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 Spender, Gartner’s VP of Corporate Communications, via email.
SageCircle: Andrew, thank you for participating in this interview.
SageCircle: Why the change in policy?
Andrew Spender: Participating in social media represents an opportunity for Gartner analysts to evolve their means and style of personal interaction with technology users and providers, business leaders, opinion leaders, journalists and many others interested in the business of technology.
SageCircle: Will analyst blogs be considered official Gartner published research? Or will blogs more like Gartner Voice podcasts where it is clearly stated at the beginning that the podcast “does not constitute published Gartner research”?
Blog posts represent the personal opinion of the Gartner analyst. As such, they do not reflect Gartner official published research. They may, where applicable, refer back to published Gartner research.
SageCircle: Will analysts be encouraged to blog or is this just a personal option for individual analysts to decide?
It is up to the individual analyst to choose if s/he wants to author a blog.
SageCircle: Is there a formal training program available to analysts on blogging best practices?
Gartner has created an internal Wiki that provides analysts who blog with detailed web participation guidelines, a comprehensive set of examples of practices to pursue and avoid, regularly updated FAQ’s and lessons learned (to come, obviously, because we just launched the blogs), and a summary of relevant Gartner research.
SageCircle: Is there a formal blogging policy that will be posted? This is a common practice for many corporations.
A formal blogging policy will be posted to the homepage of the Gartner blog network shortly.
SageCircle: What are the rules for notifying a vendor about blog posts that specifically mention the vendor?
Gartner analysts will be under no obligation to notify technology providers because the views expressed on the blog will be their own, not Gartner’s official point of view.
SageCircle: Will there be vendor review opportunities like with research notes?
No. Blog posts by Gartner analysts represent their personal point of view, not Gartner official published research.
SageCircle: Gene’s blog is clearly a personally branded blog, what will happen to the official blogs on gartner.com (most of which are inactive)?
All Gartner analyst blogs will be hosted on gartner.com. Here’s a link to the homepage of the Gartner blogging network: http://blogs.gartner.com/ The blogs went live on Friday September 12, 2008. As a result, a number of the blogs have not been updated, but they will be in the coming days.
SageCircle: Will Gartner have a directory of analysts’ personal blogs or incorporate that information into the official analyst bios?
SageCircle: Will blogging be incorporated into analyst performance reviews, either formally or as “bonus points?”
No. Blogs are a platform for analysts to express their personal point of view and to solicit feedback from readers on their posts. Comments or feedback to an analyst blog may assist analysts in their research. All Gartner research is governed by our guiding principles: http://gartner.com/it/about/omb_guide.jsp
SageCircle: Recently, there has been a small burst of Gartnerians signing up for Twitter. Will analysts be encouraged to join the conversation on Twitter?
It’s at the personal discretion of the analyst if s/he chooses to use Twitter or other forms of social media. Gartner analysts who participate in any form of social media must adhere to our principles of ethical conduct at all times: http://investor.gartner.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=99568&p=irol-ethical
SageCircle: Will exchanges with clients via comments be considered inquiries? Will they be captured in GAMEC?
SageCircle: Is Gartner concerned that blogging and comment-based “conversations” will cannibalize sales?
SageCircle: Will analysts be permitted to engage analysts at competing firms via their blogs?
SageCircle: Is blogging being added formally to the research methodology (e.g., use research notes for X, use blogs for Y)?
No. Gartner analysts will use their blogs to express their personal opinion and solicit feedback, insight and ideas. Research that originates from blogs will be subject to the normal research process. Details on the Gartner research process can be found here: http://gartner.com/it/products/research/methodologies/research_process.jsp
SageCircle: Will some or all blog posts be required to go through Editorial?
SageCircle: Andrew, thank you for your time.
Bottom Line: Gartner’s change in policy represents an interesting development in the analyst ecosystem and Gartner culture. While we will not know the true impact until we see whether the “unleashed” analysts actually embrace blogging, this is something that could have a ripple effect across analyst relations, research clients and competing analyst firms.
Question: What do you think the impact of Gartner’s new policy will be on the analyst ecosystem?
Related posts on Gartner analysts expanded blogging opportunities: