Common-Nature

March 7, 2009

Use Twitter to create a straw poll

Filed under: Government, social networking, twitter — kirk @ 9:53 am

poll Twitter is now getting enough traction that people are finding some pretty good uses for it.

One contender is to run an informal straw poll.

One site that can help you do this is strawpollnow.com.

The system interfaces with the Twitter api so that you an create a poll and send folks to that poll via Twitter. The poll not only keeps track of the breakdown of your poll but also provides for comments as each person responds.

Here is a sample poll I built in less than a minute.

March 6, 2009

Missouri pops up in Google’s Moderator

Filed under: Government, social networking — kirk @ 8:08 pm

Back in Sept. of 2008, Google launched the Google Moderator. What does Google Moderator do? When Google has tech talks or company-wide meetings, it lets anyone ask a question and then people can vote up the questions that they’d like answered.

The launch in September opened that to a larger audience and, thus, larger set of questions. Anyone can submit questions to be voted on. It also appears that you can target locations (like the state of Missouri, example) for viewers.

moderator So, I open Moderator and see that the second question listed is, “How Can We Eliminate Wasteful Spending?” I click there and find Senator Claire McCaskill. Senator McCaskill’s question has gotten voted high enough that it’s showing up (at least on this Missourian’s page) at one of the top 5 questions.

I’m still learning about Moderator myself, but it seems that it certainly has potential to help government officials and agencies learn what questions interest the public.

 

March 2, 2009

Two great online tools for government

Filed under: Government, Productivity — kirk @ 10:14 pm

Ok, these aren’t just for government. They’re for anyone forced to work without a budget and limited staff.

One of these are for online collaboration with staff. The other is a great tool for quickly building slick online applications (and you don’t even have to much about how to build applications). All of them are free (although some provide more features for a fee).

mindmap

Mind mapping at mind42.com

This site gives you a great tool for building mind maps. If you’re not familiar with how mind mapping is done, check out this video on YouTube.

Even if you don’t use the site, it’s interesting to view various mind maps that other users have published to get ideas on how to more effectively use mind maps.

Zoho Creator

zoho Zoho, of course, provides a whole suite of office productivity tools that are freely available. The Creator, however, allows you to build or use prebuilt web applications that can collect and manage data for you. Again, YouTube provides a video overview of what you can do with this tool.

March 1, 2009

Applying GTD to your computer desktop

Filed under: Productivity — kirk @ 10:19 pm

Like many people, I circle the flame that is GTD (Getting Things Done) as a productivity practice. I do it awhile, get lax, and come back…each time getting a little better at the practice.

desktop This time around, I realized that GTD provides a common framework that you can apply to many areas in your life. In other words, once you’ve settled on your basic categories you use to organized things, there’s not reason why you can’t apply them to many different places where you process information.

So…this weekend I came across this interesting article at Lifehacker.com  that discusses how to eliminate the use of the desktop on your computer. Sounds crazy, I know, and yet, I’ve found that even in one day, I’m able to get to everything I need on my computer much faster.

In less than an hour, I had not only cleared my desktop, but also had all Firefox bookmarks organized into 10 handy categories in the toolbar. What made it all go so fast was that I found that I was able to organized the bookmarks and the applications in terms of various roles I play (read GTD to understand what a role is).

Follow up on Windows Live Writer: I’m not sold on the product. Perfect for publishing to my blog.

Powered by WordPress