If you missed today’s fast-paced webinar, here’s the audio replay. However our recorded conversation is just part of the discussion that took place. Check out the real-time reactions and side conversations at Twitter — hashtag #socialanalyst. Thanks to everyone who participated!
As Jeremiah said in his closing comments, we want to continue this conversation. Are you in? Please check back for links to the Twitter transcript. Also, trackback or comment here if you publish on the impact of social technologies on the industry analysts, their advisory clients and their analyst relations communities.
Special gratitude to our pilots at the Hangar – Christine Tan and Julie Viola — and to co-panelists Jeremiah Owyang, Carter Lusher and Jonny Bentwood.
- Summing up webinar highlights - Jeremiah, Jonny
- The brainstorm behind this event at Jeremiah’s blog
- Leading up to the webinar - personal point of view at Jonny’s blog
- Leading up to the webinar - more stage-setting at Carter’s blog and here at Sway
Social technologies are disrupting traditional business models, and the tech industry analyst business is no exception. Or is it? How is social truly changing the day to day work of the tech watchers? their advisory clients? their relations with tech providers? Tune in tomorrow as I exchange views on this important topic with fellow thought leaders Jeremiah Owyang, Jonny Bentwood and Carter Lusher. You can ask questions and more during the live webinar using the Twitter hashtag #socialanalyst. This virtual event is free. Register now so you can listen and participate tomorrow!
What you need to know:
- Register now: “The Impact of Social on the Analyst Industry: A Roundtable with Jonny Bentwood, Barbara French, Carter Lusher, and Jeremiah Owyang“
- Speakers: Barbara French of Tekrati (that’s me!), Jeremiah Owyang of Altimeter Group, Jonny Bentwood of Edelman, and Carter Lusher of SageCircle
- When: Wed, Jul 21, 2010 from 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM Pacific
- Twitter hashtag #socialanalyst
Special thanks to Jeremiah for organizing and producing this event!
Influence is in the eye of the beholder, and that certainly holds true with the industry analyst bloggers. I wanted to know how the blogs I highlighted at Tekrati during 2009 ranked in Jonny Bentwood’s (Edelman analyst relations specialist) “top analyst blogs” table. I’ve posted the cross-reference below. It’s a good reminder that there’s no single correct list of top analysts. You have to conduct research to figure out which analysts hold sway in a given market.
Jonny and I share a common starting point: the entire analyst blogs directory I publish at Tekrati. From there, we travel along entirely different roads:
- Jonny uses a hybrid qualitative/quantitative method to rank analyst blogs. He looks at stats and applies math.
- I use a purely qualitative approach to recommend blogs to Tekrati readers. I read blogs and choose ones that offer consistently high quality content over time and are written by one or more analysts with solid reputations in their market sector.
I’ve learned a great deal about influencer rankings and attributes this year. Some of that thinking will show up in what makes the cut as a featured blog in 2010.
Tekrati Featured Analsyt Blogs with Technobabble Top Analyst Blog Rank
Blogs are listed in the order they appeared as a Tekrati Featured Analyst Blog during 2009, from early January through next week.
James Govenor’s MonkChips, Redmonk: Technobabble #7
Brandon Hall Analyst Blog - Janet Clarey, Brandon Hall Research: Technobabble #35
ThreatChaos, IT-Harvest: Technobabble #52
Technology Marketing Blog, IDC: Technobabble #288
A Software Insider’s Point of View, (then, Forrester Research) Altimeter Group: Technobabble #20
Craig Mathias’s Blog, FarPoint Group: Technobabble #313
Lopez Research Blog, Lopez Research: Technobabble #376
Pike Research Blog, Pike Research: Technobabble #269
Michael Fauscette (personal blog), IDC: Technobabble #156
Column 2 by Sandy Kemsley, Sandy Kemsley: Technobabble #17
The TEC Blog, Technology Evaluation Centers: Technobabble #145
Unified-View, Unified-View: Technobabble #190
Yankee Group Blog, Yankee Group: Technobabble #68
Enterprise Mobility Matters (personal blog, Philippe Winthrop), Strategy Analytics: Technobabble #152
ABI Research Analyst Blogs, ABI Research: Technobabble #314
GigaOM Pro Blog, GigaOM: Technobabble #350
Thinking Out Loud, Outsell, Inc.: Technobabble #280
Jon Arnold’s Blog, J Arnold & Associates: Technobabble #148
Service-Oriented Architecture, McKendrick & Associates: Technobabble #9
Supply Chain Reaction, (then AMR Research, Inc.) Gartner, Inc.: Technobabble #176
Workplace Learning Today, Brandon Hall Research: Technobabble #5
Vendorprisey (personal blog, Thomas Otter), Gartner, Inc.: Technobabble #47
George F. Colony’s Blog: Counterintuitive CEO, Forrester Research: Technobabble #46
Pattern Finder (personal blog, Guy Creese), Burton Group: Technobabble #135
Supernova Hub, Supernova Group: Technobabble: #159
Parks Associates, Parks Associates: Technobabble: #134
Javelin Strategy and Research, Javelin Strategy and Research: Technobabble #105
The Guidewire, Guidewire Group: Technobabble #115
Rabkin’s ROI, Market Insight Group: Technobabble #343
Gartner - John Pescatore, Gartner, Inc.: Technobabble #40
CCS Insight Blog, CCS Insight: Technobabble #210
Gartner - Jeffrey Mann, Gartner, Inc.: Technobabble #65
SharpBrains, SharpBrains: Technobabble #3
What’s up this week in influencer relations? Here’s what I’ve been talking about offline when the conversation rolls around to, “So what’s up? Anything I need to know?” This week the gossip has centered around analyst blogs, HP and Dell. Feel free to add your nuggets.
EDS = HP. HP retired the EDS brand this week. Time to update your influencer lists with the HP email and titles.
Perot Systems soon to = Dell. Get your head around what this M&A means if your company relies on referrals and such from Perot Systems.
Who owns blogs - analysts or the analyst house? Are analyst-written blogs more the property of the analyst house or the analyst? Consensus: depends on whether it’s a “company” blog. Some say negotiate social media content rights at the time of employment. Otherwise, personal blogs may be considered company IP at the point of departure.
Top analyst blogs. Jonny Bentwood is preparing to issue his Top 100 analyst league tables. Big backroom buzz is on whether there’s any shakeup at all in the top few. Most gossip is about whether or not Altimeter is an analyst company. I’m thinking the Gartner and Forrester blogs will make a difference, based on the employee base, media reach and Twitter penetration. Usual under-the-breath gripes about RedMonk standings. Stay tuned on that. Not by coincidence, I’m doing a massive Tekrati blog directory update. Buzz me this weekend if you’re feeling compelled.
Enterprise Mobility Matters turns 2. Congrat’s to Philippe Winthrop, today marking the 2-year milestone of his blog.
Phil Fersht soon leaving AMR Research. Carter Lusher broke the news on Twitter. Phil’s uber-smart on outsourcing, offshoring, nearshoring, you name it. Another analyst whose blog has transcended several jobs. I’m not sure there are any top-tier analyst firms that haven’t benefited from his expertise and network. So I’m guessing he’ll jump next to a different kind of gig.
What is a blog? How would you define an industry analyst blog? What separates blogs from the other online destinations and channels published by the ICT analyst community? Is a blog still a blog without an RSS feed? comments? Is an analyst blog tied to his or her expertise? Yesterday, I asked ten or so analysts and consultants in the US and UK to share their thoughts on what is a blog. They responded with free-range thinking on that and beyond: what is an analyst blog, why do analysts blog, and why does anyone care. Good stuff. Here’s a rough cut of my notes.
My intent is to overhaul the criteria for the Tekrati analyst blogs directory. Already, the conversation offers a rich perspective on grounds for deciding which blogs are listed and why they might be tossed out down the road.
I queried analysts and consultants that are successful bloggers: each has a track record as an individual blogger, and has earned credibility as a thought leader within a professional community of practice.
The analysts are: Carl Howe of Blackfriars Communications, Mike Gotta of Burton Group, Alan Pelz-Sharpe of CMS Watch, Charlene Li or Josh Bernoff (Josh responded) of Forrester Research, Dale Vile of Freeform Dynamics, James Governor of RedMonk, John Blossom of Shore Communications, and Stowe Boyd of The Brannan Street Irregulars.
Again, what follows is a rough cut of the discussion threads. I’m pulling excerpts out of the conversational flow, to make for faster reading. More, and perhaps a little more polished, next week.
What is and what is not a blog?
James Governor offers:
1. RSS or ATOM feed
2. no firewall
3. written by named user/s
4. it’s on other people’s blogrolls
Jonny Bentwood agrees with the first two points; sees 3 as more a best practice or preference, and also pushes back on 4.
Dale Vile agreed with points 1 - 3, and adds: “In addition, it might be stating the bleeding obvious, but the ability for people to comment without registration should also be in the list.”
Mike Gotta raises the point of whether blogs are open or are “gated” and require client access: “I think this type of directory should be for blogs or other analyst-associated social media vehicles that are open and community-centric without a lot of strings attached.” Tekrati readers have been rather vocal on this point, too.
Mike and Josh Bernoff both suggest including update frequency. This is another hot point in correspondence with Tekrati readers. The new rev of the directory shows latest posts at a glance, and the actual posts on the detail page. (A blog graveyard might be an interesting addition — instead of a quiet delete.) Josh’s inputs include:
- Publicly available
- Updated at least 10 times per year
- Written in the first person — meaning personal, and expressing a point of view (POV)
He makes a good point: “If you don’t update it at least 10 times a year, it’s not frequent enough to be a blog.”
Disagreeing with James Governor, he reasons that RSS and comments are central to a good blog, but perhaps not mandatory.
Erik poses two criteria to be considered blogs:
- inherently and consistently personal, whether written by a group or one person. (POV)
- formatted as journals on a specific topic — unlike traditional websites. “Meaning you’ve got the main page featuring the past x number of articles, then you’ve got your sorting options (tag categories, years and months)”
Jen McClure disagrees on “personal” being requisite. She points out that blogs aren’t always personal; many businesses and organizations are using the blogging technology platform for their primary corporate website presence, in place of an e-newsletter format , or for special promotions or events. She also made a comment that pulls together many of the different thoughts expressed on what is a blog, and underscores the importance of the softer questions below:
“A blog is more than just the sum of its technological parts - as the important thing is what the technology allows, e.g., instant publication and distribution, linking, commenting.”
What is an analyst blog - and, who is an analyst?
Jonny Bentwood says decide who is an analyst, first. Then sort out the blog criteria.
When deciding who is/not an analyst, Mike Gotta says use company affiliation, basic credentials as an analyst within a sector, but — “I would not want to see something that is exclusionary or reinforce a particular status-quo.”
What is an analyst+blog?
I suspect that analyst salespeople, vendor sales and marketing people, and IT people all have fundamentally different expectations of analyst blogs. Makes answering the question an interesting exercise.
Carl Howe suggests that analyst blogs could resonate with industry research and advisory values, and offers these criteria to kick off the conversation. BTW, he characterizes these as “fairly hard nosed” and not intended to offend:
- Is there accountability? “An analyst is one who is willing to attach her or his personal reputation to their analyses.”
- Is there data to support the point of view?
- Is there original synthesis and insight?
- Is there either prescription or prediction? “Ok, so the blog tells me 1+1=3 — so what? Should I do something about that, like go back and rebalance my checkbook with this new math?”
Some of the other contributors do find these restrictive; I don’t, unless a blog is truly personal. Then again, I am overly jaded on link bait and trolls — a side affect of perusing too many press release and post titles — and I’m not refering to vendor content.
By contrast, Mike Gotta: “Not all analyst blogs contain “analyst-related writings”. Some might be more personal with postings far outside the information topics that one might expect to be associated with an analyst. This is neither good or bad – it depends on what you are trying to accomplish.” Good point, and true to the historical nature of the directory.
Likewise, Mike raises the point that wikis, social bookmark systems and other social media forms all enable analysts to express themselves. So, “fundamental question is whether this is a directory to analysts and how they are expressing themselves via social media”. He’s telling me not to get too hung up in the tech specs, as all tech dies. Et tu, bloge?
Dale shared an interesting model for categorizing blogs, very good and no way to rough cut with justice. Plus, I’m thinking about incorporating into the directory ASAP.
Why do analysts blog, and why does anyone care?
Stowe Boyd, Jen McClure and Dale Vile cracked open this territory with a short debate on social media, thought leadership and the masses. The context is how the blogging and interactive public participates in new ways — and how this can affect opinions, reputations, politics, and more. Clearly, it could affect analyst reputations, as well as the analyst workflow processes (gathering and synthesizing data, reaching and testing conclusions, and publishing).
See Stowe’s post, that kicked off the exchange: What is social media?.
Reprinted from Tekrati
An independent ranking of the top 50 ICT industry analyst blogs shows the blogosphere to be a level playing field for analyst bloggers. The ranking was produced by Jonny Bentwood, who blogs as possible at Technobabble 2.0 and works by day as a PR consultant for Edelman. The top 50 blogs hail from one-man consultancies as well as multinationals. The brands gracing the top ten slots are Forrester Research, Redmonk, CMS Watch, Security Incite, Hitwise, Shore Communications, and JupiterKagan’s JupiterResearch. Free report. (Updated June 20.)
Mr. Bentwood credits his inspiration and approach to Todd And’s Power 150. He uses a combined score based on Google PageRank, Bloglines subscriber totals, Technorati authority ranking, and his own Technobabble scale.
The top 10 blogs as ranked by Technobabble are:
- Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff, Forrester, at Groundswell (http://blogs.forrester.com/charleneli/)
- RedMonk James Governor’s Monkchips (now at http://www.redmonk.com/jgovernor/)
- RedMonk Stephen O’Grady’s tecosystems (now at http://www.redmonk.com/sogrady/)
- Trendwatch, the CMS Watch blog, at http://www.cmswatch.com/Trends/
- RedMonk Michael Cote’s People over Process (now at http://www.redmonk.com/cote/)
- Mike Rothman, Security Incite, at http://securityincite.com/blog/mike-rothmanv
- Heather Hopkins, Hitwise, at http://weblogs.hitwise.com/heather-hopkins/
- Forrester’s Marketing blog http://blogs.forrester.com/marketing/
- John Blossom, Shore Communications, at Content Blogger http://shore.com/commentary/weblogs/
- David Card, JupiterResearch, at http://weblogs.jupiterresearch.com/analysts/card/
Visit the Technobabble 2.0 blog for the complete list of 50.
Editor’s note: Updated on June 20, 2007 to reflect changes in rankings.