Google Moderator was born out of a 20% project idea by Taliver Heath and launched in 2008. The service gets its idea from the very core of democracy allows users to submit their ideas and others to vote it. Since its launch it is being used for product ideas for Google Docs, calling for ideas in Egypt and for answering questions about the US government.
The idea of using Google Moderator has carried over to governments, Egypt 2.0 calls for ideas on how to change the country after a revolution and calls for ideas on better running Egypt. One of the ideas posed by a user who uses the username of drsawabi said “prevent election fraud in all ways and put penalties on all forms of bullying or intimidation or electoral bribes or no effect in some forms to voters” Around 3,700 people liked this idea, whilst exactly 19 people voted that they did not like the idea.
Recently Google Docs announced they were going to use Google Moderator to prioritize development for the next quarter with a blog post expected to summarize to outcome of the project. Some of the popular ideas include support for web fonts, offline availability and better integration of between products (for example, importing a spreadsheet into a document.)
Developers from Minecraft also use Google Moderator, they say ‘ there’s no guarantee anything on here will be added, but it’ll give me an idea of what people want the most.’ So far, more than 443,000 votes have been cast and 10,195 people have submitted suggestions.
Google has also created a Moderator-based website called TipJar. It is a collection of tips for saving money. Google has divided them into separate categories such as health and technology.
The Whitehouse created Open for Questions, it did not call for ideas like the previous websites but for questions. More than 1.7 million votes were casted in this popular trial of Google Moderator. The program was ended with the President Barack Obama answering the most popular questions at a town hall. They said they would ‘continue looking for new ways to engage with the public and get your input.’