Audience Dialogue

Media and communications - evaluation and strategy

This web site has useful information for communicators of all kinds: broadcasters, publishers, NGOs, arts groups, webmasters, educators... anybody who's interested in using research-based methods to make their organizations more effective.

We specially welcome visitors from developing countries, so we have tried to make this web site easily accessible - even if you have a slow internet connection or an old computer. To help people whose first language is not English, we try to write in a way that's easily understood, avoiding technical jargon and cultural assumptions. If anything is unclear or confusing, please let us know, and we'll fix it.

What's new

Now that I (Dennis List) have finished my PhD thesis, which was in the area of futures studies, I'll have more time to work on this website. Not surprisingly, some of the first additions to the site will be the pages on futures methodology, starting at this page on futures methods.

Why do newspapers need audience research? Melanie Walker, of the World Association of Newspapers, interviewed Dennis List on this topic. The interview is published in the October 2005 issue of their newsletter RAP21. See

The translation into Bahasa Indonesia of Participative Marketing for Local Radio (Pemasaran Partisipatif untuk Radio Lokal) is available through Studio 68H.

Trust and trustworthiness on the Web. How websites can measure and improve their trustworthiness.

Business models. A lot has been written about business models, but what exactly are they? We looked for a clear example but didn't find one - so we designed a method for developing a sustainable business model, viewing it as a system with positive feedback.

Other pages added recently.

This website has three main sections: Tools, Techniques, and Cases.


The Tools section of this website describes the tools available for communications research, evaluation and planning. These are not hammers and saws, but tools for working with words, numbers, and software. The tools include links to useful websites in our main topic areas and reviews of books on social research methods. This section also has glossaries of technical terms, reviews of research software, and notes on writing global English. Another tool to help people whose native language is not English is online translation.


Techniques is the largest section of our website. It focuses on practical methods for research and planning. This section includes most of the text of two books by our founder, Dennis List: Know Your Audience: a Practical Guide to Media Research, and Participative Marketing for Local Radio. This section also includes pages on two new qualitative research methods that we've been developing: the consensus group technique and the co-discovery conference.

Cases and examples

The cases section is in a different style: mostly narrative. Here you can find 30-odd stories about some of our most interesting research projects, Also, amusing tales about projects that didn't turn out as we expected.

For an overview of all the pages on this site, see our site map. Also, you can search this site for a particular word or phrase.

About us

Audience Dialogue is based in Adelaide, South Australia, but most of our work is in developing countries. In Australia, much of our work is internet-related: evaluating websites and researching their audiences. Internationally, we work mostly with media and aid agencies: training staff and evaluating communications projects.

We are a loose network of peole who work together on different types of projects. Dennis List is the instigator of the network; others include Evan Yabsley (brand-related work), Brigitta Yabsley (market research support), Claudia List (Dennis's daughter, the research assistant), and John Goslino (internet-related work). Others join us for particular assignments, depending on their expertise.

More about us, and our privacy policy.

Our emphasis is on formative evaluation ("how can this be improved?") rather than summative ("did that project work?") We like to work with our clients, rather than for them, helping to build their capacity to solve their own problems. As part of this, we train their staff in simple evaluation methods: how to collect relevant data, and how to use it well. Our work includes...

Because the broad goal of Audience Dialogue is to improve people's lives through informed participation, we prefer to work through action research, interactivity, and user involvement. Unless a wide range of stakeholders can reach consensus, a problem is seldom solved.

We always welcome feedback. If you have any questions, or any comments on this web site, we'd be pleased to hear from you. We try to answer the same day. How to contact us.

eXTReMe Tracker