Forum & Bulletin Boards

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by now, forums and bulletin boards are a professional tool for qualitative research: we don’t only refer to focus groups and in-depth interviews. I usually manage forums and bulletin boards, at least 1 or 2 a month

Managing a forum

Based on my experience, different skills are requested (vs. focus groups): different is the discussion guide (moments to post questions, the way to insert it), different is the moderation activity (a continuous presence is taken for granted, an optimal timings management, a continuous checking of respondents replies), different is the analysis phase (it’s better to use tags, during forum moderation)

For sure, the experience I gained in managing blogs/websites (I personally realized this website and many more) is really helpful in managing the different bulletin boards platforms I refer to

Not only forums & bulletin boards

I carry out Facebook and Google Plus communities and discussion groups, ethnographic sessions or digital diaries via App, also producing a video report as a final outcomes presentation

Platforms pros & cons

Working for various institutes, I have used many different forum platforms, not only the italian ones. I think that a good forum platform is the one that…


It has to be immediate, both for respondent and moderator

Monitoring tools

Moderator doesn’t have to be forced to make complex manual computations in order to track those respondents who still have not replied. Automatic checking and communication procedures are welcome (the way 20|20 Qualboard does)

Flexible interactions

Attachments, mood boards, creative tools, video/audio formats as well as 1to1 communication tools have to be available, in order to get the best from the online forum

Analysis optimization

Providing different tools to optimize the outcomes analysis process: tools to highlight part of the replies, tools to tag/categorize the different items/issues