Monday, June 20, 2005

Firepoll ... get cash with the right identity!

Some friends of mine have created a very cool new start-up called Firepoll. It's like combining Instant Messaging with Surveys ... and you get paid for it! Well ... if you have the right identity.

What they created is a small IM-like service that you install on your machine. You then register with their server, and they ask you a lot of identity/profile information. All of this is stored at their server. Companies interested in doing market research can then visit the Firepoll web site and subscribe to do "Instant Surveys". Through a web page they select all of the attributes of the target market that they are interested in surveying, and in real-time they can see how many of "those" people are currently on-line. They can then design their survey through their browser, and select which "rewards" they are offering for completed surveys.

Lastly, they indicate how many survey results they want and when they post the survey it is sent - instantly - to all of the on-line community members who match the profile that was defined. As soon as enough people have replied, the survey is closed.

As a user of Firepoll, I have it running on my machine all of the time. When a survey is created, where I match the demographic profile requested, I get a small pop-up message on my machine. When I click the message my browser is launched directly to the survey, and the first question is "Which reward do you want?" I can get things like MP3 music, $1 to my PayPal account, discount coupons, etc. I then proceed to answer the survey questions, and then post my results. I get an e-mail with my reward notification in minutes. The entire process is a clean and simple experience.

To me, this is a facinating solution for a number of reasons ... combining many facets of the Internet into one powerful solution that really leverages the power of distributed networks. On top of that, I can leverage my identity - or the one that I define and create - to actually generate money.

It's a cool product ... I'd love to hear feedback from others on what they think of it!


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