A Bot’s Guide on How to Moderate

I have been observing the Artificial Intelligence (AI) community’s very impressive and clever development of Bots and expert systems for some time now.  Some of the biggest tech companies such as Google, Amazon and Apple have been putting serious money into this kind of AI. Bots can do many amazing things, some of which seem to have a research application. Some can convert text to speech, some speech to text, and some can summarise text data in a fraction of a second.

But can any of them moderate?

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How people talk in online qual – it’s all about the moves!

Qual research is all about talk

The debate about online bulletin board qual and face to face qual usually focusses on the technology – whether it is available, and whether or not the target market is comfortable with the method. Some are and some aren’t is the short answer. 


What is more interesting to me is how to moderate with each method so we get the right result. Since so much of moderating, especially online, is talk, I have had a look at what we know about differences in how people talk online and how people talk face to face. And not just how they talk, but how they talk to each other.

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Sensemaking webinar for the Research Society

Sue Bell gave a webinar for the Research Society in June 2020. It is about the four different types of sensemaking and includes a case study of her work on vegetarianism.

The Research Society webinar is free and available here:


 At the very beginning, you can hear her talking about an earlier event - the QRCA conference on The Future of Qualitative Global Workshop as she was one of the speakers. The QRCA Future of Qualitative event was described as "We welcome qualitative professionals from around the world to join us in exploring what the new frontier of qualitative research will look like and how we can lead the way. Hear from prominent voices in qualitative who will bring insight and perspective to move us through the challenges of 2020 and beyond. Join us for a thoughtful day of presentations, Q&A, and even small group discussion that can bring new context and inspiration to qualitative research."  https://qrca.ce21.com/item/the-future-qualitative-355711#tabDescription


Communicating survey results fast and slow

The way market researchers have traditionally presented survey data in slide after slide of complex tables and charts can best be described as mind-numbing cruelty. The usual charts we see around are nowhere near as interesting as this one.  It is cruel to clients to impose dull complex charts on them. It is also a pretty ineffective way for our industry to communicate.  In this post, I offer some suggestions based on Fast and Slow Thinking.

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Marketing Automation: How Human is Your Research?

Guest Author Flex MR is world-leading online market research platform that we like to work with. Here is a blog post from them on the important topic of Marketing Automation

Delivering insights that have impact, resonance and clarity is always paramount for a researcher who needs to demonstrate the value of data analysis and running research studies. Many, many times there has been a lot of excitement in the room when a new piece of technology comes along that advances on that analytical capabilities and perhaps even speeds it up. 

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When ‘insight communities’ aren’t right for you

What are insight communities?

Insight communities have been one of the big success stories of the last few years in research. The notion behind them of course is that consumers who have opted into an actively-managed long-term ‘community’ of like-minded consumers will be more engaged and provide more relevant, collaborative and in some cases quicker marketing feedback than would be feasible through more traditional methods such as focus groups and surveys.

All fine and good, except ……

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