NEWS2 September 2010

Casro forms social media research task force

North America

US— The Council of American Survey Research Organisations (Casro) has formed a social media research task force to get to grips with the ethical and methodological issues surrounding the use of social networks and blogs for gaining consumer insight.

Opinion Research Corporation’s US president Jeff Resnick chairs the task force, whose members include noted research bloggers – and occasional Research contributors – Jeffrey Henning of Vovici and Annie Pettit of Conversition (pictured), as well as Casro general counsel Duane Berlin, Susan McDonald, CEO of National Analysts Worldwide, and technology consultant Peter Milla.

“Ensuring that the lines between marketing and research are clearly defined and understanding the concerns and expectations of online ‘conversants’ regarding how their conversations will be used are among the critical topics we are discussing,” said Henning.

A ‘town hall’ style meeting has been scheduled for next month, to coincide with Casro’s annual conference in North San Diego, at which Casro invites “thoughtful and constructive contributions from all industry representatives”. Discussions in other locations are being planned.

The task force is conducting its work with a view to crafting guidelines that may eventually be included within Casro’s Code of Standards and Ethics.

Resnick said: “More and more companies are seeking to extract sentiment and market the data culled from social networks and other internet posts, and with these activities come numerous issues regarding privacy, disclosure, and the proper handling of data.”