Gartner ups the ante on analyst blogging – maybe 50 new bloggers

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Update 9/15/08 10:30 am PT: Gartner launched the Gartner Blog Network today with 47 analyst blogs (though not all have posted their first post yet). You can find a link and a list of blogs in this post Announcing “Introduction to Blogging for AR,” a special SageCircle webinar

Update 9/12/08 1:43 pm PT: Gartner analyst Andrew Frank (via Twitter) gives us some detail about the launch of the new Gartner blog network: “stay tuned for details from next week’s Web Innovation conference in LA

It took a Forrester analyst (Jeremiah Owyang naturally, first in a tweet and later in a blog post) to give the analyst ecosystem the heads up about an interesting change in policy at Gartner.

Gartner’s Gene Phifer in a blog post about virtualization dropped this intriguing piece of information:

“…Now that Gartner has adopted a Web participation policy for its analyst community, I am allowed to join the blogosphere.  It’s about time! …” 

Later in a response to comments, Gene added in a comment:

“Thanks to all for the welcome aboard. Several of us have been chomping at the bit to get out into the blogosphere. Stay tuned–the last I heard about 50 Gartner analysts will be joining me.

We are still working out some logistical details, so don’t be surprised if we have some sputters at first. For example, I hear that I may be moving my blog to another site. But the good news is that we are now blogging, and you will soon see a large number of Gartner analysts with their own blogs.”

50 more blogging Gartner analysts! This is both great news and scary news for analyst relations (AR) professionals. This is potentially great news because there are benefits to analyst blogging. On the other hand, this could be scary news for AR because it changes the rules of the game, adds work and impacts how AR works.

50 more blogging Gartner analysts! This is both great news and scary news for clients, whether IT managers or vendors. This is potentially great news because analysts will have a platform for more timely commentary on breaking events and topics not normally covered in formal research notes. In addition, research clients can use the comments to conduct an informal inquiry. This is scary news because research seat holders will no longer be the gatekeepers to Gartner analysts and research.

50 more blogging Gartner analysts! This is both great news and scary news for other analyst firms. Great news because Gartner blogging will help raise the visibility of all analysts and potentially increase the pool of clients. This is similar to what happened to the PC market when IBM released its PC back in 1981. This is scary news for analysts that do not blog, because it potentially raises the bar on what is expected of analysts. There are already hundreds of analysts who blog, but this is a small percentage of the thousands of analysts that are out there. This is even more scary for the largest firms (by revenue), because with the exception of Forrester, they have not embraced blogging.

There are many unknowns about how the new Gartner policy will be implemented, how many analysts will actively jump on the blogging bandwagon, and the implications for the analyst ecosystem. Stay tuned as SageCircle will have updates as more information and insights become available.

Analysts mentioned in this post:

SageCircle Technique:

  • AR teams and clients – Schedule a client inquiry or use your next interaction to ask your top ranked Gartner analysts about their plans for a blog
  • AR teams – Incorporate analyst blogging into your AR plan
  • Analyst firms – Reevaluate your current blogging policy and consider the competitive implications of Gartner’s change in policy

SageCircle has a number of services to help AR professionals get up to speed on social media, including blogging. We have an on-demand, in-house AR Briefing, the “Introduction to Blogging” webinar on October 8th and Advisory Services that can be used to review plans, critique draft posts and so on. Give us a call at 650-274-8309 to learn more about how we can help you get up-to-speed on this accelerating issue.

Bottom Line: Social media has been slowly, some would say glacially, making its way in the analyst ecosystem. Gartner’s policy change could potentially accelerate the adoption of social media by AR, clients and other analysts. This would then cause significant ripple effects throughout the analyst ecosystem.

Question: What do you think of Gartner’s change of policy about analysts being able to blog?

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19 Responses

  1. Comment via Twitter, from James Governor of Redmonk (www.twitter.com/monkchips)

    @carterlusher its good news for RedMonk if Gartner goes deep into blogs. It validates the approach for the mainstream. Welcome to the party!

    @carterlusher if your revenues are based on writing white papers (think of the poor trees) then an industry move to blogging might hurt you.

  2. Comments, via Twitter, from Dennis Howlett, AccMan (www.twitter.com/dahowlett)

    @carterlusher – AMR – needs to move forward. Forrester: @jowyang in particular.

    @carterlusher – one issue I came across this week: no compensation for blogging = no blogging at research analyst firms.

  3. I started the first AMR blog on March 1 — http://www.firstthingmonday.net. My goal was to have a repository for the plethora of news and ideas that come my way. There was no thought of compensation, nor would it have mattered.

  4. Consider me one of the unleashed!

    RE: the comment “no compensation for blogging = no blogging at research analyst firms.”

    I understand this view but from my perspective, and I feel this is true for all analysts with a strong opinion and a love for their research areas, blogging provides immediacy (in terms of feedback) and intimacy that we can never get in a tradional publishing model.

    I look forward to many discussions about managed services, outsourcing and the IT services market in general!

  5. HI Bruce, Thanks for the comment and the heads up about your blog.

    Suggestion: put a link to your blog on the AMR Research home page. I looked all over your website and could not find a link.

  6. Eric, thanks for the comment.

    Early consensus here and elsewhere is that analysts are not doing blogging because it’s part of their comp plan, they are just excited to have the platform.

    But I wonder how long that will last when inquiries, briefings, Symposium prep, travel and so on get in the way. There are a lot of official Gartner blogs that started off with much promise, only to taper off and eventually go dark.

    Best of luck. Please let us know when you launch your blog so we can help promote it.

  7. Comment from Vuk Trifkovic, Datamonitor, via Twitter (www.twitter.com/vtri):

    @carterlusher Gartner lifting the ban is a good precedent. But the real barrier to entry is having stg to say + engaging the audience well.

  8. Comment from Brenda Michelson via Twitter (www.twitter.com/bmichelson):

    @carterlusher i’m curious how Gartner, not the analysts, will react when the rest of us riff on, partake in, the new blog conversation

  9. Carter,

    Many analysts will get started, but I predict only a handful will be posting regularly in 6 months’ time. Why?

    1) Because most analysts have heavy publication schedules and simply won’t have the time to blog – and when you write for half the day, the additional writing burden is often not a lot of fun;

    2) A blog post is not a research article – it is an outlet for discussion and needs to be punchy, sometimes creative, informative and amusing. Not in the DNA for every analyst, unfortunately.

    I wrote a little piece on the subject here:

    http://fersht.typepad.com/the_outsourcing_bloghorse/2008/09/where-do-blogs-best-fit.html

    I do not believe blogging is going to be a major game-changer for the research business, but more of an added channel for some analysts to communicate to their markets quickly, with added personalization. I do think AR should embrace it though, as it will give them more insight into an analyst’s personality and thinking. Plus it makes a refreshing change from policing analyst reports all day long…

    PF.

  10. Carter,
    I’m looking forward to my Gartner blog, at this stage I’m not sure how often I’ll post. Sure I’m busy with other stuff, but most bloggers have other day jobs. I blogged pretty consistently when I was at SAP, and I reckon it would be possible to do it as a Gartner analyst too. We all seem to find time for things we like. It is the same with blogging.

    But having the blog is just a small part of the new policy. A bigger part of it is getting out and commenting on other blogs, like this one.

    I enjoy your blog a lot. It gives me a good insight into the mysterious world of AR. Keep it up.
    Thomas

  11. Hi Thomas, Thanks for the comment and the compliment. If there is a particularly mysterious AR practice you would like me to blog about, please let me know.

    Also, please spread to the word about this blog to AR pros you deal with and other analysts.

    I think it is great that Gartnerians are also being encouraged to engage other bloggers via commenting. Of course it gets down to having the time.

  12. Hi

    In response to Phil’s concern that some analyst blogs can be as dry as dust, let me selfishly offer the first post of my new blog as a hint of things to come. I am one of the new Gartner bloggers – although hardly new to blogging. We are very excited about our work here. Check back over the months ahead and see if it resonates.

    http://blogs.gartner.com/dave_mccoy/

    David McCoy
    Managing Vice President and Gartner Fellow Emeritus

  13. […] Comments David McCoy on Gartner ups the ante on analys…sagecircle on Gartner ups the ante on analys…Thomas on Gartner ups the ante on […]

  14. David –

    I am sure we will see a few superstar-bloggers from the the analyst ranks, and you will probably be among them; my concern being more that many analysts haven’t realized the massive difference between posting a research brief and writing a blog post.

    Blogging is a completely different skill from posting research information under an analyst brand.

    Phil.

  15. One key difference between the new Gartner analyst blogs and the existing official Gartner blogs is that the latter go through a review and editing process. The new blogs are “normal” blogs — truly personal, not editorially reviewed, and they don’t have to be Gartner-hosted, though those of us who also maintain personal blogs are cross-posting our IT content to the Gartner Blog Network. So that leaves us much more free to scribble a few quick thoughts, and to talk about things that go beyond our coverage areas.

  16. Hi Everybody, Thanks for comments.

  17. […] The new Gartner Blog Network is generating some interesting buzz in the analyst ecosystem (see Gartner ups the ante on analyst blogging – maybe 50 new bloggers). To learn more about what Gartner is up with this new initiative, SageCircle interviewed Andrew […]

  18. […] Gartner ups the ante on analyst blogging – maybe 50 new bloggers […]

  19. […] over on twitter and in the blogosphere about Gartner blogging. I’m not sure whether this is upping the ante or not. but hopefully the conversations that this blog helps generate will make me a better analyst.  A […]

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