How have I not heard of this group? Anyways, I'm Annie. I"m a social media researcher who is actually a market researcher. I was on the CASRO, MRA, and ESOMAR social media research guidelines committee. Not sure how often I'll stop by but glad to meet all of you.
Can I just say I very much enjoyed the cloud6 session yesterday. Thanks to the presenters, lots of interesting ideas.
Cloud 6 is on the starting blocks - taking place Thursday Mary 19th at Insight Research 6.30 for 7pm - our speakers are Tom Ewing Head of Social Media at Cantar - talking about online identity and Franceso D'Orazzio Research Director of the co-creation agency Face. Put it in your diaries now!
STOP PRESS Ray Poynter's most excellent webinar format of NewMR continues to spiral out covering topic after topic and bringing speakers together from all over the world. March 8th he is planning a 3 session online fest about text analytics. Inconceivable that Cloud of Knowing should let an opportunity like that pass! I (that's John Griffiths) have offered a couple of suggestions for presentations but that's not to stop any one else in the group from emailing Ray and making some suggestions of their own. Mail Ray email@example.com - but be quick - you have until Feb 15th (that's tomorrow!) and go here to find out more about the event: http://newmr.org/page/listening-2011
Great post by Annie Petit reminding us that observation is part of qualitative research and reminding us of the criteria laid down by psychology professional bodies about observation of people in public places. If following the MRS discussion paper about online data and privacy we classify the internet as a private space then none of what Annie proposes applies. We would be observing people in private and would have to obtain their permission first. But if the internet is a public space and the same rules for observation apply then there is no reason why we shouldn't read and report on what people have posted without identifying them or obtaining permission from them.
The force of Annie Petit's argument is that observation needs to be protected as a legitimate activity. Which is part of research.
MRS, CASRO and ESOMAR (in partnership with CASRO) have all put out codes of practice for privacy and the collection of online data. Cloud 7 on Aug 31st will be our opportunity to discuss these. The exciting part is that the MRS are defining the whole of the internet as private and all those from whom you collect data as de facto respondents and yes you have to ask them first. Let battle commence!
CASRO want responses by Sept 2nd. the MRS by Sept 16th
On Tuesday May 3rd - I spoke about the Cloud of Knowing project to the Digital Leaders dinner a quarterly event run by the Marketing Society - a group of very senior marketers who gather to debate digital topics - uppermost in the discussion was the ratio of the time spent getting something out of social media in particular and the commercial value of it. I talked about Digividuals - research robots - about using research communities to tag content, about doing qualitative pilots to determine the conversations and the keywords in them before putting the computers to work. And lastly about the possibility of treating all online content as contextual or behavioural data. It seemed to go reasonably well - I keep forgetting that for those of us who have debated these issues they seem normal. To those who are less familiar some of this talk can be rather esoteric! I've been asked to contribute a Blog to the marketing Society blog on the topic - I've invited them to the May 19th Cloud 6 meeting just set up. It would be great to get some budget holders to comment on what would be worth spending budget on and what wouldn't!
Bit of a follow up to last night's discussion at Cloud 5. I spotted this interview with a planner at a digital agency stateside who was arguing that the communications planning task is all about understanding context now. Enjoy!
A back dated post to note that the Cloud of Knowing paper given at the MRS 2010 conference this year got awarded Best New Thinking. I hadn't expected it because the competition was tough this year but I take it as an award for the group as a whole since the ideas came directly from the papers discussion and inventiveness of group members. Great to get recognition from the research fraternity for the project but even more special to have so many supporters and encouragers cheering us on.
I sat in on a rather early webinar today which Chief Juicer John Kearon was running at 7am from his home in Cambridge. The topic Digividuals - research robots which Brainjuicer are now touting as a brand new research methodology. In Cloud 2 they were a central topic of our discussion. Called Demographic Replicators their creator David Bausola a member of the Cloud of Knowing group was beginning a collaboration with John Kearon another member of the group. And the result has been digividuals. A year on there are a string of casestudies and well known brand names who have experimented with them.
I'm not going to explain what digividuals are. John does it much better than I can. What emerges from the webinar is that Braimjuicer has managed to navigate away from the dangerous shoals of stalking people and stealing their data. Because the digividuals collect internet content from all over they don't track individuals. What is collected is loosely representative but at this point John really treats the data as stimulus for researchers to then develop hypothetical products and then generate insights from these. In short it doesn't matter if the digividuals reflect actual people or not and on balance it is better than they don't.
One of the most interesting claims John makes is that digividuals could replace research groups as a surer way of generating insights. So the battle is on!
The other really interesting idea that came from the webinar was the idea that once you have your digividuals up and running you can subject them to all sorts of indignities like Christmas shopping or losing their job. So the creative potential is considerable. You can log onto the webinar here. There's a film which aggregates the content collected by one of the first digividuals a designer type called Nicole who lives in Hammersmith. She even has her own route to work - trackable on Googlemaps. She even has an Ebay account of her own. And Nicole is a research bot made up of a few lines of code. There's also another film of David Bausola and Will Goodhand who want to Casro Tech in New York last June to launch Digividuals there.
Digividuals can be seen all sorts of inteesting ways. They are a landgrab from quant into qual. It will be interesting to see how many clients switch qual budgets across to this. Or if attracts money from entrely different budgts altogether.
I had a curry last night with Steve August of Visions Live just visiting London after ESOMAR Athens on his way back Stateside. Which reminded me of the various conferences we have rattling around - wherepeople who have got involved in Cloud of Knowing are prominent by their presence!
Annelies Verhaeghe of Insites Consulting who will be bringing a paper to Cloud 4 was in action at ESOMAR. As were several from Brainjuicer. I notice that both Anneliese and myself (and Christophe?) will be on the platform at the MRS Social Media conference the day after Cloud 4. So that will make interesting watching because I'm still not sure what is going to be discussed on the day!
And I thought I would remind you that submissions for the MRS 2011 conference need to be made to the MRS by the end of September. Here are the details.
Hope to see you next wednesday John G
This is a backfill. I suspect I was too frazzled after the conference to remember to write it up here. I presented a paper called the Cloud of Knowing in the Future of Market Research session on the 2nd day of the MRS conference. It was tough to take a 6,500 word paper and break it down to what I originally thought would be 20 minutes then 15 but then was told had to be 12. This was one of the issues with the conference this year - lots of presentations but not a lot of time for presenting and even less for questions and debate. In the event my 16 minute presentation seemed to go well. The questions were around the newly revised Research code of practice. Which takes no account of the use of research robots. I argued that we need a code of practice but it is almost impossible for regulators to keep up with innovation on the internet.
Regarding the robots - this was the first time they had been publicly mentioned on a conference platform. John Kearon aka Chief Juicer and a member of the Cloud of Knowing group - had given me permission to say that Brainjuicer is now experimenting with the robots known by Brainjuicer as Digividuals. And working with Kraft on using them. Which meant that what might otherwise have seemed a rather theoretical concept now had a practical application but for most there had emerged completely left of field. Later that day Will Goodhand business development head at Brainjuicer pitched the Digividuals as a concept at the Dragon's Den session which closed the conference. So there appeared to be 2 independent mentions of robots in the same day - making it one of the hot topics at the conference.
When the awards shortlistings were announced it was very gratifying to be nominated for Best New Thinking and for Best Presentation. Particularly the latter since trying to introduce transmedia, text robots and probabilstic sampling and tagging in 15 minutes meant that my slides were quite desnse. So much so that the chair of the session Rita Clifton had joked that I would be offering a free slide by slide afterwards. Clearly my presentation wasn't as obscure as she had anticipated.
I'm not really sure where to log the Cloud of Knowing paper - it emerged far too quickly and under time pressure when the original idea was that it should be the output of the group working together. The good news about the publishing of the paper at the conference and its shortlisting is that it helps to put Cloud of Knowing on the map. I'm hoping that at our next meeting there will be some new curious faces willing to join in.
Graeme Lawrence of Virtual Surveys invited me to give the paper again at the Northern MRS event - highlights of the conference so we may be on the way to bulding a Northern cloud fraternity as well!
What I would like to make very clear is that this paper was not the point of the project. It is work in progress and I look forward to many more papers, meetings and discussions about using web content.
Here's a presentation by Alan Mitchell which has been put on the IDM website. Its relevance to Cloud of Knowing is that the MRS paper I have now submitted concluded that CRM may be a more fertile place for content analysis to reside if research proves too finicky and regulatory. After all all these territories feed into decision support and clients may be less worried about where their information comes from. So I was intrigued about how CRM might be self policed by customers holding onto their own data and sharing and updating it. Permission and privacy being themes which need sorting out. Even if the regulatory cops tend to shout no and ask questions afterwards. I was amused that after posting about some of the issues that went into my paper last week on my blog I was sent a press release by the PR agency of the MRS.. about privacy and data protection and impending EC legislation. For my information.. And I didn't even have to ask!!
First of all grovelling apologies not to have involved you all more regularly - we should have had the opportunity for at least one face to face meeting since the last despite the onset of Christmas. I have been rather pressured into providing outputs feeling I should have worked harder to get inputs from all of you. I had a great conversation with Surinder Siamat this afternoon which was really helpful - thank you Surinder.
The deadline for the Market Research Society Conference written paper is Monday (gasp). I will do my very best to circulate a draft of the paper end of play tomorrow to give you the chance to comment on structure and content. Which leaves me Monday to knock the document on the head.
You will have caught the drift if you've seen either the webinar I gave for the IE business school or the powerpoint (if you hadn't got an hour to listen to me burble through it) the links are in a powerpoint in the scriptorium.
I plan to set up a face to face meeting in February when we can talk about which ideas to feature in the conference presentation - which is only 15 minutes after all. And also to talk about one of the ideas which is Demographic replicators - search for the term and you can learn more about these as social media bots and their potential use in research. There's a blog dedicated to them.
So.. wait for the paper - your inputs please finishing line on Monday and a meeting in the offing. Speak soon.
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Its not how much nectar you find - its how much you can persuade everyone else to carry