Thursday, September 25, 2008

Come in and Sit Down

Today we will conduct a Highlowaha Virtual Focus Group.  Certainly, if we can attend the opening of the Olympics together, from our respective cities, and engage in a virtual game of Bingo together, then we can participate in a Virtual Focus Group.

The topic...

A Highlowaha journal or calendar.

Here's some background.  While planning for our trip for Taste of USA (for more details see Taste of USA link in top right hand corner of the blog), I decided it would be nice to present each participant with a Highlowaha Journal.  It was, in my mind, a practical treat.  The journal would provide highlowaha readers with first, a place to record all their favorite highlowaha ideas and resources shared by our readers.  Second, the journal could serve as a place for readers to capture their own creative ideas and daydreams... with the hope that maybe some of their creative brainstorms would end up right back in the pages of our beloved highlowaha blog.  

In my mind the journal facilitates the perfect cycle.  Receive ideas from highlowaha... write them in your journal... spark new creative ideas... write them in your journal... contribute new ideas to highlowaha... receive more ideas from highlowaha... and on and on we go.

Already I thought I was onto something.  Then along came Cheryl.  Cheryl had a dream (literally) where she envisioned turning stickers into temporary patches that we could wear on our Patchwork jeans.  She printed off lots and lots of round stickers with pictures representing highlowaha "moments."  Examples of some of the stickers include: Olympic rings (for decathlon); a picture of Ray Wattson; Crayola Markers (for Make your Mark); a fortune cookie (from Virtual Chinese Dinner Date); a cupcake; the Reading Raynbow symbol; and a picture of the "Let's Do Lunch" note cards (from the Let's Do Lunch campaign).  Brilliant, right?

We had extra stickers and so decided randomly stick them throughout the pages of the journals.  Next to each sticker, we wrote a note.  An example... next to the Let's Do Lunch cards, a note that said, "Invite someone to lunch today."  In our mind, the journals went from cool to awesome.  

In the airport on the way home, Cheryl and I talked about the possibility of producing these journals in greater numbers.  Maybe some of our other readers would like one.  Or how about a birthday or holiday gift?  Instead of subscribing a friend or relative to Oprah Magazine or Real Simple, how about welcoming them into our community of ideas?  Present them with a personalized and interactive Highlowaha journal and give them the gift of creativity and community.  The gift that keeps on giving.

Excited, I came home and told Richard.  His response... how about a calendar instead of a journal?

And, the idea of a focus group was born.  I want to hear from you.  Good idea?  Bad idea?  Journal?  Calendar? and more.

Here's how our focus group will work.  I will post an open ended question, in the comment section, at the following times today: 5:30, 9:00, 11:00; 1:00; 3:00; and 5:00.  Your job will be to share your opinion and rationale for each of the questions posed.  After 7:00 p.m. you can feel free to respond to any of the questions.

As with all good focus groups, there are treats.  As you know I have been spending the week doing highlowaha housekeeping.  I have a cabinet of fun treats I've acquired over time and I am prepared to share them with you.  After each two hour block of time (except the first block which is 3.5 hours), I will do a drawing for anyone who has provided feedback within that 2-hour block.  This is my way of saying, "thank you" for your willingness to help me think through this idea.  Your opinion is valued.

O.k. here we go with the first question...

What is your initial reaction to the idea of a highlowaha journal or calendar?  

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