From:         Patrick Douglas Crispen 
Subject:      Tourbus - 1 May 04 - Zoomerang


The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

Howdy, y'all, and greetings once again from deep behind the orange curtain in beautiful Irvine, California, where NURRbody in the club's gettin' tipsy.

TOURBUS is made possible by the kind support of our sponsors. Please take a moment to visit today's sponsors and thank them for keeping our little bus of Internet happiness on the road week after week.

On with the show...

Zoomerang Audience: Everyone

I'm sure to get a huge bucket of hate dumped on me for doing this but today's stop is at a commercial web site called "Zoomerang." That's right, folks, our first stop is at one of those dreaded web sites that actually CHARGES people money to use their site. Why would I dare sully our beloved little bus of Internet happiness with a stop at a COMMERCIAL web site? Well, Zoomerang is both cool and useful. And, better still, there's a way you can use Zoomerang for free.

Zoomerang is a commercial web site that that lets businesses, schools, and even individuals

1. Design and conduct professional-grade, online surveys; and

2. Gather and analyze the results from those surveys.

Instead of wasting your precious time and bandwidth with words trying to explain how Zoomerang works, let's instead waste your precious time and bandwidth SHOWING you how Zoomerang works. Hop on over to either


Both addresses take you to exactly the same place [weather and squirrels permitting.] If neither address works for you, try


Once the page loads, click on the overly-excited purple "START SURVEY!" button to begin taking a completely fictitious survey/quiz I posted a few minutes ago. Answer the five questions as creatively and dishonestly as possible, and then click on the purple "Submit" button at the bottom of the page.

That's it. You've just seen what a Zoomerang survey looks like.

Want to see the results for my little made-up survey? Well, you can click on the "View Survey Results" link on the Thank You page or, better still, point your web browser to either


Interesting, isn't it? Now can you see why I thought Zoomerang would make such a neat Tourbus stop? Want to see how you can create and deploy online surveys of your own for free?

Tough. I'm showing you anyway.

To be able to make your own online surveys, the first thing you have to do is get a free Zoomerang account. Just go to

and click on the "Sign Up Now!" link on the left side of the page. This takes you to a page where you are given the option of signing up for a commercial, zPro membership (for $599) or for a basic membership (for $0). Guess which one we're going to click on?

Once you have created a free, basic membership account, the next step is to create a survey. Creating a Zoomerang survey is simple. Login to Zoomerang, click on the New Survey link, and then choose what sort of survey you'd like to create. Zoomerang has over 100 pre-made survey templates you can choose from. Or, if you want, you can create a brand new survey from scratch.

As I said, creating a Zoomerang survey is simple. Deploying your survey, however, is a little more complicated:

1. Edit your web greeting and click on Submit.

2. This opens the Thank You page. Click Submit again.

3. On the How to Deploy Your Survey page, choose the third option: "Generate a URL link." Then click on Submit.

4. Determine how many times people can take your survey. Then click on Submit.

5. The next page asks you if you want to share your results with others (just like we did a few minutes ago). Unfortunately, you can't do this with a free, basic membership, so just click on Submit again.

6. The next page is a receipt of sorts. You can make changes if you want or just click on Launch Survey.

7. Confirm that you want to launch your survey by clicking on the OK button in the pop-up window.

8. This opens the last page. Copy and paste your survey's URL and then either post it on your web page or email it to your subjects.

That's it. Your survey is now deployed. Make sure to click on the Logout button in the upper right corner of the page to log out of your Zoomerang account.

To view your survey's results,

1. Login to Zoomerang and click on the My Surveys link at the top of the page. [If you forgot to log out the last time you used Zoomerang, expect to see a warning message yelling at you for not logging out. Just click on OK if that happens.]

2. Click on your survey's filename.

3. On the right side of the Survey Management page, click on the View Results link.

Pretty cool service, huh? So, what's the catch? Well, there are two levels of Zoomerang membership: free and zPro. The free membership:

1. Limits you to 30 questions and a maximum of 100 participants per survey;

2. Automatically deletes your survey results 10 days after you launch your survey; and

3. Offers only basic statistical analysis.

For most people, this isn't going to be a problem. But, for $599 a year ($350 for educators), you can upgrade to a zPro subscription that lets you do a whole lot more, including:

1. Making certain questions mandatory;

2. Storing your survey data; and

3. Sharing, downloading, and even cross-tabulating your results.

My suggestion? Use the free membership for now and then upgrade later when and if you, your department, or your school/business have both the funds and the need for zPro's enhanced features.

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The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

That's it for today! I hope Zoomerang is useful to you.

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 (\__/)  .'     )  ))       Patrick Douglas Crispen
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