forums are a great way to get ideas and to study your target audience. they’re my favourite research tool. just run a search on Google for a related forum adding the keyword “forum” on the end to find forums that are related to your market. then you can see what kind of people are in there talking and asking for help.
keep in mind this – when does a person ask a question in a forum?
usually it’s when they’re at a point where they havent been able to answer the question on their own or with regular internet searches. so they ask a community for answers and get the response they need from their “peers” – people they consider to be trustworthy as they have the same problem as them or faced it in the past and solved it.
eg, i’ve been finding it hard to find answers to questions about how Dubai works with my recent move here. like, where to go to get an electricity account setup, or how to attest a tenancy contract (something required for sponsoring my wife’s residency here)….the most valuable resources have been something called The Expat Forum, which is a community of expatriates generally in Dubai facing similar issues in getting setup.
they ask questions and people respond to them. i have found a wealth of info in these forums for my own research…which has made it even unnecessary for me to contribute to the forums with a question of my own. however, i’m sure that the day will come when i have a niggling problem i can’t figure out and will end up asking the community and getting responses.
in the same way, your audience is in special community forums looking for answers already, revealing their troubles in a very personal and precise way.
it’s much greater insight than what you can imagine on your own.
so i encourage you guys to use Forums for research.