This summer, with a new baby in the family, I didn’t have a lot of personal time on my hands and found myself looking for new ways to connect with my friends when I couldn’t get out for some one-on-one time or even have a meaningful phone call! This meant updating my family blog and following others a little more regularly, getting on Facebook to message or chat with people, and basically maintaining my own grown-up sanity in ways I wouldn’t have been able to had it not been for social technology. And as an analyst serving market research professionals, it maintained my excitement for the role that social technology can play in this space.

Well, now my summer vacation is over, and I’m looking forward to reconnecting with those of you who follow this blog and our coverage on social market research. It’s going to be an exciting march to the end of the year and the beginning of 2011. In just the past week, I’ve seen a variety of new developments that fall right into this coverage:

  • Passenger got a new round of funding and a new CEO. The company continues to be well regarded for its understanding of how to communicate the voice of the brand in a market research online community (MROC), and I’m looking forward to learning about how it will use this infusion of funding in 2011. No doubt part of it will be used toward the channel strategy it announced in the spring.
  • Peanut Labs was acquired by e-Rewards. This acquisition is truly a win-win, as Peanut Labs will be able to offer a lot more revenue opportunity to application developers, and e-Rewards can now fully take advantage of social sample with all of its clients. And it further legitimizes the practice of using social media as a main sample source.
  • Maritz Research acquired evolve24. Well, if this doesn’t signal the social opportunity that exists in market research, I don’t know what will. My colleague Zach Hofer-Shall offered his reaction to this acquisition on Monday. I expect that this acquisition will be leveraged across many of Maritz’s practice areas, but it has direct implications for its customer loyalty research.
  • is here. Listening technology provider NetBase and Robert Kozinets have started a public community for industry and academic researchers to discuss the practice of ethnographic research via the Web — also called netnography. Whether or not it becomes a gathering place for non-academic folks remains to be seen, but it’s definitely worth checking out from time to time.

In the coming months, expect to hear from me on the next phase of MROCs, hints at our thinking on the future of the MR industry, hopefully some best practices and case studies related to listening for market research, and — for variety — a little bit on social media trends among Hispanic consumers.

And if you’d like to meet up in person, I’ll be at our Consumer Forum in Chicago this October, as well as ad:tech in NYC the very next week.

Please drop me a line if you’d like to discuss my upcoming research, and I look forward to posting more in the weeks to come!