The late 1990s saw the dot-com boom leading to the dot-com bust of early 2000. Not to be left in the dust, online qualitative research made its first forays into the online world. First came chat based focus groups. They were fairly rudimentary but served a purpose to engage people online from various geographies. Next, came online bulletin boards that also engaged people but introduced longitudinal qualitative as a research methodology.
In 2000, I connected with Ted Kendall, then a client at US West in Denver and now with TripleScoop. We discussed the developing online platforms and decided that the bulletin board methodology had the greatest potential. We formed QualTalk.com and developed its flagship product, QualBoard in 2001.
For several years, acceptance of online qualitative was very slow. After struggling with acceptance, QualTalk.com was dissolved and 20/20 Research absorbed the QualBoard platform. 20/20 rewrote the platform and re-introduced it to the market. Still, adoption was slow and resistance to text-based qualitative was high.
About two years ago, acceptance began to build significantly. Understanding of social media was growing so that researchers began to understand that people can communicate effectively online. Researchers began to realize that online qualitative is not designed to replace face to face interviewing but to complement it. They realized that online adds capabilities and benefits not available with face to face. Online earned a place in the qualitative toolbox.
The online qual industry has grown dramatically and 20/20’s involvement has grown as well. In addition to QualBoard, we now have QualMeeting (webcam interviewing), QualAnywhere (mobile texting), QualJournal (journaling/blogging) and QualLab (usability testing).
On September 10, 20/20 Research introduced QualBoard 3.0. The third generation of QualBoard is head and shoulders above anything we have done in the past and leads the industry in ease of use and advanced features specifically for qualitative research. We are proud of the software and the capabilities it brings to the industry. For a demo go to: www.2020research.com and click on the green button.
The QualBoard 3.0 introductory press release is here: http://www.2020research.com/2009/09/2020-research-cements-position-as-industry-leader-in-online-qualitative-research—launches-qualboar.html