Tag Archives: blogging

Voxpopme Perspectives: Video posts… in writing

Along with a group of market researchers from around the world, I was asked to participate in Voxpopme Perspectives – an initiative wherein insights industry experts share ideas about a variety of topics via video. You can read more about it here or watch the videos here. Viewers can then reach out over Twitter or upload their own video response.

Except the video blogging thing wasn’t working for me. I do my best thinking in writing and I’m pretty sure you don’t want to watch me read a post. So instead, I’ll be sharing my thoughts in written posts. Feel free to write back if you’re so included. Stay tuned!



6 reasons to connect online with people you’ve never met

Everyone has their own strategy with LinkedIn. Some people choose to only connect with people they’ve physically met. Others choose to connect with people they’ve at least spoken to, whether physically or on the phone. I, however, have a different strategy.
I like to connect with anyone who touches my industry regardless of whether we’ve ever spoken or crossed paths. I might be in market research, but if you’re in marketing, AR/VR/MR/XR, big data, analytics, data journalism, neuroscience, biometrics, polling, surveys, focus groups, mall intercepts, sampling, research panes, etc, I’ll probably be open to connecting with you.


Well, I’m not a sales or business development person so you’ll never see a pitch from me, disguised or otherwise. I don’t do sales, I won’t do sales, I’ll never do sales. But I have numerous reasons for connecting with so many people:

  1. Conference speakers: On occasion, I am asked to recruit and chair tracks of speakers at conferences. Having built a broad set of connections over the years, I can quickly find and invite people meeting the expertise requirements without resorting to a tried and true list of the same people I talk to everyday. And, I can even invite people based on geography as I’m careful to grow connections around the world.
  2. Webinar guests: You never know when someone is going to ask you to recommend an expert on a topic, or when you yourself would like an expert to join you during a webinar. Make those connections early, and you won’t waste time waiting for people to notice and approve a LinkedIn invitation.
  3. Article authors: Want an expert to contribute their opinions to a blog or article? You guessed it. Building up connections over the years means that I can quickly reach out to experts in many areas to see if they’d like to contribute their knowledge in a magazine or journal article.
  4. Job seekers: I love being connected to so many people because it allows me to be aware of job notices. I see many and share many, and hopefully this helps unemployed people find a new job just a bit more quickly. Plus, when someone comes to me personally, sometimes I can direct them to a job posting I saw just that day. (On a related note, pay your interns!)
  5. To put a face to a name: I like to get know people I plan to meet before I actually meet them. And, I often open a person’s LinkedIn profile when I talk to them on the phone. I like to see the face of the person and, sometimes, it helps to have a quick outline of who they are and what they do to help focus conversations. This has helped me many times over the years when I’ve participated in global standards committees where participants live on different continents.
  6. To be in the know: I wish I knew everything about my industry and the future of my industry but I don’t. I’ve not yet grown my psychic abilities sufficiently. Following people who live in hundreds of cities around the world means that I get to understand opinions that I would never, ever otherwise have the chance to consider. I see stories about augmented reality being used for medical training, I learn new theories about marketing, and I am amazed on a daily basis at the work happening all around me. LinkedIn connections are fabulous teachers.

The next time you see a link request from someone you don’t know. Consider whether any of these reasons would make it a worthwhile connection. It might not work for you but it certainly works for me.

The Book of Blogs: Social Media Research Chords and Lyrics #NSMNSS

Book of Blogs social media in social research kindleAre you ready kids!

For the musicians among us, let’s celebrate the launch of “Social Media in Social Research: Blogs on Blurring the Boundaries” edited by Kandy Woodfield with a little song. Please enjoy this slight adjustment to Peter Gabriel’s song. I couldn’t help myself!

If you take a video of yourself playing the song, I’ll post it here for everyone to enjoy. And if you’re lucky (unlucky?), I might post one of myself playing the ukulele.


The Book Of Blogs by Annie Pettit

(Better known as the Book of Love by Peter Gabriel, from the 2004 Movie “Shall We Dance”)

*** Capo on Fret 1
*** Actual Key Is Ab / Play in Key of G

Each line transitions through G C D G

Intro – G/C/D/G — G/C/D/G —  G/C/D/G  — G/C/D/G

The book of blogs is long and helpful
You can learn social research from it
It’s full of charts and facts and figures
and instructions on new methods

And I……..
I love it when you read it to me
And you……….
You can buy me the Book of Blogs

The book of blogs has insight in it
In fact that’s where insight comes from
Some of it is just transcendental
Some of it is up for debate

And I……..
I love it when you read to me
And you……….
You can buy me the Book of Blogs

Bridge: G/C/D/G  — G/C/D/G  — G/C/D/G  — G/C/D/G

The book of blogs inspires to try it
It’s written by such great authors
It’s got advice on social research
You should try to implement

And I……..
I love it when you read to me
And you……….
You can buy me the Book of Blogs

And I……..
I love it when you read to me
And you……….
You can buy me the Book of Blogs

And I……..
I love it when you read to me
And you……….
You ought to buy the Book of Blogs
You ought to buy the book for me

Launching Today! Social Media in Social Research: Blogs on Blurring the Boundaries #NSMNSS

Book of Blogs social media in social research kindleOn Wednesday October 29, 2014, a brand new book is being released including a chapter by moi! It’s called “Social Media in Social Research: Blogs on Blurring the Boundaries” and it’s edited by Kandy Woodfield who is the Learning and Enterprise Director at NatCen Social Research, and the co-founder of the NSMNSS network. Buy the book on Amazon and leave a review!

Social research as a craft, a profession, is all about making sense of the worlds and networks we and others live in, how strange would it be then if the methods and tools we use to navigate these new social worlds were not also changing and flexing.  Our network set out to give researchers a space to reflect on how social media and new forms of data were challenging conventional research practice and how we engage with research participants and audiences. If we had found little to discuss and little change it would have been worrying, I am relieved to report the opposite, researchers have been eager to share their experiences, dissect their success at using new methods and explore knotty questions about robustness, ethics and methods.

Our forthcoming  book of blogs is our members take on what that changing methodological world feels like to them, it’s about where the boundaries are blurring between disciplines and methods, roles and realities. It is not a peer reviewed collection and it’s not meant to be used as a text book, what we hope it offers is a series of challenging, interesting, topical perspectives on how social research is adapting, or not, in the face of huge technological and social change.

You can join us for the virtual launch by following the tweets here or the blog posts here. I won’t be able to attend the launch but you just might catch me in a quick video. I’ll see you there virtually!

book of blogs blurring boundaries social media research

The Roles of Blogs in Public Opinion Research Dissemination #AAPOR #MRX

AAPOR… Live blogging from beautiful Boston…

Reg Baker, SurveyGeek

  • First blog post was on randomization
  • His company considered him to be a methodologist because he subscribed to POQ, he kept answering the same questions so he wrote the answers in a blog and referred everyone there
  • Twitter is how you build blog traffic, We love the retweets of our blogs
  • There is a social media bubble of all the people talking about the same things you do, and you meet people around the world only because of your buzz
  • Two families of blogs – those sharing research results and those in the commentator category
  • Biggest peak of all – sarcasm sells – begged people to not use words like disruptive, holistic, superlatives; next largest blog was how to write a mobile pitch piece about the hyperbole around mobile research
  • Conference blogging gets lots of hits, as do posts in a series
  • Hardest thing about blogging is you need to do it all the time and it’s hard, you need to do it day in and day out, something people care about want to hear about
  • Useful and fun way to share information, it can get you into trouble, say things you wish you didn’t say

Annie Pettit, LoveStats

Adam Sage, SurveyPost

  • Put a viewpoint out there to start a discussion
  • Peer reviewed research takes a lot of time
  • Focus on twitter, crowdsourcing, infomatics, concepts that are difficult to publish before they are outdated
  • Blogs consider the readers to be the jury
  • Ripe for innovation, more than just you shouting with a megaphone

Marjorie Connelly, New York Times

  • They post blogs and vet blogs that go on many different places on their site
  • Website has no print deadline so they can post at any time
  • Blogs offer a different voice than the print paper, columnists often have their own blogs and they often use polls to support their arguments – they have no control over those polls
  • Often breaking news or incisive posts
  • Use live blogging for celebrity events like debut of the ipad, Tony Awards
  • Venue for things that wouldn’t be accepted into the paper
  • Let authors say more and more deeply than the printed paper
  • Can do early releases of data in order to tease a later print version

Jeffrey Henning, ResearchScape

  • Started his Vovici blog as part of content marketing, and he needed something to do in the newly formed merged companies
  • First blog post was about asking demographic questions, designed only by considering what google wanted
  • His new company “ResearchScape”  needed the same kind of marketing work
  • His ranking of 50 top blogs turned into 50 days of posts
  • Realized not a lot of people are sharing results of studies – white space in the blogging world to support more
  • Journalists do a poor job of putting research results into context – Jeffrey gives them an F. Researchscape is trying to fix this and Jeffrey gives himself a D for what he’s done so far. He wants to improve to a C+ next year.
  • A blog is a place to practice in a small audience, help you become better at explaining methodologies

Casey Tasfaye, FreeRangeResearch

  • You don’t know your opinion until you write it down
  • Assumptions about what research is changes when you try to write it down
  • Place to combine all her data sources – school, friends, talks – and make sense of it. It’s about her trying to figure things out.
  • Her blogs explores intersections of different worlds, shares discussions about polls, reports events and conferences, things she reads, research findings
  • Her meditation calendar is a good source of  blog posts
  • Good place for problem solving, discuss them in a public way
  • Also talks about digital parenting – how does she deal with her kids and social media
  • Tries to have a blog roll, lists of organizations, lists of helpful links, lists of good tools
  • Twitter is a good tool for listening, amplifying, and discussion
  • very little engagement on the blogs themselves but lots on twitter
  • #WJchat is good to listen to
  • Twitter is a great way to follow conceptual trends
  • A lot of research doesn’t get published and blogging can deal with this

How to become a research methodologist #MRX

Once you know what you really want to do, how do you get there? I’ve been asked a few times how I became a research methodologist and can someone else become a methodologist as well. It’s really quite simple. It’s not easy, but it is simple.

The advice I give is don’t wait for someone to offer you a job as a methodologist or to declare that you are a methodologist. If you know what you want, then it is your job to make it happen. No one else.

  1. If you are a project manager and you want to be a methodologist. Start tweeting about methodology. Share educational white papers and intriguing blog posts that helped you learn about methodology.
  2. If you’re in report prep and you want to be a methodologist, start a blog about methodology. Share your thoughts and opinions about good and bad methodology in easy to read, weekly or monthly opinion pieces. Be brand and bold and take a stand.
  3. If you’re a data analyst and you want to be a methodologist, stay a few hours late after work and re-analyze datasets with methodology in mind. Analyze speeding rates by survey topic, straightlining rates by number of grids, random responding by demographics. Then write a paper and share with your colleagues.

No matter what your current role is, you can find a way to incorporate what really excites you into your day. If you do it well, a good boss will find ways for you to expand into that space. And if your current boss doesn’t, one of your Twitter followers or blog readers will. Enjoy your new job!

10 Tips to Live Blog a Conference

Hunt and Peck Acoustic EP

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve live blogged at a few conferences now and have learned a few things along with way. It all comes down to preparation so here is how I prepare.

  1. Go online and find the conference schedule at least a day ahead. Copy the session title and speaker names into a draft post for each session you plan to attend. Ideally, the copy paste action will take any hyperlinks with it.
  2. Find each speaker’s twitter account and include the link to a relevant tweet in the post.
  3. If you they don’t have a twitter account (many social media experts/mavens/gurus don’t… interesting…), try to find their Linkedin account or personal blog. Same deal, paste a linked image of their account into the post.
  4. Consider including an introductory message on each post. Indicate the conference, that this is a live blog, that it will probably full of listening errors, yadda, yadda, yadda, don’t blame me or the speaker when I misinterpret what I heard.
  5. Prepare a list of relevant keywords and paste them into the keyword box for each of the blogs (e.g., the name of the conference, the location, topic). Be sure to include the speaker’s name.
  6. Once in the conference, sit out of the thick of things. Some people might be distracted by your typing so bug as few people as possible. Unless you’re sitting beside someone you don’t like. Then hunt and peck as loudly as you possibly can.
  7. Bring your power cord. Even if your netbook has a ten hour battery. it is guaranteed to lose power in about 28 minutes.
  8. Write your post OFFLINE. I cannot stress this enough. I’ve lost a couple of really good posts because the hotel internet connection broke off mid-talk. Just write your post in Word or Notepad.
  9. I tend to stop taking notes as soon as the speaker starts to take questions. At this point, I make sure the internet is working, I copy the post into WordPress, add a couple extra keywords, check the spelling, check the links, choose an image, and click submit. If something juicy comes up during question period, I can still add it in.
  10. And ta dum! This strategy usually means I have a post completed and launched in time to move to the next session.

Annie Pettit, Chief #MRIA2011 Blogger

Are you excited about the upcoming MRIA annual conference? I am! In just ten days, market researchers from all across Canada, and around the world, will converge on Kelowna, British Columbia to learn, meet, and greet their colleagues. And not only will I present a session on Cell + Survey + SMR Mashups on behalf of Conversition Strategies and Research Now, I have also been appointed by the MRIA as the Chief Blogger of the 2011 conference.

What does that mean? It means I’ll be live blogging every session I attend so that you can hear the main points of each speaker within minutes of the conclusion of each talk. I’ll blog lunch and dinner, as well as the tradeshow, the events, and the hotel. If they serve creme brulee you’ll be among the first to know this essential information. Have a story you’d like me to cover? Tweet or email me and let me know!

I will be paid well for my efforts so don’t worry. I’ll be the first person in line at lunch as well as the person budding ahead of you to take the last pretzel from the snack table.

But, alas, I’m just one person and can’t possibly cover all of the events. That’s where my fellow attendees come in. Raise your hand if you intend to do a little bit of conference blogging yourself. Leave a quick comment below and let’s chat about how we can cover more ground together.

Hopefully, we’ll do a good enough job so that those of you who couldn’t attend just might feel like you’re at the conference in person. And perhaps next year, you’ll have the factual evidence required to convince your boss to let you go.

Also see
Conference News: Vineyards, BodyBOOST
Speaker profiles: Angus Reid, David Stark, Finn Raben, Kristin Luck
Conference events: Speed networking, Cocktail reception, French Funky and Fruity

Should you blog at conferences?

A photo take in Kelowna, B.C.

Image via Wikipedia

You’ve been thinking about doing it, you’ve watched other people do it, and you’ve read the output of someone doing it. But should you? Here is my advice, worth about 18 cents.

You shouldn’t blog conferences because:
1. It’s rude to the speaker
2. It’s distracting for people around you
3. It’s hard to pay complete attention to the speaker
4. The speaker doesn’t like it

Why you should blog conferences:
1. People who are never allowed to attend conferences can experience them
2. People in any time zone can join the conversation through side chats
3. It fills up any free time you may have outside official conference hours
4. It sparks business leads
5. It’s a good way to improve your writing skills

Personally, I’ve chosen to be a conference blogger. I bring a tiny netbook that doesn’t bang into the people beside me. I’m a touch typist so there’s no loud hunting and pecking. I do my best to be discreet. I will change a blog on the request of a speaker (I won’t change an opinion but I will correct or remove it.) When I’m the speaker, I want people to share anything they may have learned from me and on the flip side, I want to share what I’m learning too.

So when you see me at the MRA in Washington and the MRIA in Kelowna, yes, I’ll be live blogging. Maybe you too?

How to Motivate Yourself to Blog: Read the Undying Praise of your Spammers

Chico and his moose

Image by scpetrel via Flickr

No matter how hard you try, sometimes you just have no confidence in your writing skills. That is when you should start a blog. Because the spam comments you will receive will do nothing but make you feel like you are contributing the most amazing information EVER to your industry. Below is just a small sample of the praise I have received from spammers. Feel free to add your own or plagiarize from these!

“This is laid out really successfully and you are able to see from the top high quality, that it has been researched and thought out very nicely. I’ve bookmarked it and am going to forward it to other people that i know will be extremely interested within the information. My father is in this industry, he’ll adore the way you laid out the details, I’ve sent him your hyperlink. I have alos posted a permanent hyperlink on my web page for other to find this. It’s hard for anyone to disagree with this, the info is fantastically put together.”

“Im impressed, I must say. Very rarely do I come across a site thats both informative and entertaining, and let me tell you, youve hit the nail on the head. Your site is important; the issue is something that not enough people are talking intelligently about. Im really happy that I stumbled across this in my search for something relating to this issue.”

I simply want to tell you that I am very new to blogging and site-building and definitely savored your web-site. More than likely I’m want to bookmark your blog post . You definitely have fabulous writings. Thanks a lot for sharing your blog site.

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