Normally, focus groups only require a few hours of your time, with a free lunch and a little bit of money for your troubles. Google now has plans to start focus grouping as well, except that they'll only give you a $US5 Amazon gift card in exchange for letting them spend three months observing your browsing habits.
Over in the States, the focus group is called Screenwise, and it goes something like this: install an extension in Chrome and start using the internet. That extension will send info back to Google as they figure out "how everyday people use the internet".
The new project is called Screenwise. As a panelist, you'll add a browser extension that will share with Google the sites you visit and how you use them. What we learn from you, and others like you, will help us improve Google products and services and make a better online experience for everyone.
For every three months you participate in Screenwise, you'll get another $US5 gift card, but only 'til you've siphoned $US25 from them. Um, this sounds like a horrible proposition? Also, lotsa lulz for Google giving out Amazon gift cards. [Screenwise via SearchEngineLand]