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“Focus groups in cyberspace”: using the Internet for qualitative research

Henrietta O’Connor (Lecturer, the Centre for Labour Market Studies, the University of Leicester, Leicester, UK)
Clare Madge (Lecturer, the Department of Geography, the University of Leicester, Leicester, UK)

Qualitative Market Research

ISSN: 1352-2752

Article publication date: 1 June 2003



The potential of the Internet as a valuable methodological research tool is increasingly being recognised by both market researchers and academics. This paper contributes to the debate surrounding virtual synchronous group interviews and the value of online research. Specifically it introduces the use of a software conferencing technique – Hotline Connect – and discusses the implications of using the technique for Internet‐based research. In particular, issues of interview design, developing rapport and the virtual venue are considered. The paper draws on the experience of a recent research project entitled “cyberparents” and concludes that the use of conferencing software holds great potential for synchronous online interviewing. However, this must be combined with sensitive, ethical handling of both the research process and the data to overcome problems inherent in any interviewing situation.



O’Connor, H. and Madge, C. (2003), "“Focus groups in cyberspace”: using the Internet for qualitative research", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 133-143.




Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited

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