On line qualitative is getting better for the practitioner. I am continually amazed by the new platforms that are now available and the ease of use. I’m curious how it is for the respondent and if we have really given them an easier way to have conversations with us research types.
As technology continues to make strides this will be an area of research that will continue to grow and gather speed. Right now we have two types at our finger tips…real time and asynchronous. Real time groups give the advantage of being able to talk to respondents that might be miles away from each other but have common needs and wants, to let them interact with each other and to get their perspectives at the same time. Asynchronous groups give the advantage of letting respondents comment when they can, when it is convenient for them (and isn’t that a learning in and of itself), to post video, pictures, links, to have a real relationship with us as researchers.
Unlike an in person group, this relationship can span days and weeks instead of hours. I wonder if we are ready for all the commitment that will take. Our main objective is to answer the research objectives but can we truly do that if our relationship is disingenuous with our respondents. Can they tell if we are being disingenuous? Will they not be as forthcoming? Or is it not important to them?