CMNTY Platform is a diverse tool and can, therefore, be used in several ways to achieve different goals. Although you are free to choose and combine various functionalities to meet the purpose of your community, we would like to provide you with a couple of guidelines that will help you determine a combination of functionalities and tools that will allow for the most valid approach to data acquisition:
- We advise you to recruit members for your community from a documented source, and provide sufficient information for initial confirmation of identity: your recruitment import should provide sufficient credentials to identify members of the community.
- We advise you to establish a system for monitoring and validation of frequency of members’ participation and introduce such system to the members of your community. In other words: make sure your community members know how often and how much they are expected, allowed or encouraged to participate in certain activities on your platform.
- We advise you to define the size of your community and be transparent about it to your (end) clients. Your community should only be defined with members who were sufficiently active throughout your research which you can achieve by introducing a Community Overview page and using various functionalities in the Admin section of your platform.
- It is crucial that you acquire explicit consent from your community members to use their personal data for your research. Therefore, it is important that you introduce it through your General Terms and Conditions. We also advise you to have personal data of the community members available to them upon request. The data must be corrected or deleted if a member requests such action: you can achieve that by using various functionalities in the Admin Section, such as User Deletion, Data Export and/or User Profile Edition.
- It is also advised to provide means (e.g. helpdesk contact details, a page of FAQ, etc.) by which your community members can obtain assistance or resolution of queries; It is crucial that you inform your community members when material changes are made to your privacy or incentive policies. Feel free to use the Newsletter functionality to ensure that your community is duly informed.
- We advise you to make your community members aware if and when third parties (such as your end client) observe the activity on the platform by, e.g., using an Observer account.
- Importantly, you should inform new and forthcoming members about the following when you invite them to participate in your platform:
- A general description of the project purpose.
- An estimated length of the project.
- A closing date for completed responses (if applicable).
- A list of types of data that will be collected in the project.
- A clear indication in case the data shall be collected for a period of time other than the length of the project.
- A statement of confidentiality and anonymity.
- An appropriate privacy statement.
- Provide them access to full disclosure of incentive terms and conditions applying to the project.
- An explanation in case the invitation is sent out on behalf of another research service provider.
- An explanation about the opportunity to unsubscribe (see below) or opt out of future research
- CMNTY Platform offers the option to activate a cookie message that needs to be accepted by the members. This message might be required by law in your country or the county in which the research primarily takes place. In that case, CMNTY advises activating this message.
- CMNTY Platform enables community managers to pre-test all research content and modules. We advise using the built-in draft functionality (modules) or the preview mode (Questionnaire / Stepboard) to achieve this, before publication of the content.
These guidelines are also compatible with the conditions set by ISO regarding market, opinion and social research (ISO 20252) and access panels in market, opinion and social research (ISO 26362).
Read more about the advised use of CMNTY Platform.
Read our blog post about absolute do’s for managing your online community.