Preaching to the Research Choir

[tweetmeme source=”lovestats” only_single=false]Do you ever wonder if this is all in vain?

We blog, we tweet, we comment on linked in. We reach out to other professionals in professional places and argue our points to death with people who care deeply about the same things we care about. We might disagree with each other, but boy do we love a good debate. Our online professional space is chock full of passionate, caring minds.

Now take a step back. Who are your coworkers? Do they tweet every day? Blog every day? Write long winded comments about the theoretical aspects of qualitative vs quantitative research? I’m going to bet not. You might find a few of them, but most of your co-workers, the research managers, the project managers, the survey programmers, the client service team, probably aren’t in the professional online space that you are and probably aren’t as passionate as you are. Of course, there are exceptions but I’m not talking to you.

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I’m not saying that your colleagues don’t want to do a good job or that they don’t like their job. I’m saying that they aren’t involved in all of these debates to the same extent that you are. They aren’t hearing the opinions of people, from around the world, who have completely different life experiences.

I wonder if all the debates we have filter across to our less involved peers or if the debates are just in vain. How do we bring our conversations into the confines of the office without overwhelming people with our annoying and excessive passion. And yes, there is such a thing as excessive passion and I know how it can make me want to puke.

I don’t have the solution but maybe you do. I’d like to hear it.

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  • 3 responses

    1. Given the proliferation of MR social media sites, I think it is more critical than ever than those of us who are active on them be internal ambassadors. I’ve made sure my colleagues know they can always contact me with questions, and I will send them links to appropriate sites that help answer their questions. I do get regular requests each week for advice that I can answer in this way. I even have a standing monthly meeting with one group to educate them about what I’ve learnt in the prior month. These are great ways to leverage the time we invest in the MR social media community.

    2. I think we make an enormous mistake when we assume that the world is on Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn. It is still a minority interest, although I would say that the power of the internet to connect like-minded people is a huge factor in my own involvement. But, lots of people don’t get it, or are very busy and rather resistant.

      Personally, I’ve scaled back my involvement on the various MR discussion sites, (a) because it can suck the limited time I have for work and (b) because many discussions are really very US-based. Don’t get me wrong, I love to connect with people from all over the world, but with a family and a reduced-hours freelancing career, I just have to prioritise. Otherwise I just drown in it, and everyone suffers.

      1. Agreed. I feel bad about not being on every MR site but it is physically impossible. I think you can still get the gist of the industry from a few.

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