Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Inside Facebook’s Research Playbook

Social Media Juggernaut’s Research Function Is Fresh and Fluid
 By Marc Dresner, IIR

 It’s the definitive social medium. With approx. 850 million total users (about 480 million daily), for many of us Facebook is a fundamental part of everyday life. And it’s up to Sheila Normile, a research and insights principal, to understand how and why we use it, and how to improve that experience. As you might expect from a company like Facebook, Normile’s research organization is a bit less conventional than what you’ll typical find at a large corporation. “Facebook is a really entrepreneurial and risk tolerant sort of place and it certainly extends to the research organization,” Normile told The Research Insighter. “It’s funny because you often don’t think of research and risk in the same mindset or in the same breath, but we really embrace that idea of taking risks on our team.” In fact, not only isn’t there a research playbook at Facebook, but the organization is so fluid that projects can happen on the fly, based on a conversation in a hallway or an issue Normile or one of her colleagues just stumbles upon. In this interview with The Research Insighter™, we’ll go inside Facebook’s research organization and have a look at what makes it tick.

Listen to the interview! 


Download a transcript! 


Editor’s note: If you would like to hear more about consumer insights at Facebook, Sheila Normile will be speaking at The Market Research Technology Event April 30-May 2 in Las Vegas. For information or to register, the webpage.

As a reader of this blog, when you register to join us, mention code MRTECH12BLOG and save 10% off the standard rate! ABOUT THE AUTHOR/INTERVIEWER Marc Dresner is an IIR USA communication lead specializing in audience engagement. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the market research industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.

1 comment:

Jing Pan said...

The podcast resonates my experience as a user researcher at a research university and in the industry for local entrepreneur club. She talks about how a user problem found in Japan was fixed immediately by the engineer onsite. In the academia, we try to explain a troublesome user behavior by testing different theories (different organizations of memories, etc). In the industry, we try to solve a troublesome user behavior by offering different solutions, or implement the only/best/obvious/cheapest solution immediately.