In search of platform nine and three quarters...

Date of publication: November 20, 2008

Abstract:

The internet, especially the social networking site - is emerging as a significant channel for the youth to communicate with each other and express themselves. This paper examines the setting up and administration of an online qualitative youth panel as a methodology for deeper insight into the minds of Indian youth. This panel of young respondents would act as co-researchers in this process, making use of 'reporting' techniques both offline and online. By weaving online with offline, the desire was to mirror the manner in which youth choose to connect and communicate in real life, thereby taking us deeper into their minds and lives than adults would normally be allowed. Once the panel is successfully established, the online component would be invaluable for a number of real-time inputs that marketers need. For instance, take the case of a new commercial on air- we could get responses to it the next day through a quick 'question of the day' on the site. This is in addition to obtaining deep insights into the lives and minds of youth today. Finally, this methodology provides the ideal situation 'triangulation' of information: the researcher and the research process itself informed by respondents on one side, and experts on the other.

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