Inside iPoll: Meet Josh Belknap, iPoll’s Renaissance Man

At iPoll, we’re all about surveys. Each week, we launch hundreds of studies on countless topics — from international politics to toothpaste brands. This can get pretty overwhelming, especially if you’re responsible for ensuring that members only receive studies that are relevant to them. Enter Josh Belknap.

Josh, described by his colleagues as the “resident Jack of all Trades” and “unsung hero supreme,” is Vice President of Client Services Technology. That means, among many other things, he turns client needs into user-facing surveys, bridging the gap between corporations and members like you. While relaying questions from clients sounds easy, Josh tackles the process with the user in mind.

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Written by Rick B.

January 29th, 2016 at 8:51 am

Posted in iPoll Interviews

New Year’s Resolution Check In

I’m happy to report that my main New Year’s resolution of losing weight is on track. So far, I’ve dropped eight pounds. There are a lot of motivating factors that went into this resolution. First, carrying around all that extra baggage that accrued during the holidays wasn’t fun, especially when trying to fit into pants. Then there is the “chase factor,” as in chasing my kid around. You’ve got to be in good shape for that. Finally, it’s the health thing. By all accounts, I should weigh a lot less according to my height. I can work with that. Thanks to my Smartphone Lose It app, I know I have a few more months to go to hit my target. This time, I resolve to lose it and keep it off.

For the record, I’ve made this resolution several times over the last couple of years. As with most folks, it’s hard to stay motivated, especially when it comes to a diet. Here are some of the ways you can keep your New Year’s resolutions going.

Sweets

Part of my New Year's resolution is to avoid a place like this at all costs! Image Source: Flickr use robgyn

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Written by Rick B.

January 28th, 2016 at 3:16 am

What’s New in Smart Kitchen Appliances?

As with all things in life, when it comes to kitchen appliances, it’s best to go smart. When I think of chefs of the future, Ralph and Ed from The Honeymooners on live TV comes to mind. Back then, the big issue with your kitchen gadget was, “Can it core an apple?” Today, it’s all about connectivity and helping you manage your kitchen hub more efficiently. Here’s a peek at some high tech and super cool kitchen appliances.

Smart Appliance

This is one smart refrigerator. Image Source: Flickr user David Berkowitz

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Written by Rick B.

January 27th, 2016 at 9:21 pm

Tips For Planning a Toddler Birthday Party

Last year our little one turned one. We pulled out all the stops. There were so many balloons that nobody could walk around. The three-tier Mickey Mouse theme cake was custom made. There was a big banner. The house was jammed pack. Did the kid say, “Thank you?” No. Did he remember any of this? Doubtful. Well, it’s time for number two, and we’ve decided to scale things down. Still, there are some tips I will embrace to make sure this party is a smashing success in the annals of two-year-old birthdays.

Kid Party

Simon Says is always fun at a party. Especially with ninjas. Image Source: Flickr user Steven Depolo


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Written by Rick B.

January 26th, 2016 at 6:54 pm

Mobile Army Monday: Trapped Indoors? You Can Still Earn Cash With iPoll

Did you meet superstorm Jonas over the weekend? If so, then you’re probably digging out your car. The average amount of snow dumped this past weekend was two feet. That’s two standing Subway foot-longs (my preferred unit of measurement). That’s a lot of snow. Back in the day, I did my fair share of snow shoveling, and it’s not for the faint of heart. My prevailing philosophy was always, “Wait until it melts.” You can imagine how well that went over with the parental units. Once the snow was shoveled, it was time to turn our attention to snow day fun stuff. Always plenty of options there. Today, you can add one more thing to the list of snow day fun: Earn cash with iPoll. It’s easy! All you need is your app and/or computer.

Snow Storm

This is definitely time to break out the hot chocolate and wait for spring. Image Source: Flickr user Peter Dutton

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Written by Rick B.

January 25th, 2016 at 10:23 am

How Green Are You?

No, this is not a post about your St. Patrick’s Day spirit. (We’ll get there soon enough!) Instead, we’re talking about how green you are when it comes to recycling, saving energy, and doing your part to protect the environment. Let’s stipulate for the record, that you’re probably involved in home recycling, made all the easier when your city provides a recycling bin. Once you get into the habit of sorting papers, plastics, glass, and soda cans, it becomes second nature to you. All good things. However, you don’t have to stop there. Maybe you need to think about what kind of businesses you do business with. This is what we asked the iPoll community, and the answers that came back were…maybe not great, but hopeful! While 21% said they choose to support businesses based on their environmental policies, the majority at 66% said they do sometimes. Only 13% said they couldn’t care less. We’ll keep working on them?

Do you choose businesses based of their environmental practices? Is your favorite restaurant sustainable? What happens when you step outside your home? Are you still staying green? Here are some ways you get your green on!

Green

Are you as green as you can be?

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Written by Rick B.

January 22nd, 2016 at 11:20 am

Tips For Making Your Own Smartphone Movies

The American Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences recently announced their nominations for the Academy Awards. Yes, we’re talking Oscars. The usually buzzworthy films made the cut with the exception of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. At least The Martian and Mad Max Fury Road got nods for Best Picture. I’ve got a lot of movies to watch between now and Oscar night. If all this chatter about awards and box office makes you yearn to create your own feature film, then you’ve got all you need right there in your Smartphone.

You can either make a movie for fun when stuck indoors on a snow day or enter it into a film festival. Let’s assume you’re going to come up with a great story first and hire terrific actors. Actually, you might be able to slide by with non-professionals if you can get them to follow your directions. Once you know what your movie is going to be about, it’s time to figure out the best way to shoot it. We’ve got the tips if you’ve got the Smartphone:

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Written by Rick B.

January 21st, 2016 at 12:51 pm

Ready to Dive In? Tips for Getting onto Shark Tank

Wouldn’t you like to be the inventor of that thing? You know the thing, right? It’s the thing that everybody has to have. Even with all the things we can buy, there are still plenty of things to invent. Suppose you have already invented it. Now where do you take it? That’s easy: Shark Tank. This is a reality show where inventors and business owners pitch their ideas to a group of potential investors. If the “shark” likes what they hear, they’ll fork over some of their cash and help you get the business up and running.

Since premiering in 2009, Shark Tank has been responsible for millions of dollars in revenue. Their most successful product is a sponge called “Scrub Daddy” that so far has generated over $70 million in sales. A sponge.

Before you take your business to the tank, you might want to consider these helpful tips:

Sharks

This is not the shark tank that can turn you into a millionaire. Image Source: Flickr User Jon Rawlinson

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Written by Rick B.

January 20th, 2016 at 10:27 am

How to Make a Family Business Succeed with Your Family

I’m a big fan of restaurant makeover shows. It always amazes me how clueless some of these owners are even when it comes to simple thinks like keeping food storage areas clean. You would think that they would at least clean up a bit knowing that a camera crew was about to show up. Then there’s the issue of bad food. How hard is it to cook with fresh ingredients? As we always learn, not that hard.

Of course, the real drama on these shows is when the business is run by families and it tears them apart. There are a lot of good reasons to start a business with your family. After all, they’re your family. What can go wrong? Obviously, quite a lot. If you’re thinking about starting a business with your family, you might want to consider the following tips on how to make it run more smoothly. Even if you’re already in a family business quagmire, there’s always time to reboot.

Pizzeria

Not every pizzeria is a family business, but the best ones are! Image Source: flickr user: Raniel Diaz

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Written by Rick B.

January 19th, 2016 at 11:28 pm

Mobile Army Monday: Boost Your Day By Earning iPoll Cash Rewards

Full disclosure: I’m feeling a bit off today. By off, I mean that perhaps I’m coming down with a cold and/or flu. My symptoms: Major congestion, a stomach that is doing flip-flops, and eyes that feel like they’re weighed down with tiny fishing rod weights. Plus, I’m feeling that general sense of “blah.” I don’t think this is a typical Monday “blah,” but a “blah” that might require soup and long naps. But first, there is work to be done and assignments to be met.

I have no doubt that if I actually could not function, the wonderful iPoll editors would allow me to take a sick day. Luckily, I’m not quite there yet. I’ve still got a little pep in my step, and that’s all I need to fire up my iPoll app. The great thing about earning cash rewards with iPoll is that you don’t have to always be mobile. Yes, technically this is Mobile Army Monday, but I think I’m going to do my iPoll work undercover, as in literally under the covers. Time for some quiz action!

Cold Medicine

If I do go out today, this is where I'm headed. Image Source: Flickr user: Lindsey Turner

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Written by Rick B.

January 18th, 2016 at 11:28 am