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    Nobody pays me to write any of the copy on my blog, and should I ever have the good fortune that they do, I will declare it. My main employment is as the owner and principal of The Future Place consultancy. The Future Place provides two key services 1) training and services to industry and academic bodies and 2) consultancy services to companies. The details of the companies I work with are a private matter, but if I blog about any company who has paid The Future Place more than expenses recently (approx. two years) I will mention that they are a client. I hold equity in Virtual Surveys and provide consulting services to them from time to time. I am paid to run courses for a number of trade bodies and over the last few years clients have included ESOMAR, AMSRS, MRS, and MRIA.

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Jeffrey Henning

Q1 is asking for examples rather than definitions; will it be a select all that apply? Shouldn't its list be similar to Q2's?

For the list in Q2 and Q3 I distinguish between general purpose online communities and MROCs: it's like the difference between ethnography and focus groups. MROCs are moderated for research purposes, wheres GPOCs (just kidding! like we need another acronym!) aren't.

For economy, I'd change the last question to "Please enter your email address if you would like a copy of the report."

Kathryn Korostoff

Great idea! Just a few suggestions:

Personally, I always struggle with general importance questions (like Q2). Important to what? providing deeper insights? Saving money? Just in terms of becoming a primary source of info?

I'd like to know their age range. Hate to say it, but I suspect you will see very different responses from under 40 vs over 40 (or 50, not sure what the break is but I bet there is one).

And lastly, I think the answers to the questions you have will be dramatically different for people who mostly do B2B versus consumer research.

Cool project! Good luck!

David Sakey

I would like to know which of the aspects of social media as listed in Q2 market researchers see as going to be the most important to their clients in terms of connecting/communicating with their customers...

(the reasoning being is that what is important to our clients is going to be important to us agencies...)

Nigel Legg

Ray, I am starting to offer a service (called TweetQuant) where we download a set of tweets (and friendfeed posts & comments)containing the same keyword(s) (eg "Gordon Brown") and code them as though they are verbatim responses - with GB for example the codeframe would include all the policies and political issues the party has to deal with, which might be associated with his name. This allows you to get a more direct impression of the issues around the subject, and is more detailed than the five point sentiment score offered by social media monitoring systems.
I think this kind of analysis will become more useful as the demographic groups using microblogging sites such as twitter, identica, and friendfeed expand - and, when Facebook and monitoring software provide for the extraction and download of Facebook / Linkedin status messages, a whole range of additional work could be done.
As Katie says, I'm all over twitter (over 4,000 tweets, not including direct messages, in a little over a year - and about 10 DMs today), which is partly why I went for Twitter - but I also went for it because, using Radian6, it is the easiest platform from which to extract full posts that are short enough to work with; I wouldn't want to assign codes to a 2,000 word blog post - or, even worse, Stephen Fry's oppose on Social Media, Poland, and politics, which ran to seven or eight pages on his site. Having said that, what do you think of my concept?


Personally, I'd look to have something on the relationship between social media and "traditional" techniques - are these new tools additive or is it zero-sum - what is losing out, and in which circumstances?

@InsightsGal (Katie Clark)

Ray, you may want to add a demographic question about the respondents themselves as they relate to social media. For example, what social media platforms are the researchers themselves using?

What we've found is that people tend to focus on the platform they themselves understand the best (i.e. doing Twitter-based research because they are Twitter-centric). Seeing those answers may help provide some additional color to the findings as to which platform bubbles up for the researchers themselves.

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