Archive for November, 2011

How Online Qualitative Research Can Stop Death by PowerPoint

No doubt at some point in your career you have either killed or been killed by power-point. There’s nothing quite as fatal to attention spans as a text-heavy, image-light debrief. I believe that online qualitative methods put researchers in a much stronger position to make presentations that engage rather than enrage, simply because of the richness of the content that they allow researchers to gather.

Is Online Qualitative Research Really Cheaper than Face-to-Face?

Understandably there is quite a bit of confusion in the industry surrounding this question. Some say online is cheaper, whilst others say it isn’t. The reality is, that there is no definitive answer as it is dependent on the nature and specifics of each project. There are instances where online research is cheaper (sometimes greatly, sometimes marginally) and times when its comparable to face to face research. This explains the confusion, people are saying different things as they’ve had different experiences.

With online research you don’t have the travel, accommodation and transcription costs associated with some face to face research projects, which depending on the size and scope of the project can be costly, particularly when taking into account international travel and accommodation. So quite often the cost savings associated with conducting international studies online are substantial, particularly as Liveminds is currently freely available in 9 languages (Chinese, Russian, Italian and German to name a few).

However when travel, accommodation and transcription aren’t large parts of the budget then the price of online & face to face research tend to be more comparable. Although the hosting fee for online platforms are much cheaper than renting a viewing facility, incentives and recruitment costs are on par. It is in this instance that online research should be valued for the benefits that it brings to the research process, i.e. geographical reach, longitudinal nature, 24 hour access and observation, time to consider responses, etc rather than the cost benefits associated with it.

(Image Courtesy of Pound Coins, wwarby, 2010, used under a Creative Common Attribution)