Coming up for air – reflections after a time spent away from the internet

Having been away from UK dataspace – so my ability to blog and tweet was severely compromised it is a pleasure to breathe fresh air again. Funny how telcos can't get their act together to allowing roaming overseas – they can't make/lose that much money from the balance of international traveller datatrades. What to talk about now my head is clearing and I am recovering from a full on week last week.

I was running marketing training for advertising and marketing people last week for a couple of days, what amounted to comms planning training for an agency and a day course on web 2.0 research with a look towards web 3.0. Interesting to be working in Romania – a country changing so fast that since I began to train there the penetration of mobiles has gone from just over half to over 100%. Many of those in the room had 2 phones. And internet penetration has more than doubled. But still the Facebook population there is equivalant to the population of Leicester. When the UK Facebook population has passed the population of the Netherlands and is heading towards that of Romania itself. The usefulness of comparisons is that it stops you getting rigid and prescriptive. The internet isn't the answer to everything. So we have to consider other ways of engaging with mass markets.

I've just acquired the papers from last week's MRS online conference so need to work through those. The number of papers I have about online research must be getting close to the 100 mark. At some point I must publish a list with some reviews.Research communities are now firmly in the mainstream of UK research culture. But I still wonder why so much online research looks like a horseless carriage still showing the evidence of its offline forebears. Which is why I am so interested in what is going to happen in the next 12 months. When social media really starts to kick in and clients start to get a grip on web 3.0. Why do research if you can organise the conversation you are now forced to have constantly with your customers? Is 2010 the year of E- CRM? Why ever not? I am becoming more and more conerned that research is steadily losing the right to exist. 

Ooh and an offer. Following my writeup of the Demographic Replicators one of their parents David Bausola has offered to build a couple of them for me to put on the blog here. What persona would you like the bots to exhibit?  Perhaps we should have a social media/researcher bot and bootstrap our way out of this? Do let me have your suggestions.

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