There is now a glut of raw information out there about us and everything else on blogs, social networks, mobile map annotations and the net; many of us are happy to have it there, and many more of us are happy to give our data to organisations that we really like. The result is that the traditional methods of finding out about audience – finding small population samples and asking them questions as proxies for the general population – are rapidly approaching their sell-by date.

On its own, however, all this data is difficult to digest. Much of it is low-grade; all of it requires careful interpretation. Look closely enough and what we’re saying in public is rich in ethnographic observation, a mine of fragmentary stories about how we are and what we think.

At Flockwatching we watch flocks in different ways, and across traditional categories and borders. In written position papers, workshops and seminars, we:

  • Use web analytics and internet companies to quantify data and recognise patterns in ways which can help monitor the public mood.
  • Bring fresh ideas and interpretive models to identify patterns and segments within the data.
  • Look more closely at what these grains of information tell us about us about ourselves as an audience – identifying what consumers like about products or institutions, why they like them and what else they like.
  • Sift data for insights and stories which can tell us something about who we are and what we like.

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