Web 2.0 thinking and technologies create a number of new opportunities to conduct research broadly

labeled as Research 2.0. Research 2.0 is a growing area of academic and commercial interest, which

includes research undertaken in online research communities. This research in progress paper

explores the practice of online research communities using a case study example operated by the

commercial market research company Virtual Surveys Limited (VSL) in the UK on behalf of their

client United Biscuits UK Ltd.

The preliminary findings are based on VSL and academics working together to improve the online

research community participants’ response rate and the quality of contributions. Data collected for

this study is based on meetings, participant observation, and a pilot survey of United Biscuits online

research community (snackrs.com) members.

Using the responses of 112 snackrs.com community members, a preliminary typology of motivational

factors is proposed. This can be used to refine the recruitment and development of activities in an

online research community. Also, a model for supporting online research communities to ensure

longitudinal engagement based on an adaptation of Salmon’s (2004) 5 Stage Model for e-moderation

is proposed, extending the 5 stages to 7 – adding the stages of selection and disengagement