There are a few ways information at a focus group may be collected.  More often than not, more than one method is used to obtain the information discussed at a focus group.  The method of how information is recorded also depends on the type of focus group being conducted.

If the focus group is an online focus group, the only way to gather information is by a transcript of the chat that took place.  This is very easy to obtain since everything in an online focus group is in print.  Teleconference focus groups are generally recorded.  The tapes are listened to multiple times and transcribed into a script.

Focus Group that take place in person are generally either video taped or recorded.  Both of these methods may be used in conjunction with each other with the group being both video taped and recorded.  The moderator may chose to take notes during the focus group as well.  Again, the recordings will be transcribed into a script and analyzed.  Videos of the group are often the best way to record information.  On a tape you do not get the non-verbal signals such as facial expressions and body language while on a video, the researcher is able to observe non-verbal cues that would not be seen on a tape.