Open for Conversation

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Image thanks to wiccked
So, here's where I fess up.  I'm pregnant!  Super excited, but also super sick.  The kind of sick that makes it hard to think about a whole lot else.  If someone were monitoring my Foursquare scores, they'd notice a drastic change in my behavior the last few months.  And, I'm sure that there are many other things that have changed - and many more changes to come!  Enough about me...I'll be fine, and this is all worth it.  But, this experience has made me think about times or situations when the folks I talk to in research just plain aren't ready to have a conversation about anything I need to talk with them about.

The most common situations that come up with online research are children being sick or injured.  I love getting to offer up make-up days in asynchronous research to moms that will be able to concentrate much better when the situation is resolved.  Two make-up days on the back-end of a project put the respondents at ease and me at ease because I'm not as concerned about them not completing.

In fact, when it comes down to it, asynchronous research is great for allowing people to join the conversation when they're ready to join the conversation (with some parameters, of course.)

Social Media Research with existing comments and scraping is great because people have in essence signed off on every tweet or post, "I'm ready to talk about this right now, so I am!"

What about face to face research?  How do we get to talk to people when they're open to talking?

And, do we explore how current life experiences might be impacting their responses?  For me, the last several months might have found me quite negative about the food and beverage category.  Okay, I might have gagged talking about it.  It would be wrong to extrapolate that I feel that way all the time (believe me, I normally love food!)  Granted, my example is a bit strange, but there are other times when people might have a different response based on occasion, situation or life circumstance than they'd normally have.  I guess base size comes into play here, helping to weigh things out.  But, worth asking, "Am I going to catch people at a time where they're going to be eager to talk about this in their normal way of thinking about it?"

Researchers: do you have any advice on or experiences related to talking to people when they're open and ready to talk?  I'm interested in learning from you.


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