At lunchtime on 8th January, East-based ICG members held our third virtual meet-up via Zoom.
Inevitably, Covid, both broadly and specifically, was a topic again, though we did manage to talk about researchy things first. Various platforms for hosting focus groups and depth interviews were discussed, with the ability to record a key facet. Teams got negative reviews, whilst it was pointed out that Zoom might be changing its format, going to end-to-end encryption which would possibly prevent recording in the future. More should be known about this, later this month.
There was agreement that it is very much a case of horses-for-courses, with Jitsi mentioned for get-togethers, whilst certain providers are more specifically research-focussed.
The issue of online panel quality was raised again, with yet another example since we last met up, of non-human responses getting through. It was pointed out that panel members used to be rewarded better, with a cost-per-question rate now so low it is hard to imagine they get much for their ‘points’ at all.
Discussion moved to companies that people knew had been bought, sold, or were struggling. The focus group facility sector received much sympathy with the current restrictions. This led to a concern about how recruiters were doing also.
After a moan about the low level of intellect amongst some clients the conversation returned to the pandemic and how it is affecting people in their localities. There was agreement that this third lockdown has a different feel to it, with, perhaps, an eye on the coming vaccination roll-out.