Online Bulletin Board Focus Groups


An online bulletin board focus group (BBFG) is a very common method of market research. The discussion is structured in a typical thread-based layout, so participants can easily follow the discussion flow and different topics. The bulletin board is a very flexible method how to collect insights. An asynchronous method –  people join in regularly at their convenience according to their schedule.


Why conduct a bulletin board focus group?

  • You want more interactions among respondents.
  • You don’t need to communicate with respondents in real-time.
  • You want to give respondents enough time to think about the topic.

You can combine bulletin boards with other tools in Collabito. Your project can also involve a diary, poll, or even a live video focus group.

Collabito is a web-based software, you don’t need to install anything. You and other participants only need a browser.

Bulletin board focus groups

A flexible way to collect feedback and insights

Study length

The project duration can vary from a few days to several months.

Number of topics

You can have one long discussion forum or many smaller discussions.


Participants can log in and answer any time according to their time preference. 


Mobile friendly

Respondents can connect using many devices – mobile phones, laptops, tablets.


Show or hide pages manually or automatically, based on date or other tasks.

Online bulletin board software features



The threaded layout means that replies are indented like in common forums.

Likes & dislikes

Respondents and moderators can evaluate each comment.

Images, photos

People can upload  their own images.


Participants can upload their photo which will appear next to their posts.


The moderator can mark the valuable messages for his later reference.


Hide message

If somebody submits an inappropriate comment, you can easily hide it from other participants .

User Roles


The moderator checks the discussion regularly and communicates with respondents. You can even assign more moderators to a project. 



Collabito provides an easy way for adding and managing all respondents in a project. There is also an email module for sending bulk invitations and reminders.


You can invite your clients or colleagues to observe the project. They can see the discussion, but cannot communicate with respondents.

Advantages and disadvantages of bulletin board focus groups

Pros of BBFG

  • Engaging conversations among respondents – sharing experience, opinions and reactions.
  • Higher number of participants possible compared to live chat – can be even hundreds of respondents.
  • The extended period of time (days to months) provides possibility to get more insights than one-time event – respondents have more time to think about the subjects and have the possibility to add more ideas later when something new comes to their mind.
  • The extended period of time provides the possibility to create  new versions of stimuli during the study.
  • If more bulletin boards are active, respondents can choose the most suitable topic according their current preference. 

Cons of BBFG

  • Respondents tend to answer in short sentences, the moderator needs to encourage them to submit more detailed posts.
  • Not sure when/if the respondents comes back and submits another comment for the specific topic.
  • Higher participant drop out than in live discussions