Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… If Twitter really does reach the far recesses of the earth, then doesn’t it make sense for us to harness that diversity of opinions? We’ve seen the effects of Twitter on emergency aid, nonprofit fundraising and political outreach. However, if we just want to crowdsource a simple question like “Which of these 3 movies should I see?” or “Which of these is your favorite blogging platform?” a simple poll would suffice. Below is a list of 6 services you can use to get the answers you need from your Twitter friends and followers: 1. MightyQuiz: MightyQuiz offers users a chance to create questions and share those questions via Twitter, Facebook and a number of other services. One of the unique aspects of this tool is the fact that users earn points both by creating questions and giving correct answers. 2. Strawpoll: Strawpoll offers users the opportunity to create 140 character polls in Twitter itself. Rather than redirecting users off the site to give their answers, the tool allows Twitter followers to choose from one of two responses directly in their Twitter dashboard. Users only have to visit Strawpoll if they want to see the final tally. 3. TwtPoll: TwtPoll is just one of a number of products created by TwtApps. Some of the others include Twtcards and Twtvite. This service allows users to create more than 17 different types of polls and syncs with Facebook, Twitter and Friendfeed. Rather than polling within the tool, response participants are redirected to Twtpoll via a short URL. 4. Poll Daddy: While you probably know that Poll Daddy already allows users to create polls in WordPress, you may not have known that it also offers a Twitter service. This service allows question publishers to add as many multiple choice answers as they want. From here a user’s poll is sent out via a link to their Twitter account. 5. SocialToo’s SocialSurvey: This service lets users create polls for a number of services including Facebook and Twitter. Similar to Poll Daddy’s tool, the service creates simple multiple choice questions. Upon answering questions, users see results on the SocialToo site in neat bar graph format. 6. TweetBrain: And last but not least, this service allows users to answer basic open-ended questions via Twitter. In order to provide incentive for answers, users can choose to attach rewards to their questions. The person who best answers the question receives a cash bonus. We know we’re just skimming the surface. If you’ve got your favorite Twitter polling resources, let us know in the comments below. To stay up-to-date with the latest ReadWriteWeb news, follow our Twitter account. Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#Microapp#start A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… dana oshiro
One political concept that has been heartily affirmed during the past 18 months is that no policy is off limits in the world of political gamesmanship, even if the policy seems to be as economically practical and ecologically justifiable as a program for green jobs, energy conservation research, or the cap-and-trade bill.Recently, for example, the director of policy for the conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity, Phil Kerpen, produced an opinion piece for Fox News Forum that warns against “the cap-and-trade effort to restructure the global economy” and the use of stimulus funds for “left-wing political activities.”“Green jobs programs like the ones in the stimulus bill serve a political purpose but not an economic one,” Kerpen writes in a September 2 post. “Most green jobs consist of hiring low-wage workers with caulking guns to weatherize buildings. We are trading away high-wage, high-value manufacturing jobs for these green caulking jobs. Any time you spend billions of dollars you will create some jobs, but the key question is, what the cost is when you divert resources from higher-value activities?”Is a job worth its weight in political baggage?Kerpen’s comment might be of interest to carpenters and construction-industry laborers who are out of work because of the housing downturn. For those folks, the distinction between “high-value manufacturing jobs” and low-wage “green caulking jobs” likely will be of less concern than paying the rent and putting food on the table. As one of our GBA editors put it, “With the housing sector so slow, won’t [stimulus-funded green jobs] return out-of-work carpenters and laborers to the job force? Won’t the guys who used to hump plywood just start squeezing a caulk gun?”It’s also not clear that creating these “low-wage” jobs is an economic failure of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, as Kerpen suggests. Further along in his Fox News Forum piece, for example, he notes that the Davis-Bacon Act – which requires that prevailing wages be paid for federally funded construction and retrofit projects – actually force “above-market” wages to be paid for ARRA-funded green projects. Kerpen makes this point while emphasizing his larger concern: the political consequences of such spending, without careful oversight, could easily take a turn to the left.“Those green jobs are union jobs, so they are a giveaway to organized labor as well as environmental groups,” Kerpen explains. “Union bosses got provisions added into the stimulus bill applying federal Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements in an unusually broad way. Guidance from the Department of Labor said: As a result of specific language in the ARRA, all requirements of the Davis-Bacon Act apply to construction projects that receive ARRA funds, with an added provision that ‘projects funded directly by or assisted in whole or in part by and through the federal government as a result of the ARRA must also comply.’ These requirements will force above-market wages to be paid, fleecing taxpayers while paying union dues that can be funneled back into political activities.”While Davis-Bacon, signed into law in 1931, doesn’t require workers to pay union dues, it has indeed historically been viewed as union-friendly legislation, in no small part because many union apprenticeship programs are at the forefront in training workers for jobs in the trades.Reckoning economic prosperity with ecological realityThe workers wielding caulk guns are, of course, capable of evaluating the politics of Davis-Bacon and stimulus-funded green jobs, if they care to do so, although political considerations may not weigh all that heavily on the minds of many low-wage workers making above-market wages. (For those who do worry about the progressive agenda, Americans for Prosperity has crafted a one-page graphic, titled “The ‘Green Jobs’ Radical Network” – click here for a PDF – intended to illustrate the connections among green-jobs organizations in the left-wing cabal.)A broader issue raised by Kerpen’s comments is whether stimulus-funded green jobs serve an important purpose beyond putting money in workers’ pockets and helping the economic recovery: Do the benefits of improved energy efficiency in homes outweigh the political dangers of a left-wing power grab and, possibly, mediocre returns on the ARRA investment?That, of course, gets to the ecological heart of the matter. As recent GBA and New York Times blogs on the subject note, retrofits are perhaps the most expedient way to reduce energy usage in both residential and commercial properties. The Times cites data compiled by the Clinton Climate Initiative, which explains on its “Building Retrofit” Web page that “more than one-third of energy is consumed in buildings worldwide, accounting for about 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions. In cities, buildings can account for up to 80% of CO2 emissions. The built environment is therefore a critical part of the climate change problem – and solution. Most existing buildings were not designed for energy efficiency, but by retrofitting with up-to-date products, technologies and systems, a typical building can realize significant energy savings.”Will stimulus-funded expansion of, say, the Weatherization Assistance Program, actually lower CO2 emissions while boosting employment? Given the expectedly slow and cautious rollout of many stimulus-funded initiatives – especially the green-jobs goldmine in expanded weatherization programs – it’s still way too early tell. But ecologically at least, it seems a step in the right direction.Make it here, use it hereAnother step in that direction – though some distance from caulking our way to green living – would be developing a robust domestic market for those “high-value manufacturing jobs” that also happen to be in green industries. On September 15 in the Times, op-ed columnist Thomas Friedman, who has long advocated for advances in U.S. energy independence, wrote about his visit to the headquarters of Applied Materials, which makes the machines that produce microchips for computers, but also makes machines that make solar panels for residential and commercial applications.What struck Friedman most about Applied Materials’ panel production was not so much its divergence from chipmaking but the fact that all of the major factories equipped with the company’s panel-making machines are on foreign soil, close to the markets where demand for the product is greatest: Germany (which has five plants), China (four), and Spain, India, Italy, Taiwan, and Abu Dhabi (one each).“The reason that all these other countries are building solar-panel industries today,” Friedman says, “is because most of their governments have put in place the three prerequisites for growing a renewable energy industry: 1) any business or homeowner can generate solar energy; 2) if they decide to do so, the power utility has to connect them to the grid; and 3) the utility has to buy the power for a predictable period at a price that is a no-brainer good deal for the family or business putting the solar panels on their rooftop.” (The latter prerequisite is familiar to GBA readers as a system of “feed-in” tariffs.)A missed opportunityFriedman goes on to criticize a lack of regulatory certainty in the U.S. that he says would, far more extensively than existing subsidy programs, encourage homeowners, commercial property owners, and businesses to invest in PV installations. Of course, if you like relying on imported petroleum or are politically predisposed to dislike green initiatives, he says, stick with what you’ve got.“If you read some of the anti-green commentary today, you’ll often see sneering references to ‘green jobs.’ The phrase is usually in quotation marks as if it is some kind of liberal fantasy or closet welfare program (and as if coal, oil and nuclear don’t get all kinds of subsidies). Nonsense. In 2008, more silicon was consumed globally making solar panels than microchips,” Friedman notes, citing data supplied by Applied Materials CEO Mike Splinter.“We are seeing the industrialization of the solar business,” Splinter told Friedman. “In the last 12 months, it has brought us $1.3 billion in revenues. It is hard to build a billion-dollar business.”Would folks like Kerpen regard growth of solar-panel production in the U.S. with the same suspicion he regards weatherization jobs? It might be a good while before we find out, considering the pace of domestic manufacturing growth in that sector.But it is a huge mistake to dismiss Kerpen’s potential influence when he demonizes green-jobs programs of any sort. A lot of people take the trouble to research issues, analyze them, and articulate their concerns about government policy – be it the bailout, the stimulus bill, health care legislation, or any other important initiative – with substantive discussion. But far too many others take in every political rant and screed on the Internet and cable TV, and then swallow them whole.