Twitter is a new phenomenon that seems to be taking the world by storm. Everyone from gradeschoolers to the President seem to be “twittering.” Can it be an asset in qualitative research? I don’t know. However, the folks at S&R Communications (http://srcomblog.wordpress.com/) penned an appropriately short article on benefits and drawbacks to using Twitter for qualitative research.
A few weeks ago, I got a project to conduct two focus groups in Pampa, Texas. In case you don’t know, Pampa is an oil town in the Texas panhandle about 60 miles from Amarillo.
Of course, there is no focus group facility, so we set up in a hotel. One problem was that there was not a hotel in town with two conference rooms where we could set up closed-circuit viewing. Clients wanted to view the groups but I preferred that they not be present in the room with the participants. We did a little brainstorming and found a solution.
20/20 Research’s QualMeeting service is essentially an online video streaming service. Therefore, we set up a video camera in the room with a feed to a laptop computer. Because I was concerned about potential technology failure, a technician/camera operator set up and operated all the equipment. We had a second technician at 20/20 during the streaming to ensure that any and all problems were dealt with immediately..
This paper from the Weekly Qualitative Report is specifically produced by academics for academics. However, if you are interested in finding qualitative material in video format on YouTube, this paper has done the work for you. The authors searched YouTube for qualitative related videos, reviewed them and provided them in this paper with a synopsis and a link. You may find it useful. Here is the article abstract:
YouTube, the video hosting service, offers students, teachers, and practitioners of qualitative researchers a unique reservoir of video clips introducing basic qualitative research concepts, sharing qualitative data from interviews and field observations, and presenting completed research studies. This web-based site also affords qualitative researchers the potential avenue to share their reusable learning resources for all interested parties to use.
You can go directly to the paper at: http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/WQR/youtube.pdf
The following abstract is from an article in BMC Medical Research Methodology of the use of bulletin boards to reach cancer patients, specifically pediatric patients. We have conducted QualBoard studies among physicians and patients for many years and found the methodology to be very effective because of its asynchronous nature and, in many cases, the anonymity the technique affords.
Online focus groups as a tool to collect data in hard-to-include populations: Examples from paediatric oncology
The purpose of this article is to describe and evaluate the methodology of online focus group discussions within the setting of paediatric oncology.
Methods: Qualitative study consisting of moderated asynchronous online discussion groups with 7 paediatric cancer patients (aged 8-17), 11 parents, and 18 survivors of childhood cancer (aged 8-17 at diagnosis).
This article appeared in the February edition of the MRA’s e-News. No, we did not write the article. However, we did find it very interesting and agree wholeheartedly with their conclusion, “Is a BBFG for every client and every project? Of course not. But it’s an increasingly important tool in our qualitative toolbox, and we strongly recommend giving it a try.”
Conducting Online Bulletin Board Focus Groups: A Wave of the Future
Co-authored by: Doris Kaiser, Partner & Kristina Witzling, Sr. Research
Director Zeldis Research Associates, Inc.
Cost-cutting. It certainly seems to be the mantra these days, and 2009 is likely to be
more of the same, with market research budgets slashed at companies both large and
small. In these leaner times, companies will rely on market research suppliers more than
ever to be at the forefront of creative ways to deliver quality research for fewer dollars.
FreshNetworks.com is a blog on using online communities. This article highlights 5 research ideas for online communities. I’ve included the bullets here. For the full article click on the headline below to link to the full article.
It’s almost Christmas, and for the penultimate in our Five things to do in 2009 series, I wanted to focus on one specific use brands can make of social media: online research communities. Of the communities we build and manage at FreshNetworks, many are specifically built for research. Even those that are not usually end up offering valuable insight into what consumers think. This insight is something every brand can benefit from, so today here are Five ways to use an online research community in 2009.
1. Get customers involved in your business
2. Innovate with your customers
3. Find out how your customers interact
4. Learn the language your customers use
5. Find answers to questions you didn’t even know to ask
I got this off the Ad Age site. Its not qualitative but it is cool. http://adage.com/digitalnext/post.php?article_id=134330
Google Takes Social Networking on the Road
Maps App Lets You Share Your Location with Friends
Google today announced yet another addition, called Latitude, to its mobile maps service. Latitude enables you to share your location with your friends, and see where your friends are (or at least where they want you to “think” they are). Through Latitude, you are able to connect with friends by sending them a text, chatting via Google talk or even getting directions to your friend’s location. It works on any phone that can run Google Maps My Location.