Emiel van Wegen left a long comment on my “Advance of New MR” post the other day which the flaky comments system failed to post. Luckily he reprises it here and turns it into a post of his own: a vigorous defence of the ability of online communities to square the circle of cost, speed and quality.
The boot is now on the other foot as I can’t comment on Emiel’s post! What I will say is that in pointing out that community solutions are a reversal of currently received wisdom I was actually thinking more of our attitudes to PARTICIPANTS, not what clients want. Clients will always say they want things faster, better, and cheaper - in reality different research buyers don’t respond to each of the three equally, and on those ever-shifting sands is our profitability as a business built.
But participants, they’re a different matter - the tendency for years and years has been to assume that the way to combat falling participation rates is to get the whole nasty opinion-seeking business over with quickly and to keep it as simple as possible. The current wave of research using social tools turns that on its head by placing the participants at the centre of the work and potentially demanding a lot more of them in terms of time and thought. This is a big shift and - in my view - not one that’s been discussed enough because the biz has been so focussed on more linear questions of panel and online data quality.