My New Favourite Question

Not long ago I found myself in the midst of what was disguised as a quick online survey but proved to be a significant investment of my time. I opted in because I wanted to contribute; I opted out because I didn’t want to contribute that much.

Striking the right balance between workload and incentive is difficult.  When I’m working with a team that’s new to research communities I can, understandably, expect to hear at least one question dealing with this dilemma:

“How many questions should/can I ask in a day?”
“How much time can I expect participants to spend contributing to the community on a given day?”
“Is X enough incentive for Y time spent?”

I can provide some broad guidelines based on my exposure to other communities but I always conclude with a confident, “it depends.” The answers to these questions depend on a number of variables: demographics, subject matter, incentive offered etc. Continue reading

Engaged Research

This is the first in a short series of blog posts on the subject of Engaged Research. We’re starting with “Why is engagement important?” and “How to better engage participants?”. The next in the series will tackle the role of a Research Moderator evolving into a Research Community Manager. We’ll finish with our thoughts about where the focus on engagement in research can lead.

First some context

Having a background of implementing literally hundreds of online communities for a myriad of business uses, we’re in a unique position of being able to look at research communities from a different angle to most agencies and solution providers.

In business applications (often marketing-led), one community goal typically sits above all others: engagement.

A lot of effort goes into building technology that stimulates engagement, designing and adding community topics and using content that deeply engages members. Around that, the most successful business communities have strong Community Managers that work to create active, lively interactions that sustain and grow member engagement. Not to mention the need to track engagement as a measure of community health and demonstrate a ROI… Continue reading