On 21 December 2012, Stephan Ludwig defended his PhD dissertation entitled: “Our World in Words: The Business Implications of Word Use in Online Conversations’”.
Ludwig’s research examined the link between word use and user behaviour in online communities. It also looked at customers’ growing tendency to rely on other consumers’ reviews to decide whether or not to buy a certain product.
Ludwig found that word use is key to understanding online customer conversations. Not only the content, but also the choice of words in customer conversations can provide valuable insights on product perception and participation behaviour.
Ludwig recommends the market research industry to include activities such as text mining and monitoring members’ specific linguistic styles in online communities.
Further reading: Why “function words” matter, 16 March 2012