NewQual Topics Discussed in Rome

This article highlights presentations regarding NewQual methods that were featured in the recently concluded joint conference between the AQR and QRCA in Rome (“Qualitative Renaissance: Challenge Your Thinking”).

The sixth joint conference of the AQR (Association for Qualitative Research) and the QRCA (Qualitative Research Consultants Association) was held in Rome last week (April 25-27).

Presentations covered a wide range of topics.  Of the 38 presentations, roughly a quarter were of interest to NewQual fans and practitioners.  Three presentations in particular stood out.

  • Title page of Liz Van Patten's presentation deckLiz Van Patten presented “Dr. Digital, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Online Qual.” This was a Pecha Kucha presentation, consisting of 20 slides, each being shown for exactly 20 seconds.  By using stills from the 1960s classic Stanley Kubrick film, “Dr. Strangelove,” Liz provided a quick, clever, humorous, and informative overview of the benefits of online qualitative.  Nothing new for those of us who are already steeped in NewQual methods, but it was a good reminder of why we use these methods.  Her presentation also served to make NewQual methods less scary to those who are reluctant to try them.  For more info, contact Liz at
  • Daniel Berkal’s presentation, “Project Butterfly: Escaping the Net,” compared and contrasted the characteristics of highly social individuals in online vs. offline environments.  His presentation revealed that online social butterflies tend to be not very social in the offline world.  This raises important questions when recruiting highly social individuals from the online arena; how we define “social” is critical.  For more info, contact Daniel at
  • Mark Michelson ( closed the conference with an overview of the newly-formed Mobile Marketing Research Association, and outlined the myriad differences from country to country in terms of what information is considered private in the online world.  He pointed out the need for NewQual researchers to pay careful attention to privacy policies in each country.

Of special note, the QRCA’s 2012 Qually Award was presented at the end of this conference.  It was awarded to Layla Shea of Vancouver, British Columbia, who’s project made extensive use of a NewQual platform to collect data.  An exclusive interview with Layla Shea will appear next week in the NewQual blog.  Be sure to stop back to check it out!





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