Posts tagged “recruiting”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • The Nike Experiment: How the Shoe Giant Unleashed the Power of Personal Metrics – Using a flood of new tools and technologies, each of us now has the ability to collect granular information about our lives—what we eat, how much we sleep, when our mood changes.
    Not only can we collect that data, we can analyze it, looking for patterns, information that might help us change both the quality and the length of our lives. We can live longer and better by applying, on a personal scale, the same quantitative mindset that powers Google and medical research. Call it Living by Numbers—the ability to gather and analyze data about yourself, setting up a feedback loop that we can use to upgrade our lives, from better health to better habits to better performance.
    Nike has discovered that there's a magic number for a Nike+ user: 5. If someone uploads only a couple of runs to the site, they might just be trying it out. But once they hit 5 runs, they're massively more likely to keep running and uploading data. At 5 runs, they've gotten hooked on what their data tells them.
  • To Sleep, Perchance to Analyze Data: David Pogue on the Zeo sleep monitoring system – Just watching the Zeo track your sleep cycles doesn’t do anything to help you sleep better. Plotting your statistics on the Web doesn’t help, either.

    But the funny thing is, you do wind up getting better sleep — because of what I call the Personal Trainer Phenomenon. People who hire a personal trainer at the gym wind up attending more workouts than people who are just members. Why? Because after spending that much money and effort, you take the whole thing much more seriously.

    In the same way, the Zeo winds up focusing you so much on sleep that you wind up making some of the lifestyle changes that you could have made on your own, but didn’t. (“Otherwise,” a little voice in your head keeps arguing, “you’ve thrown away $400.”)

    That’s the punch line: that in the end, the Zeo does make you a better sleeper. Not through sleep science — but through psychology.

  • Baechtold's Best photo series – While they are framed as travel guides, they are really more visual anthropology. A range of topics and places captured and presented in a compelling and simple fashion, illustrating similarities and differences between people, artifacts, and the like.
  • It's girls-only at Fresno State engineering camp – This is the first year for the girls-only engineering camp. Its goal is to increase the number of female engineering majors at Fresno State, which lags behind the national average in graduating female engineers. Nationwide, about 20% of engineering graduates are women. 20 years ago the national average was 25%. At Fresno State, only 13% of engineering graduates are women.

    Jenkins said he hopes the camp will convince girls "who might not have thought about it" that engineering is fun, and entice them to major in engineering.
    (via @KathySierra)

  • Selling Tampax With Male Menstruation – This campaign, by Tampax, is in the form of a story featuring blog entries and short videos. The story is about a 16-year-old boy named Zack who suddenly wakes up with “girl parts.” He goes on to narrate what it’s like including, of course, his experience of menstruation and what a big help Tampax tampons were.

Little lies by focus groupies are costly

Nice article about people that lie in order to qualify for market research studies

Researchers call these truth-stretchers focus groupies, a sneaky cadre that adopt multiple identities in order to secure paid seats on the dozens of focus groups that meet every week in the Bay Area.

Firms pay $50 to $100 cash for an hour or two of work that usually involves a moderated discussion about a new product or service with up to a dozen people gathered in a room equipped with a two-way mirror.

The allure of easy money leads hundreds of people every year to treat focus groups as a source of nearly work-free income. Get-rich-quick schemers even advertise focus groups as a source of cash.

And if it means telling a few lies along the way about your favorite brand of frozen pizza or the number of times you have already participated in a focus group, well, it’s no crime to fib to a marketing company.

Researchers go to great lengths to weed out groupies, including the use of exhaustive database cross-checks to ferret out the ‘cheaters’ and ‘repeaters,’ along with detailed screening interviews. Competing firms even share groupies’ names in the reverse form of a ‘do not call’ list.

‘It’s bad for the whole industry so we cooperate with each other,’ said Nichols Research Group Vice President Jane Rosen, whose Bay Area firm purges several hundred groupies a year from its database.

How far will people go?

They sign up with aliases, usually derivatives of their real names with different initials and middle names, Rosen said.

They may use a post office box address under one application and then a home address for the second response.

‘We had a woman sign up for two focus groups on the same day and after she finished the first session, she went out to her car and changed into a new set of clothes and put on a wig,’ Rosen said. ‘Fortunately, one of our people thought something looked wrong about her.’

Q&A Research in Walnut Creek recently foiled a woman who claimed to own a particular brand of luxury car, but the name on the automobile registration she provided did not match her own.

‘We had another man who used his first name for one group, then his middle name for a second group the next day and then a third one the following week,’ said Eric Tavizon, Q&A’s focus group project manager. ‘One of the clients caught him because he mistakenly signed up for events by the same sponsor and they recognized him.’

Of course I’ve encountered this on a much smaller scale; so much of what I do is predicated on a basic foundation of trust (and trust goes in two directions, of course) and it’s lurid and disturbing to consider how that trust can be violated (when do we read the piece about the rapist who posed as an ethnographer to gain access? yikes).

I’ve started a discussion thread on Discovery about this; we’ll see if anything develops.

ABC’s “Wife Swap” looking for a Boing Boing style family (you’ll get $20k)

via Boing Boing

Wife Swap is part of ABC’s primetime line-up and we are currently casting families for its second season. The premise of Wife Swap, which generated a lot of buzz in its inaugural season, is that one parent from each household swaps places for ten days to experience how another family runs their lives. It is an incredible family experience and opportunity to both learn and teach different family values. Wife Swap is a fascinating story of what happens when two married couples see themselves, and their spouses, in a whole new light.

Potential families can live anywhere in the United States, but we ask that families who apply consist of two parents that have at least two children, over the age of 5, living at home.

All participating families receieve a $20,000 honorarium fee too!

Wow, $20K – I wonder if this begins to set the bar a little too high for the ordinary incentives we pay households for user research!!!


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