What is the purpose of community-based research?
It's not going to help Trader Joe's compete with OkCupid.
One of the persistent questions I hear in talking with museum folks goes, roughly, like this:
I worry that we might be duplicating the work of other organizations in our community. If we had a more comprehensive view of our community’s needs and could partner with other local organizations, would we have greater impact?
That's not an exact quote — More like a mash-up of an overall feeling of uncertainty that I've gathered from people here and there, which makes me suspicious. If I haven't exactly heard some form of this question come from an actual person's throat, is this a real thought/question/uncertainty that people have, or is this just me trying to justify pursuing a question that I'm interested in?
I'm not sure, but I know others are looking into this sort of question. For example, Susie Wilkening offers community-based research projects. If someone like her is investing time and attention on this sort of question, it's a safer bet that it's a question that people other than me are interested in, even if they don't frame it exactly the way I would.
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