Thursday, May 29, 2008

Relations with Analysts...the first


Whew...quite a string of travels...not through it all yet. In the past month, I’ve been to TIBCO’s TUCON (San Francisco) and SAP’s SAPPHIRE (Orlando), plus a quick IT vendor week, I do Informatica (Vegas), then the following week Microsoft (Orlando)

Last week, I was at Forrester's IT Forum 2008 in Vegas, where, among other things, I participated in a panel session on blogging, focusing on how analyst relations (AR) professionals should relate to “influencers” in the blogosphere.

Organized by Forrester’s Analyst Relations Council and moderated by Forrester VP Laura Ramos, the panel brought together leading IT industry analyst/bloggers plus those who blog-about-analyst/bloggers: Carter Lusher, president Sage Circle; Dana Gardner, principal analyst, Interarbor Solutions; Bill Hopkins, founder & CEO, Knowledge Capital Group; and Jonathan Eunice, founder and principal consultant, Illuminata. Oh, and a “token” Forrester analyst who’s been kicking around the blogosphere for a few years, including, increasingly, under our information and knowledge management blog (in case you’re wondering why the rate of postings to my personal blog has dropped in the past few months--still searching for the right rhythm and balance and partitioning of the jim-o-spheres, left and right, between the two).

Last week’s Forrester AR Council panel was well-attended, and the questions from council members were excellent. My fellow panelists were everything we could have hoped: smart, informed, opinionated, articulate, provocative. I’ll leave it up to them, in their respective blogs, to repeat what they put forth.

Here now, is the first question that was posed to us, plus generally how Kobielus responded:
  • Q: How do AR professionals stay on top of bloggers and determine who to interact with and “influence” and who to ignore?
  • A: Simply ask yourself who you read, who your colleagues read, your clients read--whose pieces you/all forward--whose you/all link to--whose ideas stick in your minds--whose names, reputations, and methodologies resonate with everybody in your immediate work environment and/or industry. Those are the indicators of “influence.” To the extent that analyst exerts such influence purely through one channel--blogging--all power to them. But the best analysts have always availed themselves of all channels at their disposal to inject their ideas into the bloodstream of the industry. Chances are that the chief “bloggers” are established analysts who have simply reinforced their brand through this medium. If they’ve made blogging the core of their for-pay business model, cool (and please explain how). Most of us analysts use blogging in various and sundry funky ways to supplement/promote our for-pay gigs.
By the way, this goes without saying (or does it?), this is not the official Forrester position on all of this (we're working through these issues, just as every other analyst firm is, as we go, in the context of our own evolving business model). As I mentioned, I was simply one Forrester analyst asked to share his thoughts.