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Get Your Butt Off Twitter And Talk To Your Coworkers! By Guest Writer Annie Pettit, Ph. D.

I confess. I am addicted to Twitter. I check Twitter every day, several times a day, when my fingers are covered in dirt because I’m gardening, when my fingers are covered in dough because I’m baking. I’m so addicted to Twitter that I speak to my husband in 140 character sentences and send him bit.lys when I have more to say. I’m so addicted to Twitter that I forget my co-workers have voices and faces and can instantly react to my extremely important and inane comments.

In the Twittersphere, everyone I interact with has an opinion about social media research. I can mention the tiniest thing about how great social media research is and my so-called friends blast me with how sentiment analysis sucks and sampling is irrelevant and you can’t measure anything near as good as you can with a survey. In return, I blast them with comments about how I admire neuroscience and eyetracking and all that new-fangled stuff I really want to get my hands on.

But when, for some strange reason, I end up talking to people who aren’t online very much, the reaction is completely different. โ€œWhat is sentiment analysis?โ€ they ask. โ€œHow can you learn anything from crazy, unrepresentative people tweeting about what they had for breakfast?โ€ they ask. Sometimes, I even have to show them how to turn on a computer, show them what a Facebox is, and show them what a Tweeter is.

Sometimes, I’m forced to shake away my veil of denial and remember that I am not a representative researcher. While I may be representative of social media researchers, not every researcher is online engaging in the world-wide focus group on the status of market research in 2011 and beyond. So this is my challenge to you.

  • Are you caught up in the world of social media like I am?
  • Do you agree with my point of view?
  • How will YOU bring your online research conversation into your offline research world?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Annie Pettit, PhD is the Chief Research Officer of Conversition Strategies, a boutique market research company that specializes in social media research.

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