I received an interesting email this morning from Bloomberg asking me to participate in their “Bloomberg Law Litigation Survey.”  Seems that Bloomberg is wanting to query its Bloomberg Law customers on their opinions of current litigation issues and see who we think will prevail.  I thought I was super-special, until Toby told me that he got the same survey.
This is a very, very interesting idea.  I’m not sure if there is a place for those not using Bloomberg to sign up for these surveys, but maybe one of the Bloomberg Survey Gurus could let us know.
Here is a sample of one of the survey questions:
Again, I thought this is actually a pretty good use of Bloomberg’s customer base, and a way to basically crowdsource some information from them and determine if the crowd’s answer matches the eventual outcome of the litigation.  However, one of the big failures of this survey is the format.  First of all, you have to open the PDF file and read the survey.  If you want to answer the survey, you have to print it out and fill out the form.  Then, perhaps the biggest problem in my opinion, you have to FAX the survey (two-pages, mind you) back to Bloomberg.  What is this??  1991??  Here’s a snapshot of the “legal” language of the survey where you have to actually take out a pen and check the box, sign your name and date the form:

So, Bloomberg gets an “A” for idea, but a “F” for execution on this one.
Here’s my suggestion to Bloomberg to raise that “F” up to at least a “C”.  Use a web-survey tool! Heck, have Mike go out and buy a web-survey company… he can afford it.  With a survey tool, you make it easy for someone like me to answer your survey in about a minute or two.  The tool should already have my personal information build into its database, so I won’t have to fill out those personal sections of the survey.  Basically, I open up the page, check the box, click submit, and then back to work.  If you make it easier on your users, you’ll definitely get a higher percentage to answer your survey.  Make it look good (and maybe enter me in a chance to win one of those new iPads), then I may even bump that “C” up to an “A-“.

  • Anonymous

    I don't get what Bloomberg gets out of this – how does it give them information that will help their bottom line if they now know how people feel particular litigation should be decided?

  • I think that a survey like this is a "conversation starter" and perhaps a way for Bloomberg to build an audience for their product. If I 'vote' for who I think will win, I'll want to see how my vote matches up with others. Thus a survey like this may create a buzz around cases that wouldn't exist otherwise. People that fill out surveys have a sort of "buy-in" with the process. Kind of like people that fill out the March Madness brackets follow games they'd never watch otherwise, just to see if they picked the 'winner'.

    My suggestion to Bloomberg (or any others out there that would like to do surveys like this) would be to make the process interactive. Put the survey online… open it up for discussion… take suggestions for other cases to follow… give away iPads to participants. Okay, that last one isn't necessary, but would be kind of cool if they did.

  • Anonymous

    Filling out and returning that survey was as cumbersome, clunky, and frustrating as…a Bloomberg terminal. Or trying to actually find something on Bloomberg Law. They simply don't get usability.

  • Anonymous

    Legaltechie says: we've been trialing new bloomberg and looks like we are gonna subsribe. Library and a couple of associates want it. Bloomburg wire service is terrific. Bloomberg people are helpful too. Regular complaints tho about user experience, real slow app. Anyone else been finding this? Seems to me app like this has no business being in Flash/Flex.