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Keeping things simple – again!

April 25, 2009

When I'm digging in my garden, and the activity clears out all the trivia, I often find myself thinking about work. It's OK… I really like my work, or at least the part that I think about when I'm digging, which is perhaps the ideal work that I would be doing all the time, if I could just clear out all the other stuff.

Typically it will be a movie playing in my head – of me addressing an audience of my colleagues – maybe small, maybe a full hall. It's not that when the movie starts I already know what I think about a particular subject, or that I know how I want to communicate it, the movie is to some degree the real time process through which I both clarify and share those thoughts.

Hang on – that's thinking out loud but in my head  !!!

Anyway, I wish it was possible to record these movies, with their passion and humour and, yes, self confidence because if I think, "Hang on that's a blog entry", by the time I sit down to write they have faded to something much more laborious. Also, as I write the first bits, reflect on them and ensure they are in tidy 'propositional' sentences – the later bits get overwritten in my memory, or fall off the end of the different kind of memory I'm accessing by then.

One – narcissistic – idea I had was to run in and sit down infront of our HDD video camera, or our web cam, and speak it rather than write it. Hmmm. [Is this a variant of that 'learning styles' thing?]

Anyway – here are the remains of todays (literally 'dug') thought.

When I'm explaining promoting some things to my colleagues about the web, about web2.0 and social media, one of the problems is that it is too wide a range of 'importances' and, since we all tend to start with background and the web2.0/social media background is MASSIVE!, I'm not left with time, stamina or audience forbearance, to move on to the other aspects. You'll see what I mean in a minute.

Solution. Deal with each of the three on different occasions. Supporting solutions: Ask some questions at the start to show, and to let the audience show each other, that we all have different degrees of understanding of, levels of enthusiasm for, and degree of personal immersion in, any of the 3 (yes three) dimensions of web2.0/social media for market researchers.

So I need three different (or three different families of) expositions on this subject.

1. World. How these things are being played out in the world – spread, types of activity, historical perspective – what it influences, but also what it is influenced by and confused with. THEORY. ACADEMIA.

2. Object of Study. What out clients ar interested in – so what they might ask us to investigate. How marketers are trying to interract with 'consumers' through these media. New behaviours and segmentations.  New theories of marketing or the death of marketing. This is where considerations, and versions, of the 1-9-90 question belong.

3. Medium of study. i.e. how we (i.e. our company) have, could, and how others have, used, and sought to use, the machinery of web2.0 to conduct research studies. In particular encourage exploration of whether each case is 'old work with new tools' or 'new work' – also how it relates to considerations, at 2, about types of participant… not just familiar segmentations – but segmentations by online behaviour, connectedness, openness.

Interestingly – social web mining – something I'm looking at at the moment, is one thiong that really straddles 2 and 3 in a stubborn way. Though I think it leans towards 3 at the moment.

So I need to deal with each of these, briefly and penetratingly, on it's own.

My notes to self are…

In each case be prepared to talk (not to 'present') and hence tap into my emotion/belief/hopes. Let the outcome be a group discussion and then the firing up of a number of bilateral conversations thereafter (more of those movies maybe, but no longer in my head) – this is in contrast to the outcome being a deck or a set of notes that people take away.

I think the next thing I need to do is collect favourite quotes, examples and things that make me rant.

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