Ben Blatt's book

Nabokov’s Favourite Word is Mauve – a book market researchers should read

To read the Japanese version of this post (from Mr Ryota Sano) click here. Post by Ray Poynter, 28 March 2018 Ben Blatt’s book, Nabokov’s Favourite Word Is Mauve is a good read, and a read I would recommend to any market researcher who wanted to widen his or her horizons in ways that challenged their ‘within-the-box thinking’. The book is, on the face of it, a quantitative review of different characteristics of literature. But do not panic, Blatt’s work does not reduce great literature to a set of soulless and unfeeling numbers. The success of the book is that it makes the reader think about authors like Hemingway and Austen, Rowling and Joyce in new and interesting ways. The book explores several characteristics of writing to provide additional perspectives on things we already know. For example, Blatt devotes his first chapter to exploring whether the advice to use adverbs sparingly is supported by success or otherwise of authors and books. In his analysis, he quickly homes in on ‘ly’ adverbs, such as ‘suddenly’ and ‘quickly’. He starts his analysis by looking at a list of successful authors and contrasting their use of adverbs, for example Ernest Hemmingway and Mark Twain […]

Photo of the book Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain

‘Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain’ – Book Review

Post by Ray Poynter, 12 March 2018 For anybody interested in the current hype around Bitcoin, blockchain and smart contracts, I would recommend reading David Gerard’s book ‘Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain’ (many thanks to Richard Young for recommending the book to me). The book is a thorough deconstruction of the history, mythology, and outrageous over-claims of this popular new technology. The book provides a useful and timely counterpoint to all those making claims for the benefits of blockchain and its associated technologies. The book is short and very readable. The tone is clearly negative about blockchain and I would advise any reader to crosscheck the information they gather from the book (I have done that and so far everything I have checked has been confirmed.) Key items covered in the book are: How blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and smart contracts work. This requires some technical understanding of the language of IT, but even without that you will get a sense of what is happening. The problems that cryptocurrencies (such as Bitcoin and Litecoin) have had with criminality, fraud, lack of security, volatility, and more recently with capacity. The reasons why smart contracts seem doomed for the foreseeable future, despite the […]

International Women's Day

Celebrating International Women’s Day 2018 with NewMR & WIRe

Post by Sue York, 2 March, 2018 NewMR & Women in Research (WIRe) & Annie Pettit (@LoveStats) are joining forces in 2018 to promote the celebration of International Women’s Day on 8 March. Inspired by the International Women’s Day theme #PressforProgress – NewMR and WIRe are launching a joint campaign to celebrate the contributions and achievements of women in market research and insights. We would like to highlight those who are pressing for progress either by championing the cause of gender parity in research or through the efforts and achievements of women. We hope that the campaign shines a light on all women who are pressing for progress in their own ways, particularly those whose efforts are not in the public eye. So, on International Women’s Day we are asking you to think about the women you know who make the market research and insights industry a better place through their contributions and efforts. Tag a colleague, client, friend or connection who you think deserves recognition on Twitter (and remember to add #NewMR, #mrx, #PressforProgress, #WIREHeroes) on 8 March and let’s celebrate together what we do each and every day and how great that is!

Image for blockchain

Blockchain and Market Research – A force for disruption soon?

Post by Ray Poynter, 3 March 2018 Have you noticed that there seems to a lot of people who are shouting about how important blockchain (and or cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin) are going to be for market research? In November 2017 a Quirks article claimed “blockchain is turning marketing research on its head” and at IIeX Europe Rolfe Swinton and Snorri Gudmundsson presented “10 Reasons Why Blockchain is a Big Deal for MR – And What You Can do About it”. Although I am a fan of technology, I am a sceptical fan, and all the buzz about blockchain stimulated both my interest and my scepticism, so I set about finding out more about blockchain and issues such as cryptocurrencies (like Bitcoin) and smart contracts (such as those created using Solidity and Ethereum). Whilst I can’t be 100% sure, my gut feel is that blockchain will not disrupt market research within the next five years (and maybe never), and here is my line of thinking. Of course, I could be wrong 🙂 What is blockchain? Blockchain is the technology that underpins Bitcoin. Indeed, in 2008 blockchain was Bitcoin, and Bitcoin was blockchain – but now there are other blockchains, some with […]