You’re writing a story about coffee consumption in Chapel Hill. Gather information about six different drink choices that folks in Chapel Hill can order and create a spreadsheet.
Be sure to record the essential information — what is the size, how much does it cost, what is the name of the store that sells it. What other kind of questions would you create for a story highlighting all the different coffee drink choices in your town? Begin your questions with who, what, when, where, why, or how? Create a spreadsheet in Google Docs that can capture the answers to those questions. Post the URL of your spreadsheet to your blog.
Starting with the spreadsheet you just created, now it’s time to think about how to get the crowd involved in helping you gather the information you need to populate the spreadsheet. For this exercises you’ll create a Google Form that would allow people to upload their own responses to your questions. The key to creating the Web form is to make sure that you provide a clear call-to-action for your audience, as well as specific instructions on the way you’d like them to submit information to the form. Once you’ve created the form, publish it, post the link to your blog.
Recruit six people — you don’t have to know them — to fill out your form and let’s see what we get.