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Ray Poynter, managing director of The Future Place and organizer of The NewMR Virtual Festival, kicked off the festival with a presentation on “How can we turn online discussions into insight?” His presentation is summarized in an article on the Voice of Vovici Blog by Jeffrey Henning.

Poynter suggests three strategies for turning online discussions into insight: netnography, discussion creation and mass techniques. He cites Rob Kozinets’ book on Netnography and his practical steps to follow in doing netnographies. He also advocates creating discussions between organizations and their stakeholders: customers, employees and partners. His take on mass techniques includes a warning to evaluate their accuracy.

Poynter summed up by saying, “This is going to be BIG! But there will be disasters!” He advised that “software is better at finding corpora than analyzing them” and that researchers need to know what model they are applying to their data and need to educate clients about the confidence they can place on the findings researchers report.

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