How to get the most out of your blography?

November 3, 2009

in Blogging, brand 2.0, Networks, Knowledge and Social Media, research

At Mosoci we have a blography product that’s a wonderful way to build a conversation with leading edge respondents and even those less familiar with blogs. While the blography format has evolved over time it remains a relatively simple product. What makes it effective is the conversations and dialogue that it enables with clients.

So recently I was disappointed when a consumer products client who happily commissioned a blography didn’t have time for the respondents. No comments, no daily reading etc. They missed out in many ways.

In this project traditional diaries were also used with some respondents while others were on the blography program. We observed distinct difference in what we got back. While some might trace to recruitment other benefits become obvious when using a blography. Paper diaries tend to restrict people. Blography respondents wrote much more, not restricted by paper size they also added hyperlinks and photo’s that for many would have been more difficult or impossible in the paper diary. Overall I’d say the content in the Blography format was more expressive and more interesting.

Traditionally we wait until we get the diaries back from the field. Thus the second benefit of the blography comes in enabling a dialogue between researchers and participants in real-time. As our client didn’t partake in this they missed a major opportunity to drill down on content and find new areas for inquiry when moving towards the field work. From experience I also know that the participants are increasingly interested in getting comments. They’ve been trained by Facebook walls etc. even if they have never blogged. It’s no longer so “foreign”.

Those new to blographies who have an online life usually find real benefits in the experience. It also represents a safe environment to learn in and the formats are kept simple.

Lastly, blographies can also become part of a panel with longer term implications. I remain surprised that more insight departments or product managers aren’t working harder to have a 100 people at their finger tips and engage them on a more persistent basis.

I didn’t mean for this to be a complete post or guide to running blographies. However, if you use them and have found other benefits or have questions about them I’d like to learn more.

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