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The semiotics of Christmas

Lynne Freeman and I have embarked on a never-ending journey of understanding the semiotics of Christmas, starting with a social semiotic analysis of the depictions of Christmas food in UK and Australian Magazines. Since, then understanding what Christmas 'means' has become something of a preoccupation.
Some of the things we have learned:

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Twenty four thousand reasons to do online qual

In our last three-day online qual forum / discussion bulletin board (whatever you want to call it!) on financial services, 13 consumers made 219 posts, each post an average of 75 words long (and some much longer). In all, our participants typed 24,764 words!  Compare that to our last 2 hour group: 6274 words, from 8 people.

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A discourse analysis of 'hope you are well?'

How to spot a fake: a discourse analysis of 'hope you are well?'

First of all - an apology

I recently -  carelessly  - allowed some people called University of Skills to access my LinkedIn address book. I now think that everyone I am (was?) connected to received an email from me saying something like this: 'Hey, Hope you are well ....' followed by a plug for the University of Skills website, which I wont repeat here. I apologise. I did not realise they would do that and I won't do it again.

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Forget focus groups for testing written communications. Here's what to do instead

It has never been so important for brands to write clearly and effectively to their customers, yet the techniques most research agencies use to test written communications have not kept up with the times.

Many clients still use focus groups, because that is how they have always tested advertising. 

I love focus groups, but here are three reasons why we need to test written communications such as brochures, websites and correspondence individually, not in groups.

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