Tuesday 19 October 2010

NewMR Festival - my "main stage" picks

Just a very quick post. Ray Poynter's Festival of NewMR takes place in early December, and in true co-creative style, prospective attendees help choose the programme. Dozens of submissions have been put forward, and I've had a very enjoyable hour perusing the synopses with less than an hour to go before voting closes.

As a non-practitioner, some of the more complex proposals didn't interest me, but in general there are stacks of papers that look fascinating. I only hope that the ones that don't get voted for do end up being presented in some format, either as a "fringe event" at the NewMR festival, or elsewhere.

As someone who is to an extent "looking in from the outside", papers with a strong practical element or ood case studies appealed to me, although some of the more abstract papers look great too. The format for voting for papers was great (and really made you think about the papers in turn). The only thing I would quibble is the wording: I must confess that in answering do you think this presentation is likely to be of value to the audience I acted purely selfishly - clicking "yes" only to those papers that were likely to be of value to me. 

I ended up with 24 papers on my shortlist, and picking three was nigh-on impossible. Some highlights for me included Brian Fine on research through computer games (Tom Ewing had something similar); Alison MacLeod on brand evangelists and the difficulties of filtering out respondents desperate to give their opinions; Jon Puleston on encouraging RESPONDENTS to think creatively; Nick Coates of Promise Communities on co-creation, and Tom De Ruyck of Insites on a similar theme; Betty Adamou on young researchers and how the game is changing; Fiona Blades with an overview of recent innovations; papers on sampling issues in social media research - firstly Sue York on the blurring of quant and qual borders as sampling "rules" are torn up, and Christine Walker more specifically on Twitter sampling implications; and plenty of good looking practical online papers from the likes of Robin Shuker, John Griffiths and Ray Poynter himself.

But I had to go for three and the ones I plumped for in the end were Brainjuicer's Paul Roberts with a practical study of emotions at point of transaction; Nigel Legg with a social media listening case study; and Marty Gage on multi-sensory stimuli. This last one has the potential to be really interesting - I reckon these holistic approaches will become all the rage in the next decade or two of we are to really get a sort of Steven Hawking-style "Theory of Everything" related to all the different heuristics and components of a consumer's decision-making process.

But whatever comes out on top, there are likely to be loads of goodies. I can't wait.

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