Talking Tech Friday – Doodle

This week’s application was another one inspired by a Lifehacker column – I really could use some more suggestions!

Today I’m going to talk about Doodle.

What is it?

Doodle is a simple polling application that helps you coordinate scheduling or events with others. You create a poll, forward the link to the appropriate people and they respond by voting for their preferences.

How does it work?

Doodle is much simpler than most of the web apps I’ve reviewed here. You don’t even need to create any kind of user name or profile.

The 2 basic types of polls are scheduling an event, or making a choice. In order to set up a poll, just click on “Create Poll.” You provide some information: a name of your poll, an optional description, and your name. If you’d like to receive an email whenever someone responds to your poll, you can provide your email address.

If scheduling an event, the next step is to select possible dates on the provided calendar – it automatically shows the current month. Then you fill in possible times. You can add as many dates and times as you like.

When you’re finished, you’re given a url to your poll – here’s my test event poll: http://www.doodle.ch/492fye6dua3277g3 so you can see for yourself how it works – you’ll be able to respond to what day you’d like to have lunch after a Tech Talk meeting!  (This is only a test – unless you really want to have lunch).

Here’s an options poll, offering different options for future Talking Tech Friday columns: http://www.doodle.ch/5beh48n9g6d6axcd.  If there’s enough feedback by next Friday, I’ll really use the information!

You are also given a different url for administrative purposes, allowing you to edit or delete your poll.  Users, or creators, can subscribe to a poll’s RSS feed, or embed the poll on a website (though, of course, not into WordPress), as well as export event polls into a iCalendar file (.ics).  Poll administrators can also export poll details into Excel using the administrative link.

Doodle for Power Users offers two more options: scheduling an event over multiple time zones and a “Yes, no, if necessary” poll.

Because Doodle is so simple and doesn’t request much personal information (really, any – I didn’t include my email for either of my polls), it’s pretty secure.  Polls are automatically deleted after 30 days from the last activity, or you can go in and delete your own polls whenever you want.

Possible Library Uses

I can really see several library uses for Doodle.  It’s so easy to use and quick to set up, it’s ideal for polling attendees for both internal and external use.  You could use it to look for meeting times for colleagues and co-workers, schedule possible times for library programs, look for quick opinions about different program offerings, etc.  The options poll in particular is very open, it could be used for any multiple choice question.  Users can leave comments on polls as well, so that offers further functionality – a real discussion about offered options can take place. Any other suggestions or ideas?

Reviews

Lifehacker 

Make Use Of

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~ by Anali on March 7, 2008.