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
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 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.