Recently my friend and I launched a website called Gconnect.in. It is basically meant to be a community website for the officers of Government of India.
Incidentally, the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations were announced within a day or two of the launch of GConnect. As soon as it was announced, another friend of ours had prepared a worksheet in Excel which would help the officers determine their new pay and the arrears, based on the recommendations. We thought it would be a useful tool to put up on our site.
Initially, we thought of just putting up the Excel file for download. But, suddenly, we remembered Zoho Sheet, an online spreadsheet, and the fact that one could make a spreadsheet shareable in public. So, we imported the Excel file into Zoho Sheet. Initially, we weren’t quite sure if it would work well.
It worked like a breeze, except for some very minor limitations. Like, we had a couple of drop down lists in the original Excel file, which Zoho Sheet does not support, yet. But that was ok with us, as the drop-downs weren’t a must. When all was set, we made the spreadsheet public and then put up the link on our website.
The results were very satisfying. The next day, we got a few hundred visitors. Word started getting around, and more and more visitors started flowing in. That one spreadsheet helped our website get familiar quickly among the community.
We are glad that we chose to use the online spreadsheet rather than upload the Excel file itself. If we had uploaded the file, there is good chance that people who did download the file would then have mailed it to their friends who in turn would have forwarded it to theirs. As a result, our website may not have received as many visitors as it actually did.
Now, they refer their friends to GConnect.in.
In case you are interested, you can find the spreadsheet here.