Monday, January 25, 2010

The next big idea

What next?

We are looking at finding entire communities in the UK, Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Sweden with which to conduct a 12 month long exploration of every day life. We will probably give each household an iPhone to double as an incentive payment (I hope) and we will look to using our App, on said iPhone, as the main data collection method.

Apart from logistics, cost and timing, we have a substantial quality control issue: How do we obtain consistent quality data(photo, film, audio and text) which is rich and usable? Short of recruiting a community of film makers, we need to follow the same process we follow with existing multi-country projects. That is, to create a series of template films. A template film - usually for our own ethnographers rather than households - is designed to set a benchmark for quality, style and content. It may even be necessary to send a new template film with each task. Since we expect to set a new task every 6 weeks, that will mean quite a lot of short films to send everyone.

The next big issue is finding our communities. In fact, how large should a community be and who should populate it? The answer is around 30 people and ideally all from the same street so they vaguely know each other. And the socio-demographics? As broad a mix as possible. This won't be a segmentation study. It will be a resource for those who want to observe and understand the precise points at which decisions are made, discoveries are made and opportunities are lost. It will also, therefore, explore things people nearly do or don't do.

Watch this space!


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