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"Conversation. What is it? A Mystery! It's the art of never seeming bored, of touching everything with interest, of pleasing with trifles, of being fascinating with nothing at all. How do we define this lively darting about with words, of hitting them back and forth, this sort of brief smile of ideas which should be conversation?" ~ Guy de Maupassant ~

I'm a qualitative researcher and ethnographer, with 18 years experience, based in Mumbai, India. A Master's Degree holder in Sociology, I spent the first 10 years of her career with IMRB, India's largest market research agency. I then set up my own consultancy firm, Explore Research & Consultancy, in 1998, offering clients a comprehensive qualitative research consultancy on brands, products and services. Some of my recent clients include MTV, JWT India, ESPN Star Sports, The Times of India Group, GFK-NOP, Yellow Door Research Australia, New Zealand Dairy Board, Pitney Bowes Inc. USA, Nokia, Kraft, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care. My expertise and interests lie in youth markets, rural markets and my orientation nowadays is more towards contextual inquiry, longitudinal ethnographic research and user-design studies.

I've been fascinated by the area of social software in the context of creating and adapting collaborative tools for research. And in getting groups and organisations to adopt some of these tools, with the hope that new cultures of communication would be initiated and nurtured through the intelligent and effective use of community and collaboration technologies.

I've presented a paper at EPIC 2006 in Seattle, Washington on Accelerating Collaboration with Social Tools. And am currently working on a virtual ethnography project which includes the building of gateways between SMS/MMS and blogs as research tools.

I'm also running a workshop called - Brand 2.0β -"Build Powerful Brands Through Social Media", which is designed to share learnings in the social media space, identify best practices and result in your own Brand strategies for success.

I'm also deeply interested in the area of how ICT can bring about social change in rural areas and to explore ways in which information and communication technology is being used as a tool toempower the poor, and am currently working on an outreach project whichnaims to bring voices from India's villages to the world.

I've been a core member of the disaster relief blogging/wiki team that has formed the WorldWideHelp group, and have contributed to the setting up of an online disaster relief system, during the tsunamis and subsequent natural disasters.

I've also been a contributor to Skypejournal and Worldchanging. And am on the Advisory Board at Global Voices Online.

Some beliefs that drive me - "abundance", a philosophy that suggests, 'share-learn-grow', optimism about the future, and stretch that is implicit in a philosophy that says YesAnd!. This is my blog - Conversations with Dina.

Made some presentations and been on panels discussing Social Media at several international conferences, including EPIC, Reboot 7,BlogHer,Microsoft Symposium, BlogCamp. In Jan, I spent 12 days in Sukabumi, Indonesia where I facilitated the Open Publishing Track at AsiaSource II.

Tel : +91 98200 39160 Email : dina.mehta@gmail.com Skype : dina_mehta ; Yahoo : dina_mets