This is an adaptation of a much, much longer article I wrote earlier in the year about the dehumanisation of research and insight, with a particular focus on its implications for interpretive qualitative research.
I wrote the original article originally with a social/consumer research audience in mind but, as it circulated, I was pleasantly surprised to find that one of the audiences most receptive to its message were practitioners within the #ux research community.
I’m still not sure how it found its way into wider circulation in #UX (a few people mentioned to me that they discovered it through a…
The corporate hype and appetite around Artificial Intelligence abounds with pace, mostly in the absence of an informed appraisal of the limits of technology with regard to automation and the dehumanisation of particular forms of work, particularly knowledge or creative work. Or anything involving interpretation (like research!).
I don’t fear the increasing application and embrace of Artificial Intelligence in the corporate world (and market research) because it’s all powerful. …
“Details are dismissed as unimportant, expertise as irrelevant. People who complicate things — which might be a good definition of an expert — are viewed with suspicion.” Ian Leslie
I have had a few twitter discussions (recently with Thomas Geoghegan & Faris) around the idea that “people who work in ‘X’ are not real people”, where “X” is advertising, and I wanted to start to get my thinking in order, and also to take the opportunity to use quotation marks excessively.
Or Why Resisting Managerial Agendas Might Make More Meaningful Market Research
“Magical, fantastic, dreamlike experiences are almost by definition unpredictable. … Both control and the nonhuman technologies that produce control tend to be inimical to enchantment. … Fantastic experiences can go anywhere; anything can happen. Such unpredictability clearly is not possible in a tightly controlled environment.” George Ritzer, the Irrationality of Rationality
“A lack of genuine connection with people’s lives. A research industry that doesn’t understand insight. Planners that can’t think outside the ordinary. Creatives that live in a world of cliché…I welcome any research agency with open arms if…
There is a line I love in Adrian Shaughnessy’s design bible Graphic Design: A User’s Manual. It reads:
“The single most important thing to remember when presenting work to clients is that they are terrified of what they are going to be shown.”
It captures perfectly the fear of the “unpredictable” that prevails in most organisations. Strangely enough, it prevails in market research too.
Even for the professionally curious, it seems the unanticipated is unwelcome.
So unusual are unexpected results that, when they occur, our scepticism has us presume a methodological issue or data entry error is to blame, rather…
‘Digital’ is, in terms of language, a legacy issue.
Nothing dates us more than the degree to which we recall the primacy of an analogue world through language. At some point, and it may have been thirty years ago in many cases, it became unhelpful to use ‘digital’ as an adjective to make distinctions between certain categories of activities or objects.
It was relevant when ‘digital’ was a point of difference, such that which was ‘not digital’ was constructed as standard, not requiring modification, and unexceptional: the norm, in other words. And, it is true that, in some arenas, ‘digital’…
Before you begin, in case the use of Danny Dyer’s image hasn’t made it sufficiently clear, I should point out that the initial discussion of Brand Solipsism and the Big.I.Am Index© is a little tongue-in-cheek, although — as always — all of the data is real!
However, the ensuing discussion of self-centred brands and the reality of Brand Solipsism makes a very serious point. And a topical one.
As the virtues of rationalisation and scale become the established orthodoxy in adland, and the symbiosis between agency and client deepens, the need for external cultural sense-checking becomes greater.
Brand Solipsism is…
Like most people, I spent the long weekend exploring how a selection of Irish brands used twitter and considering the impact organisational cultures have on twitter use, and disuse. My selection of 20 brands is mostly FMCG from the top 20 of last year’s Checkout Top 100 list, augmented by a smattering from other Top Irish Brands lists.
In the (very roughly-formatted) table below, I have included some detail on the 20 brands that were involved, which you can pore over at your leisure. However, rather than doing any in-depth data analysis, the data acted for me as a stimulus…
With most parties on a quasi-election footing, it is an interesting time to be writing about political communications in Ireland, particularly those of opposition parties.
This is an article about the language used by Irish political parties on twitter, particularly opposition parties. That political parties choose to use twitter suggests that what they communicate and how they do so is meaningful. So, it seems reasonable to presume that we can learn something meaningful about them from the tweets (and retweets) they share with their followers.
I took around 3000 of the most recent tweets, including retweets but not…
@ the margins of #mrx (@emmetatquiddity) & music (@yesboyicecream). I do qual at scale with language: quasi-corpus-discourse Analysis. Lay Ethnomethodologist.