On Wednesday I spent the afternoon visiting DUB in their London offices, learning about their take on communities and asynchronous qualitative research. In what is becoming a crowded and ill-defined market DUB have concentrated on their positioning as an affordable software platform for market research, as opposed to being, for example, a generic community platform or a full-service research company. DUB’s clients tend be research agencies, along with some end-clients who run their own communities and some other types of agencies such as design companies.
DUB’s core product is IdeaStream which is focused on short-term, smaller scale, more qualitative projects. The product is made affordable by being easy to set up, easy to modify, easy to learn to use, and not overburdened with features. It supports discussions, uploads, tasks, and simple polls and surveys, so there are plenty of options.
Because IdeaStream has been designed as a research tool, as opposed to a generic community platform, it is easy for the researcher to create tasks, to monitor responses, to tag/code data, and to export data for further analysis. In addition to IdeaStrem, DUB have UpClose, which is a variant which looks after larger, longer term communities, still with its focus more on the qual than the quant, but with the extra facilities that are needed to run a community for months or years, rather than for days or weeks.
Although DUB are essentially a software platform they have needed to expand their services into training of moderators, supporting clients (not just tech support, but also research support), and the sourcing of third-party moderators (especially for international work).
DUB’s latest news is that they have opened an office in the US, and it will be interesting to see whether this more English model of research appeals to the US market.