Alternatives to Google Moderator

A little while ago I posted a query on twitter:

If you haven’t seen Google Moderator, it is a fantastic system that you can use to gather and vote on questions before (or during) a meeting or class. Unfortunately, using this US-based app for an upcoming meeting will likely land me in crap, so I set out trying to find alternatives.

There are definitely a number of similarly hosted alternatives; Uservoice, GetSatisfaction, while not identical, can facilitate this sort of thing, as could Ideascale and YouSuggest. Problem is, they run afoul of the same set of alleged privacy bugaboos that means I can’t use Google Moderator (and frankly none of them are quite so sweet as it). (N.B. I say “alleged” because the irony is that the meeting I want to elicit questions for is precisely on this question of BC institutions abilities to use 3rd PArty US-based software!)

So I kept looking for Open Source or at least locally-hostable options and found the following ones too:

None of these are perfect replacements for what Google Moderator does – the ones focused on customer feedback/software development tend to be overly busy and not clearly dedicated to the issue of crowdsourcing questions to be answered live during a meeting/class. So I will keep looking. But I thought I would share what I found in case it was helpful. If you know of a good alternative please let me know! – SWL

Alternatives to Google Moderator

8 thoughts on “Alternatives to Google Moderator

  1. Yeah, that’s in fact what I did at first, but someone internal noticed and flagged it as a potential issue. Hence my quest! But I’m all for making the point dramatically πŸ˜‰


  2. Had a few questions roll in recently with regards to a replacement for clickers… instructors wanted a plugin for WP that could do question/responses. I think Clint’s idea is good use a vote up down on a post might for simple questions or potentially attach a poll to each post for complex questions.


  3. Malcolm Brown says:

    Scott, I’d be interested to know more about the issue you allude to. What privacy “bugaboo” do you see with Google Moderator?


  4. Malcolm, the issue is for Canadian schools, specifically those in BC – we have Privacy Legislation in place that (ostensibly) makes it illegal for a public institution to require its users to place their data on a server where it may be accessed by unauthorized people, and due to the US Patriot Act, there is the possibility that any data stored on a US server can be accessed by foreign government agents without the knowledge or consent of any Canadian official. While this possibility seems extremely remote, to date it has blocked a number attempts by BC schools to use US-based Web 2.0 servers. It is such a serious (and in my mind unclear) issue that my organization, BCcampus, is organizing a full day meeting of BC schools and government officials on June 22 to examine and clarify this issue further. I will definitely be posting the follow up to that meeting here.


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