I lead a team of 600 people in over 70 countries. I often would like their input on one of my ideas and I don't want to use a survey because they tend to limit creativity by requiring a choice among predetermined answers.

Let's take a simple example. I want to get the European team together next year. I want the team to select the location of the meeting. Could I use The Workplace exchange to ask the following question "Where should we meet in Europe next year?" and then invite my 100 team members to submit cities and/or vote on cities already submitted?

This doesn't seem to be in the spirit of Stack Exchange (I've only discovered this today), and I don't want to break etiquette.

If I can't use Stack Exchange for this purpose, is there another site out there that would allow people to submit ideas and/or vote on ideas submitted?

  • 3
    Sounds to me like you just need an internal email distribution list or maybe a twitter account.. Regardless, please review the FAQs on the sites. This is a public forum, not a private internal company thing. Presumably if you really have a team of 600 people spread across 70 countries then you should already have an accepted way of communicating with them... If not, then you have bigger issues.
    – NotMe
    Sep 13, 2013 at 17:11
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    Thanks for having the courtesy to ask about our policies. Many others... have not, creating unnecessary unhappiness all around.
    – Pops
    Sep 13, 2013 at 17:17
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    Maybe use Google Forms? Automatically collects responses, completely customizable, many more options, and you can send the poll directly to their inboxes if you're using Google business email.
    – gitsitgo
    Sep 13, 2013 at 17:44
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    @Pops Technically, this could be a valid use for an internal copy of the Stack Exchange software, right? I stumbled upon this answer that mentions it, so I recommended it, but seeing as I'm not a large company, I have no idea how it works. Sep 13, 2013 at 17:46
  • @JohnBensin I would imagine that if they're paying for a separate private copy, they would be able to set their own definition of "on-topic" and not necessarily match the public sites'. But when they say "large," they mean, like, Microsoft-sized. (Disclaimer: despite my diamond, I have no special knowledge about this topic at the time of this writing.)
    – Pops
    Sep 13, 2013 at 18:20
  • @Pops Oh, certainly. If it's private, it could be used for whatever purposes they wanted (including polls like this, hence the suggestion). The OP mentioned "60,000 employees", which may have been an exaggeration, but I figured the internal SE was designed for that size of company. Sep 13, 2013 at 18:35
  • @Pops It is still an option, though, right? There was some confusion in the comments about the answer I linked to, so I feel that I should make sure I'm not just making up something. Sep 13, 2013 at 18:35
  • @John Yes, I have just confirmed that it is.
    – Pops
    Sep 13, 2013 at 18:53
  • @gnat I think this question is a little different because it's also asking if a private company can use the public SE for its private uses. Sep 13, 2013 at 20:41
  • @JohnBensin that other part is in turn, a dupe of Is the Stack Exchange engine available? Double duplicates are fairly common things, it's triple- and quadruple-dupes that are rare :)
    – gnat
    Sep 13, 2013 at 20:51
  • @gnat Good point, although I would argue that it's not a perfect dupe of that question (and since it's not, that part of the question isn't really relevant to MSO, since it's just asking for website recommendations). Sep 13, 2013 at 21:09
  • @JohnBensin well the idea that duplication is expected to be perfect has been officially dismissed since Changes to “close as duplicate” (part deux): ...No argument about how exact an "exact duplicate" needs to be....
    – gnat
    Sep 13, 2013 at 21:21
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    @gnat Thanks for pointing me to that. I think I was vaguely aware of that anecdotally on other SE sites, but it's always good to see it verified. Sep 13, 2013 at 22:08

4 Answers 4


This isn't the purpose of Stack Exchange. From the site itself:

From our core of Q&A, to community blogs and real-time chat, we provide experts with the tools they need to make The Internet a better place.

Although you have a question that you need answered, it's not contributing information that's useful to a wider audience or that makes the Internet a better place. It's not that it's bad information; it's just not fit for these sites.

Furthermore, such a question would probably be considered "primarily opinion-based" (a reason for closing) or too localized, because it only applies to your company's requirements for a meeting site and won't be useful to future visitors.

As for sites that would be suited for this, have you considered something like Surveymonkey? I have no personal experience with them outside of receiving surveys through them when I was in school, but I believe you can create surveys for event planning, send them out to your team, and aggregate the responses.

Also, your company could license or purchase a version of Stack Exchange for internal use. I have no idea how it works, and the linked answer indicates that "the pricing makes this feasible for large organizations only", but it's something to consider if you want the Stack Exchange model specifically.

  • @YanTougas I added a possible site that you could utilize for this purpose, although I can't vouch for it from personal experience. Sep 13, 2013 at 17:17
  • thanks for the link to SurveyMonkey. I use that site all the time. The problem is that I need to come up with the answers for people to vote on, as opposed to letting them suggest the answers. I realize that I could use SurveyMonkey with a free-text answer box, but then I would have to manually reconcile the answers. If I wanted to poll 60,000 US-based employees, that could get tricky. Anyway, truly appreciate your help and the tone of your response; others weren't so friendly; eye-opening first experience on this site. Thanks.
    – Yan Tougas
    Sep 13, 2013 at 17:27
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    @YanTougas 1) If you're going to be polling 60,000 employees, or any significant number, surely your company has an HR, IT, market research, etc. department that could manage something of this scale, right? If not, a company that size should easily be able to hire a company to do so. 2) Are all 60,000 employees going to be attending the meeting? If that's the case, I imagine cost and logistical reasons will take precedent over which cities some employees simply prefer. Sep 13, 2013 at 17:33

What you would find if you asked a question like that is that it would get instantly downvoted into oblivion because it is not only off topic on Workplace, it is also too localised and too subjective.

You have a wide range of free options out there from surveymonkey type sites, to google doodle etc.

  • Drat, I just realized you posted surveymonkey too. Sorry for the unintentional copy! Apparently they have an "event planning survey package" which is probably what the OP is looking for. Sep 13, 2013 at 17:18

I don't believe so. I'm also new, but to the best of my knowledge, the stack exchange is designed for public use.

So trying to use the system for private operations is probably not allowed. Perhaps there is an exchange that allows it but I couldn't tell you what it is.

EDIT: That being said, I'm not sure if your particular question deserves the downvotes because I'm sure the information is useful to people wondering the same thing. This is the meta stack overflow so it seems relevant.

  • Thank you. You are probably right. I hope I get a more definitive answer, as well as a recommendation to another site. There ought to be a place that allow people to do just that!
    – Yan Tougas
    Sep 13, 2013 at 17:12

Clearly no, but if you have that many people in your team, then surely you have several who could get together and create a CMS or old-style BBS for you all. There are also plug-ins for (gack :) Wordpress.

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