“Do I need a tool to do netnography? Why can’t I simply read all the relevant blogs and forums on the question I’m researching?” If you’re a researcher doing netnography for the first time, that might seem like a sensible approach.

Well, you could do it yourself—if you had unlimited time, which most of us don’t. The fact is, there’s too much content out there. Social media is such a highly fragmented realm that it’s unrealistic to expect that you can find all possible content relevant to your question on Facebook, Twitter, and the thousands of topic-specific forums, millions of individual blogs, and so on. While some brands have a single user community or fan page, a commodity product like mouthwash doesn’t have a 1-stop shop for insights. Discussion about most brands is fragmented—it’s everywhere, including in casual remarks made about other subjects. You can even find mentions of Listerine on gardening blogs! And finding it is the easiest part—then you have to read, categorize, and distill the meaning of terabytes of information.

The reality is that there’s no way you can go to all those different places on the Web, and no shortcut in the form of a single place you can go to get all the insights. Even if there were such a compendium of relevant content, the amount of material you’d have to read would still be completely overwhelming.

That’s why we developed ConsumerBase. It’s a source-agnostic tool, seeking out and extracting actual consumer preferences from millions of social media postings. It reads and understands full sentences and organizes search results in the context of the questions you need to answer. When you don’t have unlimited time—and frankly, even if you do—it’s a more efficient way to do netnography.

To read more about netnography, be sure to check out our white paper written by Rob Kozinets, the father of netnography.

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