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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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Alastair Gordon

Ray, One thing I note is that for MR, social media seems much more actively (and efficiently) used by people in smaller cos./consultants etc. This seems to be independent of generation, so I'm wondering if it is partly a need thing (small cos. need to get out to make contacts) or perhaps because MR people in bigger corporates get so bombarded by internal emails and meetings that the desire to interact on social media/blog sites just gets blunted? (Although this may be changing, in the last couple of months I've noticed that more senior corporate MR people have worked out that Linkedin etc. can be a powerful tool for recruitment and similar - this may drive more MR people in big cos. to take their profiles and participation in discussions etc. seriously!)

On your second Q, three random thoughts:
* MR growth is going to come from Asia etc. Many non-Western cultures have a strong tradition of relationship networking that is just part of life. Talk to many Chinese MR professionals for instance and you'll find out they have a plethora of ways of staying in contact with people they've met going back to their school days. Social media may help them with it, but it won't be vital.
* I think people will increasingly choose to focus on 1-2 forms of social networking, and/or these forms will increasingly merge (a la TweetDeck etc.). There isn't enough time to have emails in one place, twitters in another, Facebook + Linkedin etc. etc. The facebook/Linkedin/twitter distinction above may become less relevant?
* The issue with social media and productivity is about whether people use such forums as a guide to getting more detailed information and as ways to provoke wider thinking, or if they are simple another distraction to add to the many that already afflict MR practioners. Failure to prioritise, and to put time aside for "bigger picture" issues is a fundamental issue for our industry (something I've been blogging about in "Tweets of Pain" at btw) and I suspect those who are not using Twitter can easily find other ways to distract themselves if they are so inclined!

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