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Online community

Online community

An online community or online bulletin board is a type of qualitative research that requires a group of 10-30 people, part of a certain audience, to share opinions on a given topic during 2-3 weeks within an online forum specially designed for this purpose. Online communities are moderated by an experienced professional whose role is to encourage participation of members and the sharing of as many ideas as possible. The online community platform can usually be accessed by participants on various types of devices (PCs, smartphones or tablets).


GCS does online communities in all the countries where we own strong and fast growing proprietary online panels across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Americas, as well as around the world via carefully chosen local partners.

We recruit the audiences for the online communities from our own online panels and work closely with professional moderators that are native speakers of local official languages and experienced in pulling the best out of a specific audience. If client prefers to run the online community through own moderators, that is something we can also do – in that case, we are in charge with recruiting the participants through a short online survey and then paying incentives at the end of the fieldwork, while client will handle the rest. Since personal data of panel members has to be collected, a non-disclosure agreement is required to be signed by client before recruitment starts.

Quality control

We employ several methods to ensure best quality for the data collected using online communities across the Central and Eastern Europe area:

  • Apart from the project manager that is in permanent contact with client, two senior level local supervisors work on each project, ensuring backup throughout the project and availability of a knowledgeable contact at all times

  • Project materials are proofed for translation by native speakers of each language, to make sure that client’s original goals are not missed due to poor translation

  • Thorough briefing and debriefing of the moderator(s)

  • Moderators are chosen based on their experience with the topic and are always native speakers of the official local language(s)

  • Deliverables are thoroughly checked by two different experienced analysts to ensure accuracy before they are sent over to client.

Works best for ...

  • Collecting insightful feedback from a certain audience in the early stages of a product development, as it can reveal key market differentiators that might later turn into competitive advantages for the client.

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