Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA) - QRCA Views Magazine, Fall 2020

Now that the VIEWS “Conversations in Depth” podcasts are available through platforms such as Spotify and iHeartRadio, as well as directly from the QRCA home page, we hope you will explore our archived episodes. You can hear from several QRCA members, including J.R. Harris, Rick Weitzer, Naomi Henderson, and Liz Van Patten, to name a few. Q R C A In addition, there are notable insights on topics such as “Using Qualitative Techniques within Marginalized Populations,” our conversation with Barbara Rugen; and Kay Corry Aubrey’s conversation with Joseph Coughlin, founder of MIT’s Age Lab, about the innovative techniques being used to learn from older people around the world. Among the latest episodes to check out is Kay’s interview with Karen Mangia, vice president of customer and market insights at salesforce.com . We have been very pleased with the positive reception to the increased scheduling of the “Conversations in Depth” podcasts from quarterly to monthly. Of course, if you have a topic that you think would make an interesting podcast, give me a shout: foster@sigmaresearch.com. n PODCAST n VIEWS Podcasts— Good Listening! By Foster Winter, Podcast Editor virtual rendition of its then-concept, an Aloft Hotel property. However, whenever one went there, it was empty. Social networking relies upon a critical mass of people to post, view, and participate. However, sites like Facebook do not need to have everyone participate simultaneously— as long as users see a steady stream of activity over the course of time, their interest level is steady. With Second Life however, seeing the activity as it happens is critical. A party is not much fun if most of the guests are not there at the same time. 4. For businesses, creating a virtual space still means needing to staff it and getting people to come through the door. The infrastructure is not there to support sophisticated advertising and communications. Efforts to attract twenty people to a virtual store or concert may not be worth it. Yet, I remain bullish on virtual worlds, at least for research purposes and especially now in the context of COVID-19. Imagine if one of our clients created a virtual store environ- ment that we could take people through where they could purchase digital items. What if users could build exact scale replicas of their homes and then invite us in for a virtual in-home interview? There is likely to be a melding of virtual worlds and augmented and virtual reality technology. Prices for virtual reality headsets are declining, and the technology is only getting better. There were other virtual worlds before Second Life and there still are (i.e., Minecraft, The Sims, Sansar, World of Warcraft ). It’s not always possible for us to imagine what comes next. Yet, we do know there is an inexorable progress of technology. For now, however, perhaps there is an opportunity for a virtual world that is more like real life. n HUMOR n QUALITATIVE RESEARCH CONSULTANTS ASSOCIATION 65

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