An online bulletin board (OBB or OLBB) is an online forum that participants can log into to carry out research tasks or reply to questions asked by a moderator at their own pace. OBBs allow time-poor respondents to provide insight when it is convenient for them, as well as providing a way to attach images, videos, or other files to support their thoughts.
Whereas the participants in an online focus group all sign in at the same date and time, OBB participants can visit the platform when it is convenient for them, usually over the course of a few days.
Respondents usually receive instructions on how often they should log in and how many tasks will be posted for them to work on, but they respond at their own pace. Since the respondents have control over exactly when they make a submission, they can take their time to form coherent, well thought-out answers.
OBBs can also stimulate discussions, often between globally disparate individuals, and they can be subtly led by your subject matter expert or our own trained moderators. Some can also allow anonymity, which can encourage candour and reduce aversion to sensitive or controversial subjects.
Some forms of OBB also enable the client to log in and observe the discussion as it happens and transcripts or preliminary findings can be created at any stage of the study.