, be sure to contact us. We’re happy to help! Listen to the podcast by clicking on the play button below or read the Project Play Week 4 podcast transcript (pdf).

Comments on blogs

One way to get feedback is to allow (and encourage!) comments on your blog.

I’d like you to read David Lee King’s blog posting “Inviting Participation, Part 4: Specific Tools Blogs

(This is part 4 of a series, so he’ll mention things from earlier posts…but don’t worry about it. You should be able to follow what he’s saying without reading the earlier posts.)

So, actively asking people to participate is a great way to start a conversation on a blog.

Some other tips:

  • Write in a conversational way: Try to write like you’re talking with someone. Avoid being stilted or stuffy in your tone. It’ll keep people from responding.
  • Respond to people’s comments: If you want your blog to be a conversation, you need to keep talking! If someone comments on your blog, make an effort to respond to them if the comment warrants response.

You can practice these “inviting conversation” skills in your Project Play blog (in fact, that will be one of your assignments this week!)

By default, your Project Play blog allows for comments, but only if people have signed into Blogger. If you’d like to encourage easier participation, you can change it to allow anyone to comment.

You can also set the comments to be moderated, meaning that comments will only appear on your blog if you approve them. Moderating is a way to stop any inappropriate or spam comments, so I’d encourage you to consider turning on comment moderation.

Here are step-by-step instructions for changing your blog comment settings:

  1. Sign into Blogger.
  2. In the “Manage Your Blogs” area, click “Settings”.
  3. Click the “Comments” link in the bar below the tabs.
  4. Change the “Who can comment?” question to allow everyone to comment, if you’d like.
  5. Change “Enable comment moderation?” to “Yes” if you’d like to moderate comments.Provide an email address if you’d like to receive an email when there is a comment to moderate. Otherwise, you can go into Blogger and moderate comments there.You can find more details about comment moderation here: “How do I moderate comments on my blog?”
  6. Click “Save Settings”

Online surveys

If you want to get more organized and specific feedback, using an online survey could be the ticket. It’s a great way to get feedback on all sorts of topics – customer satisfaction, collection development priorities, programming ideas, etc. etc. etc.

Keep in mind, though, that how you advertise surveys really makes a difference in who responds. If you only put bookmarks in the library, guess what? You’ll only get library users to respond! If you put an ad in the local paper, you’ll get a wider audience. If you only have the survey online, guess what? You’ll only get people who use a computer! You may want to create a print copy of your survey, too.

SurveyMonkey is a great tool for making surveys. It’s easy to use, and it’s free for small surveys (10 questions or less and less than 100 responses). If you want to do a bigger survey, it’s only $19.95 per month, and you aren’t locked into any longer than a month. The paid version also allows you to print a PDF version of your survey, which is an easy way to have paper copies available.

To get started with SurveyMonkey, check out their tutorials. You will need to create an account, but you only need to provide a username, password, and email.


Part 1: If you haven’t already, change your blogger settings if you’d like to allow anyone to comment or to moderate comments. (See the step-by-step instructions in the reading above).

Part 2: Post to your blog about this week’s topic. Some ideas: How could you use these feedback thingies for your library? What would you like to learn about them? What barriers do you see to doing this?

End your post with an active invitation for other Project Play participants to comment on your posting.

Part 3: Check out some of the other participant’s blogs. Comment on at least 2 posts from 2 separate blogs.

Bonus Assignment:

Use SurveyMonkey to create an online suggestion box. Ask for at least the suggester’s name and email address (and make them optional) and the suggestion (and make that mandatory). You can get started using SurveyMonkey’s “tutorials”. Link to your survey from your blog.

In case you want to try this, but don’t have the time to review the tutorials, or if you get stuck, there are Step-by-Step instructions at the end of this lesson!

Extras: The Automatic Flatterer and Sloganizer

You’ve made it through 4 weeks! You deserve some praise!
The Automatic Flatterer can give you that, and all you have to do is enter your name! (You will have to let it praise you a few times to get out of the site….don’t be alarmed… deserve it!)

…and after all that praise, I bet you’re feeling like you can take on the world! Use the Sloganizer to find the perfect slogan whatever your cause. Enter whatever you’d like and hit “Sloganize!”—It’ll do the rest!

Step-by-step instructions for creating an online suggestion box with SurveyMonkeyStep 1: Create an account with SurveyMonkey
a. Click “Join Now for Free!”
b. Complete the form and submit it.Step 2: Create a new survey
a. Click on “Create Survey”
b. Enter a title for the survey, and click “Create Survey”Step 3: Add questions
a. Click “Add Question Here” button
b. Choose your question type from the pull-down (Your name and email questions should be “Single Textbox”. Your suggestion question should be “Comment/Essay Box”.)
c. Enter the Question Text (or what you want them to see next to the box).
d. Check “Require Answer to Question” if you want the question to be required.
e. Click “Save Changes”
f. Repeat for all questions.

Step 4: Get the link for collecting responses
a. Click the “collect responses” tab at the top of the survey.
b. Since you want a link for your webpage, don’t worry about changing anything on the first screen.
c. Click “Next Step”
d. Copy the link in the “Sending Survey Link in an Email” section. (It might seem like you should take the “Placing Survey Link on a Webpage” link, but your blog doesn’t need all the extra code in that part.)
(Tip: You can use CTRL+C to copy the link)
e. The top of this page urges you to review the collector’s setting and restrictions before sending out the link. Feel free to take a look at these. If you were doing this for real, you would want to check these setting before sending out the survey. For playing, the defaults are fine.

Step 5: Put the link on your blog
a. While editing a post, highlight the word or words you’d like to be the link.
b. Click the link button (it’s between the font color and the left-align buttons right above where you are typing).
c. You’ll be asked to enter the URL. Paste the survey link here. (Tip: You can use CTRL+V to paste in this box)

Step 6: Check out your results
SurveyMonkey doesn’t send you an email when people complete a survey. You have to go to their site to see responses. To see them, just click “Analyze Results” while in your survey.

If you’d like to see a completed example, here’s my Online suggestion box example

Tags: Automatic Flatterer, comments, feedback, Sloganizer, suggestion box, SurveyMonkey, surveys

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

12 Responses to “Week 4: Semester 1”

  1. I created a survey in SurveyMonkey, but the link they provide to get to the survey doesn’t appear to work. When you click on the link, you get the SurveyMonkey home page, not my survey. Did I miss a step? Thanks - JoAnn

  2. Stef Morrill Says:

    Hi JoAnn –

    Can you give me the link they gave you to try it out?


  3. Hi Stef,

    I have it on my blog [] in a new posting (and as a page element), but here it is Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks - JoAnn

  4. HI Joann,
    I had the same problem when I was setting mine up today. Did you take the survey yourself as a test? IF so you need to change the settings on surveymonkey to let two survey responses come from your computer. It is automatically set at just one. That solved the problem for me.

  5. Hi Katharine,

    Thank you! I am getting responses to my little survey so it must be working for others. I can’t find where in surveymonkey you can set the number of responses allowed from a given computer, but it apprears to be working. Thanks again.

  6. jan rademacher Says:

    I must have missed something, but I don’t know how to get to other blogs from this class. I think I did at one point, but the info has since left the building…help

  7. Jan - go to the Participants page (in the navigation in the right-hand column) and you’ll find a list of everyone’s blogs on that page. :)

  8. I attempted to leave comments on two blogs but keep getting a message that my password is incorrect. Has anyone else had this problem?

  9. Joy,
    My Survey Monkey survey just says “page not found”
    Here is the URL I have on my blog:
    q2b6otlhjyu9vnnguj0jra_3d_3d href=”>click here to take survey

  10. Hi Marie -

    It looks like a bit of code got lost when it was copied & pasted into a New Page Element in your Blogger account. The full snippet should look something like this: Ethel Everhard Memorial Library.

    If you have any trouble with it, let me know & I’ll be happy to do a VNC session with you to show you how to get the link to your survey working.


  11. Hi Marie -

    Oops, I didn’t realize my HTML code would get translated into a link, so let me see if this example will come through okay; you’ll just need to eliminate all the spaces to make it work: Ethel Everhard Memorial Library


  12. Hi Marie -

    Well darn it, that didn’t work either! I’ll email the HTML to you instead. :-)


Leave a Reply