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Google Moderator

Crowdsourced Q&A platform
Google Cemetery
Software & Hardware
Multiple Reasons

Google Moderator was a platform that the organizers of all kinds of events could use to allow their users to post queries, ideas, or suggestions. Users would then rank the submissions (by voting) based on importance or relevance. This way, the moderators of the event could answer the top questions. 

All questions and replies were publicly visible.

Google Moderator


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Cause of Failure

Google Moderator launched in 2008 and became successful pretty fast with President-elect Barack Obama’s taking on the presidency. His team used the platform to manage queries related to the transition of power. They ran two sessions on it, and there were about 100 thousand questions asked, with several million votes.

Even though the tool was used for some political debates, the interest in it remained limited. The appearance of Reddit on the social media scene in 2012 took most of that attention away.

It’s a little surprise then that Google decided to discontinue the service. Their official announcement in April 2015 stated that:

Google Moderator has not had the usage we had hoped, so we’ve made the difficult decision to close down the product.

Users could still ask questions on the platform until July 15, after which the content was read-only. The Moderator was shut down on August 15, 2015, and customers had two years to save their data.

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