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Why is it that more analyst blogging is better?

This morning I got an interesting tweet from Forrester analyst John Rymer (bio, Twitter handle): 

            “@carterlusher why is more analysts blogging better?”

icon-social-media-blue.jpgJohn was responding to my reply to a comment (“Good news, Gartner is allowing analysts to blog @carterlusher will be thrilled”) by Forrester analyst Jeremiah Owyang (bio, blog, Twitter handle).  This comment pointed out Gartner analyst Gene Phifer’s (bio, blog, Twitter handle) post about how Gartner analysts are now permitted to have a personal-branded blog. I don’t know if I was thrilled, but I did say “Excellent, the more analysts blogging the better.” Thus, John’s question.

Hmm, that is a good question. My initial thought was “well of course it’s better because blogging is good.” It took me about two seconds to discard that answer as glib and dumb. The real answer is twofold: blogging is a good tool for the analyst and it provides value to the overall analyst ecosystem.* There are many posts by blogging analysts on how they find their blogs useful, so I will concentrate on the value to the analyst ecosystem.

There is the perception that analysts at the largest firms and boutiques are insular because they are in an echo chamber, talking only to their own clients and the vendors they choose for briefings. There is also a sense from comments like “And who keeps the analysts in check?!?” (see comments on this post) that analysts run amok because they are not subjected to any form of third-party critique and fact checking. Blogging could potentially address both issues. Potentially, analyst blogging could result in:

  • Increasing accountability
  • Improving transparency
  • Engaging with non-clients
  • Developing new information inputs
  • Dialoging with other analysts, including competitors
  • Improving press quote accuracy

* Definition – Analyst Ecosystem – Anybody in the IT and telecommunications markets that interact with or are impacted by the industry analysts. Members include vendors, IT managers, financial analysts, reporters, investors, clients and the analysts themselves.

Bottom Line: There is no guarantee that any of the potential benefits will occur just because more analysts start blogging. However, blogging can address some nagging problems in the analyst industry and has potential benefit both for the analysts and the entire ecosystem.

Question: Are there other benefits to the analyst ecosystem from analysts blogging?

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5 Responses to Why is it that more analyst blogging is better?

  1. Pingback: Welcome Gartner Analyst Blogs

  2. Pingback: Gartner ups the ante on analyst blogging - maybe 50 new bloggers « SageCircle Blog

  3. Allen Nogee says:

    the choice of blogging or not is more than about “gatekeepers.” We at In-Stat don’t have any company policy on blogging that I know of, but we have chosen not to waste our time with it. We have no “gatekeeper” here at In-Stat, and I am always happy to answer anyone’s questions or discuss any market with anyone (customer or not) via e-mail, phone, or any other means.

    I’m happy for the Gartner analysts that have finally had their gag-order lifted, and I hope it works out for them, but there are lots of other analysts that have speaking out for years and who don’t happen to spend their time blogging.

  4. sagecircle says:

    HI Allen, Thanks for the comment.

    SageCircle has consistently said that blogging and other social media are just another form of communication, good for some activities and bad for others. It’s all a matter of how it is used.

    Obviously with so few analyst blogging, most of your peers agree with your position. It will be interesting to see how this evolves over time.

  5. John R. Rymer says:

    Thanks for taking my serious question seriously, Carter. I hear you about the downside of this industry analyst work. But I don’t think blogging alone is the antidote. What I’ve seen in analyst blogs suggests to me that a) analysts who blog just as likely to make capricious or even ignorant comment as those who don’t and b) there’s no “checks and balances” on papdoodle in analyst blogs because so few people read the things. Alas, personal integrity reinforced by regular whippings by clients seems to be all we can hope for.

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