Analyst blogging – is it worth it?



John Simonds when commenting on the Top 50 Analyst bloggers highlighted an interesting point:

I believe it was Gartner who predicted that the decline of blogging would begin this year (by some 40%)

Whether Gartner made this point or not, it is certainly apparent that as a company they are not taking this medium as seriously as their competitors in their own marketing. Their most successful blog only reached #44 in the league table.

The question I am trying to figure out is why?

John implies that this could be because they see this form of dialogue diminishing. I beg to differ as Gartner themselves are frequently advising companies to create a blogging environment for their employees.

Vinnie Mirchandani provides an extra perspective. He believes that:

we are creating an echo chamber of “consumery” conversation which is at the periphery of the enterprise, and pretending it is the new “enterprise”.

In other words, the only people that matter when it comes to Gartner are enterprise buyers. If they are not reading blogs, why should Gartner waste their valuable analysts time creating posts when they could be (enterprise) client facing.

Forrester meanwhile have propelled themselves to a strong leadership position due to their successful Groundswell and Marketing blogs. Indeed RedMonk have created their business model on the back of an open source blogging framework.

Where does this leave us?

Should analysts blog? Does it have any real impact?

Following the publication of the Top 50 Analyst bloggers, it certainly seems that blogging has a huge impact.  I lost count of the number of people applauding James Governor for his proactive stance in this area.

Perhaps when it comes down to it – the final decision as to whether an analyst should blog comes down to ROI – be it from vendor or enterprise buyer. At times, like this when there is uncertainty as to which direction to go, I normally recommend that you should speak with an analyst.

Perhaps your first point of call would be with Forrester and their recent report on “The ROI Of Blogging” – you can read more about it on Charlene’s blog.

I would like to leave you with a final point from Scoble as to why it is important for analysts to blog – even if their customers are not end-users.

Increasingly bloggers’ recommendations DO sell product. I’ve seen this over and over in my own life as people come up to me and tell me “I bought XYZ because you wrote about it.” Or “I tried that Web service because you said it was cool.” So, increasingly advertisers want their brands to be mentioned by, or associated in some way with bloggers.

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6 Responses to “Analyst blogging – is it worth it?”

  1. John, I write two blogs and am a big believer in bloggng – not just analysts, vendors should be doing more and being tranparent about it not just converting press releases into blogs.

    But if the buyer organizations who show up in my stats had not steadily improved, I would have quit a year ago. The onus is on all of us to get buyers more involved. But swooning about Twitter and Facebook ain’t going to do it. Hardhitting analysis and cynical jabs at vendor BS will. We have to restore buyer confidence in independent analysis. Otherwise discreet phone calls to each other will be the major source of influence going froward. And us analysts and bloggers will pretend we have influence when we really don’t.

  2. sorry to have misspelt your first name in comment above. Regards

  3. 3 Pete

    Keep in mind that some analysts blog because it’s just fun, too. Personally, I don’t use social computing technologies just because I’m an analyst in that area – I was blogging and on social networks before I joined Forrester.

    As you’re analyzing the analysts, I’d like to offer an angle for you to consider: blogging can be but isn’t necessarily a one-way street. That’s what makes it better than press releases. So I’d say a “good” blog should include comments where analysts can participate in a discussion and readers can talk to each other as well. Like we’re doing here!

  4. 4 Jonny

    Thanks Pete

    I couldn’t agree more to both of your points. Personally, I get a great kick out of blogging and I am sure the ‘serious’ bloggers out there have a similar view – otherwise they wouldn’t spend so much of their time doing it as well.

    With regard to comments – I have found that the most interesting insights usually come from the conversations that take place following a blog entry. This dynamic form of conversation is fundamental to what makes blogging such an interesting medium. It is also the reason why I scored analyst blogs higher in my subjective ranking if they had a good number of comments.

  1. 1 People Over Process » links for 2007-06-27
  2. 2 James Governor’s Monkchips » How To Use Blogging: Analyst Advisory Services

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