The Handbook of Online and Social Media Research is a serious book for serious people who want to make the most of Web 2.0 for market or social research, and who care about the quality of the data it produces. Covering the soft aspects of managing online communities and projects, hard data techniques, and the ethics of blog mining, scraping and other such techniques, this book is long overdue, since it brings together in substantial detail the areas most often and least often covered in interactive media seminars and the wealth of primers now flooding the marketplace.
This book is aimed primarily at people with a background in quantitative and qualitative research and a good grounding in the vocabulary of internet techniques. It covers vast amounts of material, and expects you to have a basic grasp of the approaches beforehand in doing so. The ten pages of resources and references at the end of the book are an indication of the seriousness of its intent.
Online research is today in something of the same position as project management ten years ago. We now all have the tools freely available -- SurveyMonkey, TweetDeck and BBS enabled websites -- in much the same way that general managers discovered Microsoft Project in the 1990s. But, in a similar vein, our access to the tools does not make us online researchers, any more than Microsoft Project made us project managers. Without an underlying education in and theoretical understanding of the subject, we will be producing results which look like real research results, just as our Gantt charts and PERT diagrams looked like highly organised project plans, but the reality will be that they have little value.
This book goes a very substantial way to addressing this issue, and I welcome it and recommend it to anyone for whom online research is a professional necessity, rather than a hobby. It will doubtless be out of date in two years time, overtaken by the newest online media fad, but, for now at least, it is a really substantial contribution to a field most often characterised by poorly conducted studies based on invalid assumptions.
This book is really well written and laid out for you to both read and understand, which is helpful, especially if you're using it for reference purposes. I got the book because a recent change in job meant I need to be looking at Social Media research, and this book has been no end of help, right at the time that I need it. If you're looking for a good starting point to understanding the research in this area, this is a great place to start.
I'd recommend this book if you need an easy to use reference guide in this area, a good tome, that's easy to read and not over the top to have on your desktop.
This book is great as an introduction to some of the skills required as a social media planner/analyst (focusing on quantitative and qualitative analysis) but probably not suitable for amateur small-business owners seeking to carve out their own social media strategy.
It does *exactly* what it says on the tin, but is too short and impractical to be a complete lesson for a budding planner, and too detailed for the amateur. The biggest problem it faces is the massively changing world of social media. While some of the principals will remain, broadly-speaking, the same, others will have to adapt to new situations and concepts brought forward, eg the approach taken to global networks, changes to advertising paradigms on content platforms such as YouTube etc.
But these expectations are too much to heave on the shoulders of one book. If you adopt this as a primer with a career in mind or already under way, you won't regret it. Do, however, keep yourself up-to-date by supplementing yourself with online and practical knowledge sources (articles, case studies, webinars etc).
This book is perfect for anyone involved in online research. Psychologists, sociologists and medical professionals are increasingly using the internet to sample difficult to reach populations and/or to run surveys containing sensitive questions which may be too embarrasing to answer in a face to face interview.
This book is divided into 5 parts including Quantitative Online Research, Qualitative Online Research, Social media, Research topics and Breaking news.
It is up to date, topical and well written. It describes everything you need to know and take into account when setting up an online survey or questionnaire such as planning, designing, digital conversion, hosting and analysis. At 441 pages it is comprehensive and detailed. I wish I would have had it 2 years ago when I conducted my first online research project. Its an essential guide for market researchers, psychologists, doctors, sociologists and anyone else interested in the field!
In a relatively new field of endeavour, this is an illuminating and instructive book that gives much-needed in-depth insight. It is extremely comprehensive and will give anyone interested in learning more about this subject a substantial grounding.
on 9 September 2010
The book contains everything a complete novice dipping into it could need: well labelled headings; rules, caveats and concerns; and those icons you get in "For Dummies" books that signpost warnings, resources, and, very importantly, opinions. There are also case studies scattered throughout.
It is at its best when the author shares his many years of experience with the reader. Throughout the book he makes timely reminders and issues caveats such as (of web scrapping software) "Generally the better packages cost more, which is not the same thing as saying the more expensive products are better" and on ethical behaviour in online methodology "Remember that in terms of the internet most things do become public at some point".
Of course, the more innovative the technique and the faster growing the market, the more likely some of the information is to need updating regularly. Maybe the author has plans to update it online, or by some other means as yet not tried. Even if he doesn't, this book is bound to quickly make itself an indispensible reference in every market research company library.
This book is written by a marketing research expert. However it has managed to be indepth and instructive without being excessively academic in tone. The handbook covers all aspects of online market research so the social media aspect is smaller than the title would suggest,but the advice that it does offer is top-notch. If you are a researcher the book is idea. However if you work in social media and were looking for a more indepth dive into marketing research within social media you maybe disappointed.
Whilst I haven't had the chance to completely digest the entire book, the tips and techniques in here for market research using online and social media techniques appear to be extremely useful and interesting.
It would have especially been very useful if I had this when doing either my BA dissertation or my Masters Thesis.
Worth a look, definitely. Not sure whether it's affordable though, so see if you can borrow before committing to buy.
on 2 September 2010
This is a great read for anyone who is interested in online market research or who is already familiar and wants to complete their learning.
It is written in a very constructive style and provides clear direction for future learning and finding out more.