As the preparations are being finalised for next week’s NewMR ‘Listening is the new asking’ event (an online conference), some key themes about listening research are becoming clear and I am sure that they will be major topics during the online event and during the next couple of years.
My feeling is that the key issues are:
- To what extent can machines replace researchers? You will hear from most of the speakers, such as Anna Tomkocz from Freshminds and Catriona Oldershaw from Synthesio, that sentiment analysis is highly dependent on human intervention. However, you will also hear from Theo Downes-LeGuin that the use of computerised software for qualitative data analysis may shift some tasks away from expensive, senior qualitative researchers towards more junior (aka cheaper) analysts.
- Is this research market research? Although speakers such as Annie Pettit from Conversition will illustrate how market research can use these blog monitoring and sampling tools, it will also be apparent that most of these tools were made for more than market research. For example, having found influencers some of the software is designed to be used to put the client directly in touch with specific individuals – a process that market research has traditionally defined itself as not doing.
- Do we really understand what we should be paying attention to? Paul Vittles from the Vittles organisation and John Griffiths from Planning Above and Beyond will both challenge the way researchers think about listening and the implications that has for research.
- What are the key quality and ethics issues? Most of the speakers will address issues relating to topics such as how much confidence can clients have in the results and the ethical concerns of tools such as scraping and profiling.
You can find out more about the programme for the event by clicking HERE
You can register to attend by clicking HERE
On March 8 you can join in the conversation by following the hashtag #newmr
The other big, but not so important, debate is about what to call this type of research, is it netnography, is it social media research, is it social media monitoring (or mining)? Perhaps the event on March 8 will provide some guidance on that point.
ps if you register for the event you will see we are operating a donations method of registering, where people can pay what they feel they ought. Some have paid, some have not, some who have not paid will do so after the event, whilst some will probably be happy not to pay.
The event sponsor is Zinc Research