Swaggg

| No Comments

Screen Shot 2012-12-05 at 11.18.47 PM.png

I recently came across a fun website called Swagbucks! It's a website that works with companies to promote products, conduct surveys, and lead to other research work. Involvement with Swagbucks is rewarded by accumulation of "Swagbucks," which are earned through participation through the various activities presented to members. Here's a few examples:

Screen Shot 2012-12-05 at 11.23.27 PM.png

Activities can range from 1 or 2 Swagbucks for watching a promotional video to 10 Swagbucks for playing an online game and into the hundreds for purchasing items from associated companies. This is a cool way to engage research participants.

The more I look at research and research techniques, the more I realize that research needs to become more interactive - just like other mediums. Research needs to engage consumers through interesting content, interesting methods, and clearly defined questions.

This is it. I'm signing off. My last blog post - it's bittersweet. Thanks for reading everybody - I hope you learned as much about research as I did through this process! :)

Seriously?

| No Comments

In contrast to Buffalo Wild Wings ultra cool survey, I received another email survey that just "irked" me. Why you might ask? All of the questions were based on a five point scale that was explained in a completely different document those being surveyed had to download in addition to the survey. Talk about frustrating! In addition to the 5 point scale drop-down menu, there was space after every question for feedback. AND the survey asked you to put your name! So much for anonymity...

Untitled`1.png

Be(dubs) the Survey to BEAT

| No Comments

Untitled 2.png

Recently, I was asked to participate in a survey for Buffalo Wild Wings (aka BWW aka BDubs). I was assuming it would be long and boring, but BWW made it fun. I actually enjoyed the way they phrased questions and liked the graphics and animation they used. Each page of the survey was different with cool graphics. I thought this idea of creating an interactive environment to take a surveys is a great! I had such good experience with this survey, that I didn't lose patience at all and even signed up to be in the club for research called B-Dubs Huddle. Apparently, I'm in their target demographic... According to a statement at the end of the survey, they were inviting to me to become a part of the group to give feedback on a consistent basis.

I've included a few examples of the way their survey questions were asked. Cool!

Example #1

Example #2

Example #3

You say you want a REVOLUTION - well you know...

| No Comments


Screen Shot 2012-11-29 at 10.05.57 AM.png


It's happening. The social revolution is here. After watching the research news presentation today in class, I was intrigued. I wanted to learn more so I "Googled" the video and watched the whole thing. Some of the theories it suggests make total sense. There were several statements that stood out to me, but the one below says it all.

"We no longer search for the news, the news finds us..." It's alarming because it's true! Most young adults are watching the TV or picking up a paper for news, they're online. And where is the majority of their time spent? Social Media. Steps_to_Maximize_Social_Media.jpegWhy should it be surprising to us that news is moving towards social media? Why should it be surprising that it will "find us?"

So - how does this relate to research? To be totally honest, I'm not sure. I would bet that this means more online surveys. Maybe Google+ or Skype will turn into platforms for focus groups.

The larger question is, "How is this social shift going to impact our world?"

Check out the whole video and the whole theory in Erik Qualman's book, Socialnomics.

Focus on Focus Groups

| No Comments

FocusGroup.png

This article discusses the major benefits to focus groups and how to conduct one. As a new researcher, I have found the insights in the article extremely helpful. A few things that The article not only includes basic information about facilitating a focus group (5-6 open-ended questions, 6-10 of the same demographic, allow 90 minutes, etc...), it also challenges researchers to prepare effectively. For example, it encourages researchers to decide exactly what they want to learn from the group and to take advantage of the focus group's ability to relay product perception.

The article recommends creating an incentive for consumers as well as the use of multiple groups from different demographics to find emerging trends. During the focus group, it recommends creating a comfortable atmosphere, video-taping/recording the group, and repeating back basic answers to ensure that there is a basic understanding.

I believe these are excellent guidelines to qualitative research implementing a focus group. Check out the full article here.

Hands-On!

| No Comments

imgres.jpgAccording to an article published by the Harvard School of Education, students have been getting a hands-on experience in a year apprenticeship in research resulting great student responses. Comments have been so positive that the course is in its third year. Students come into the class with varied research background, but novices are welcome. The course is so interactive and experience-based that almost all students feel a new-found respect for research and many continue onto careers in research.

I think this article is so interesting because of the brutal honesty. Blake Noel, previously a Chicago teacher now researcher, seems to state it best - "They are having us learn by doing," Noel says. "I would argue it's much better than listening to someone else talk about doing it."

Research can come off bland or boring, but doing research is actually one of the most interesting and intriguing of all career paths. Discovering trends in demographics and social structures brings so much growth to our world, our clients, and our consumers.

Let's keep moving towards experience-based learning!

Check out the full article here!

What Sally's Performance *shows* us about Research ...

| No Comments

When Harry Met Sally 4.jpg

While browsing Green Book, I noticed a great pic from one of my favorite movies, When Harry Met Sally. Naturally I clicked on the link to find a great article that discusses "how interaction with other people through our social networks is the key to understanding mass behavior." Sounds like a valid blog topic if you ask me!

What we can draw from Sally, her orgasmic (View image)performance, and the reactions are the keys to mass marketing according to Cole's blog post. He references Marc Earls and co-authors in their book, "I'll Have What She's Having," explaining the basics of their theories. The book examines "the processes by which ideas spread through our social networks" and how these processes affect mass marketing.

I think this is incredibly insightful for research methods and should be considered when assembling data about demographics.

Check out the full story here!

The Peanut Gallery

| No Comments

facebook-logo.jpg

In the past few years, surveys have made the online leap. With online as a new option, I have noticed a large amount of friends "posting" on social media sites about completing surveys for them. Untitled 1.png

As this photo illustrates, friends of researchers are encouraged to take "anonymous" surveys. I'm sure that this has happened even in our class this semester. The question is: if we are posting these surveys, are the results truly accurate? Do our own biases reflect those of our friends?

Research Proposals

| No Comments

Untitled.png

While attempting to understand my own group research proposal better, I stumbled upon this YouTube video that was extremely helpful in understanding research proposals. It was made by a Dr. Sam Fiala who teaches psychology at Texas A&M. I am interested in the purpose of research proposals as well as the requirements and expectations from other sources and fields.

The basic ideas are similar, however there are some slight variations. His introduction and ours are extremely similar, although the core organization and the necessity of a hypothesis are a bit different. However, I think the lack of hypothesis deals mainly with the difference in fields of study. In regards to the organization, he suggests Method as a strong category with subsets of design, sample, materials, and procedures. This is similar to ours, but not entirely. Our strong category includes the entire study with subsets of method, purpose, sample, procedure, ethics, and planned data analysis. His data analysis differs from ours because it is considered another strong category, however it covers the same information.

The only thing that Dr. Fiala asks of his students that we are not required is a discussion section. In this section, students are expected to restate the hypothesis, the limitations of the study and conclusions, and potential implications of the results. I believe that because of the differences in fields, this section would be repetitive and unnecessary for our purposes.

It's interesting to see the way that research spans across so many platforms!

Surveys Gone Rogue

| No Comments

After hearing the research news project about new research methods, specifically about the applications for smartphones, I became interested in the types of research apps are currently available. I stumbled upon a new kind of survey - called droidSURVEY www.droidsurvey.png

This new app, which runs completely offline, allows researchers to administer an electronic survey that saves and analyzes results. With this new app, researchers now have the freedom to travel to target markets for target demographics! How cool is that?!

Surveys are designed online beforehand and administered based on the researchers methods. Perhaps a researcher would target every 5th person who leaves a Target at 4 different locations to compare results? This application gives the researcher freedom while helping to tally results quickly.

The application also can track and chart results immediately. Perhaps a researcher is low on a certain demographic for their survey; they are now able to seek that out. Say a researcher needs more males 50+, this is information he would have at his finger tips while out in the field. This simple app would save him time and money!

The last cool thing about droidSURVEY is it's ability to run on multiple smartphones or tablets at once. Research could be conducted and tallied over the span of one evening! Consider our prior situation with Target - there's four target locations and every 5th person leaving Target will be asked to participate. Imagine how much more quick and efficient droidSURVEY would be! All four locations could be calculated in one night using multiple devices administering the same survey at the same time period.

Finally, get back to work, download the results to your computer, and analyze with the comfort and convenience of your computer and usual software.

Check out droidSURVEY - looks like a Win-Win situation to me!