Printing form responses in Google Drive is an awful experience.
That’s a strong statement, but it’s the truth. Forms in Google Drive are used for so much more than simply numerical responses, with some being used for surveys, sign ups, and other data that just doesn’t fit properly in a spreadsheet. Yet, that’s the only format Google presents this data in. While spreadsheets are fantastic for numerical data analysis, they do little for analysis of open-ended survey responses.
And this statement even makes the assumption that you’re attempting to read the data off a computer screen. Want to print out the data to keep a hard copy (or just to reduce eye strain from your computer’s back light)? Forget it! You can attempt to print the responses in landscape, but you’ll end up with an unorganized mess of papers which doesn’t really solve the original problem.
So, how can we get the data from the Form into a format that’s pleasant to read, and easy to print? We use a script!
The Google Apps scripting engine is amazing. I’ve previously used it to create rudimentary conditional formatting in Google Docs. Now, I wanted to play around with it more and generate single page(-ish) reports of individual responses to a Google Drive Form. I say “-ish”, because the script doesn’t guarantee a single page. The end length is simply based on the response length and number of questions.
So, how do you use this script? Just find it in the script gallery! Searching for “Report Generator” should find the script and allow you to install it easily! Once installed, a new menu — “Report Generation” will pop up on your spreadsheet. Simply select the row you want to generate a report for, and choose “Generate Single Report” (or generate all at once!). In a few moments, you’ll have a new folder in your document list, and a doc and/or PDF of the report.
The script has a few configurable options, which are for the most part self-explanatory. I’m working on getting some documentation up at the script’s help page, but that may take me some time. I also plan on adding more features to the script: the ability to change the folder name, change the resulting document names, change the formatting of the output, etc. I’ve never published a script to the gallery before, but I’m hoping I’ll just be able to update the script when I have new features ready.
So, if you’re looking for a good solution to printing out responses to Google Drive Forms, check out “Report Generator” in the script gallery!
As most people have probably heard by now, Google is a certified ISP. Google will be providing Kansas City residents with a 1 Gbps fiber-to-the-home connection for $70/month. Add TV to that service for an extra $50/month, and you get the most awesome Internet and TV bundle for $120/month. Can’t afford that? Google’s even offering a 5 Mbps connection for free (after a $300 installation fee). All of this makes Google possibly the best ISP in the nation.
But, as some have pointed out, Google isn’t doing so with a huge profit margin. It’s not that Google is losing money on this deal, per-say, but it doesn’t seem that they’re making enough profit to survive on this business alone. Luckily, this isn’t a problem for Google, as they have plenty of other revenue streams. But, it does lead to a question of Google’s true motivation in this move.
So, I offer here my theory: Google is becoming an ISP to put pressure on existing ISPs to upgrade their infrastructure to be able to provide cheaper and faster access. Currently, there isn’t an ISP I’m aware of that can come close to the deal Google’s making in Kansas City for residential customers. If Kansas Citians realize this, they’ll flock to Google, leaving bigger ISPs (Comcast? AT&T?) in the dust.
Of course, as businesses, Comcast and AT&T should do whatever they can to keep their customers. At first, they might just offer to lower prices for customers that threaten to leave, but that really can’t maintain them long-term. They will be forced to do something to remain competitive. Especially if Google starts to move into other areas.
Remaining competitive will mean upgrading networks. That’s just a simple fact. The current residential Internet infrastructure just can’t compete with what Google’s offering. And as long as things remain as they are, the major players have no motivation to put money into upgrading their networks. I believe we’re seeing essentially the same thing with cell phone providers in the US: there isn’t enough competition to force true network infrastructure upgrades.
So, here’s my predictions for the next 10-20 years:
- Major ISPs in Kansas City will slowly start to upgrade their infrastructure and offer lower prices in order to compete with Google’s offering.
- Google will start to move into/threaten to move into other areas.
- Large ISPs will (and this might be very wishful thinking) learn from the Kansas City situation and per-emptively start upgrading their infrastructure across the nation.
After all this happens, it doesn’t really matter if Google moves into other areas, or even continues to offer service. The end result is that they’ve accomplished their goal, and that’s good for all of us. If things proceed how I think they will, the US will see some major improvements in its residential Internet in the coming years.
Well, here it is — my actual post about Google+.
For those of you who still haven’t heard,
the bird is the word Google+ is Google’s new social networking experiment. Their response to Facebook, if you will. Google has more-or-less tried this before, with Buzz, but Buzz never really took off. At this point, it’s difficult for me to tell what Google’s strategy is for how Google+ and Buzz will coexist. Right now, they seem to be completely separate, yet strangely intertwined. I have a feeling that as Google+ develops, it will eventually completely replace Buzz.
I hope this is helpful.
Unfortunately, I’ve left out screenshots for now. I’ll try to get some in later this week to better illustrate what I’m talking about. Added screenshots July 4 @ 11:50 PM.
Now that you know what Google+ is, click through to read an overview of my view of the evolution of Google+, a review of the UI, and my general thoughts on things.
Alright… I’m a nerd. Here’s my obligatory Google+ post:
I just got an invite! Still playing around with it, so I’ll try to post more thoughts later.
For now, if you want an invite, post your e-mail address and I’ll see what I can do
A while ago, I was super excited to finally get a Google Wave invite. Today, I barely ever used the service. I just open it every now and then to see if anything’s happened. Generally, it hasn’t. But… Google Wave had so much potential! It was touted as a killer web application! What happened? Wave had so much momentum, but it seems to have crashed, and gone into one of those experiments that Google toyed around with, but no one really cares about anymore.
First off, let me say that whether Wave succeeds or not makes little difference for Google. Google is a company with enough resources to work on a major product, even if that product is a failure. Google wanted Wave to replace e-mail. This is where the whole “Federated Wave Servers” idea came from. In order for Wave to be the new standard, companies had to be able to run their own Wave servers — Google couldn’t control it. Besides that, Google already controls a good chunk of the e-mail market with GMail, so this was mostly a fun experiment for them.
But, still, it seems like something that should have succeed… or, at least, lasted a good amount of time. But, Wave has quickly lost momentum and died in everyone’s mind. The problem is that Google stopped innovating, and the Wave server never became very popular. I don’t believe there have been any feature additions to Wave since it launched, and I’m not sure there’s any good source other than Google Wave to get a Wave account.
Wave died because Google seems to have abandoned it. They released a product, and they appeared to have stopped working on it. Wave is something Google needed to not only push to corporations, but also continue innovating, and releasing new features, and this never happened. Google was unable to explain to potential customers why they need Wave, and this is where it failed. I think this is slightly unfortunate, but I’m not very surprised. While e-mail is antiquated, it still works, and it’s going to take a lot of push in order to move away from it. Google didn’t seem to have any major corporations backing Wave, which also contributed to the failure.
Who knows… maybe we’ll see Google attempt to revive Wave with some new features. Maybe it will come back for a couple months… But Google will have to work really hard to get the momentum and excitement about Wave going again.
I do, by the way, have 12 Wave invites. I suppose you can comment here or contact me if you want one. That’s a dangerous statement to say on the Internet. Although Wave has died, I have a feeling there are people who never got in on the game, and are still looking for invites, only to find a product that no one uses.