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Handbook of Online and Social Hardcover – 8 Sep 2010
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contains everything a complete novice dipping into it could need this book is bound to quickly make itself an indispensible reference . ( MrWeb.com, September 2010 ). ... a fantastic book that answers just about every question you could possibly have regarding any type of internet–based research . (Resoner.nu, October 2010).
About the Author
Ray Poynter has spent the last 30yrs at the interface between market research, innovation, and technology. He joined the industry in 1978 writing statistical programs on one of the first Apple II computers imported into the UK, and is currently working on a range of projects designed to bring techniques such as blogs, online communities, and Twitter into the market research tool–box.
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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 It will doubtless be out of date in two years time, overtaken by the newest online media fad, but, for now at least, it is a really substantial contribution to a field most often characterised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 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!
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.
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).
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