Forrester to Analysts That Have Their Own Blogs: Umm, No |

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Forrester to Analysts That Have Their Own Blogs: Umm, No


Posted by on February 6, 2010

According to Sage Circle, Forrester is telling all of their analysts that have their own personally branded research blogs that they must either take them down or re-direct them to the Forrester site. Apparently Forrester feels like they can provide more value to their clients if they aggregate all of the content into one space, that place of course being Forrester’s site.  My favorite comment on this issue came from Dave McClure who said:  “What is the downside for Forrester? Likely not much unless there is a big stink in the blogosphere…”

Seriously, do you think that’s the only downside? How incredibly short-sighted. This is the corporate research equivalent of suicide.

Clearly, no analyst with a shred of talent or ambition will likely ever choose to work for Forrester, assuming this policy is enforced. Best of luck to the remaining losers who decide it’s a good idea to tuck their tail between their legs and go silently into the night to work as a faceless drone for FR. Why not require everyone at FR commute to work by horse & buggy while you’re at it.

Forrester was absolutely idiotic for not taking more advantage of the incredible talent of folks like Charlene Li & Jeremiah Owyang while they were on staff at Forrester, and for not realizing how HUGE a benefit blogging & the visibility created by those folks was to generating business for Forrester. It’s no surprise they chose to break away and start their own firm, which appears to be growing leaps & bounds.

I can’t think of anything more likely to hobble and kill the spark of innovation and curiosity that most research analysts have in their DNA than to require them to publish as a no-name entity.  What an incredibly stupid & self-damaging move.

Dennis Howlett calls this move an Epic Enterprise 2.0 Fail by Forrester.  Dennis and Dave both echo my sentiment.  Needless to say, I don’t agree with this move by Forrester and here are a few reasons why:

  • The time spent on branding and marketing the analyst’s website will be lost.  Jeremiah Owyang, for example has a very loyal reader base.  He would have to redirect them all to the Forrester site and then, if he somehow left anyone behind, he must redirect them all back to his personal site.
  • SEO value for individual sites will be lost (and gained by Forrester).  Google “social media consultant” and whose site do you see?  I, personally, would never want to lose my ranking.
  • Creativity and innovation will be stunted because instead of having the feeling of ownership for anything analysts create.  They will instead have to pass everything over to Forrester.  I think this will hurt morale somewhat, as well.
  • I feel like analysts have greatly contributed towards the brand visibility and credibility of Forrester  since they were able to share their own ideas and thoughts.  Now that everything is “Forrester” branded, that feeling diminishes.  After all, don’t we trust individuals more than we trust companies?
  • Individual personality and voice will be eroded now that the individual brand is going to become a corporate one.

What do you think about this?  Is Forrester making a good move by asking all analysts to either take down or re-direct their own personally branded blogs?  As an analyst, what would you do in this situation?

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  • http://www.TheSocialMediaBible.com StevenGroves

    This is crazy! I have always had (or at least used to) have a great deal of respect for Forrester, even more so after they hired Jeremiah – this takes them way down the scale in my book!

    As a thought, I went and made a Google SideWiki notation at the Forrester site sharing my displeasure. Come join me! Interesting that it was Jeremiahs post that got me making more SideWiki posts at sites.

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      A lot of people are agreeing with your sentiment on this one

  • http://www.BusinessBloggingPros.com/ Dave Barnhart

    My initial reaction? I'll bet that Forrester has a clause in it's employment agreement that says any and all research/IP/whatever done by Forrester employees – even on their own time – belongs to Forrester. It's the familiar old 'all your inventions belong to us' clause. From Forrester's perspective then, this is just a natural extension of that.

    It's a perfect way to drive away your best talent.

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      Yep, Forrester is definitely an IP company but what's interesting is why they chose now to make these changes. Afterall this has been around for a while. Why now? I can imagine that if Jeremiah Owyang and Peter Kim were still at Forr. that they might be a bit less than happy about this.

  • http://techspokes.com/ Jeff Tucker

    I'm surprised at Forrester. Retaining quality analysts/consultants isn't about cutting off their direct communication. It's about giving them the freedom and incentives to work like its their own company. Yet without the hassles of marketing, billing/accounting and administration that most either don't want to deal with or don't have the skill sets for. That's what worked for me in 30 years of hiring and retaining dozens of tech. consultants.

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      Hi Jeff, sounds like Forrester could use some advice from you :) I know there are several former analysts that want to speak up about this but are remaining quiet for now. I understanding their reasoning but I just think it's flawed.

  • http://www.branddialogue.com Eric Weaver

    The idea that people and their thought leadership can be owned and controlled is very Scarcity Mentality. The reality is that any employee worth their salt brings both relationships and experience — their social capital — to any gig. They also take it away when they leave.

    I'm a bit surprised by this. Recessionary thinking in action, I guess.

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      Hi Eric, great points. It could be recessionary thinking indeed. Guess will see how it plays out

  • http://janetfouts.com Janet Fouts

    This is just ridiculous on Forrester's part. If it wasn't for the talented analysts they hired building out their social media presence they'd still be in the dark ages. This can't be helping their brand.

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      I've been hearing the world ridiculous thrown around quite a bit when it comes to Forrester lately

      • http://janetfouts.com Janet Fouts

        Which is unfortunate for them…

  • http://www.branddialogue.com Eric Weaver

    The idea that people and their thought leadership can be owned and controlled is very Scarcity Mentality. The reality is that any employee worth their salt brings both relationships and experience — their social capital — to any gig. They also take it away when they leave.

    I'm a bit surprised by this. Recessionary thinking in action, I guess.

  • http://janetfouts.com Janet Fouts

    This is just ridiculous on Forrester's part. If it wasn't for the talented analysts they hired building out their social media presence they'd still be in the dark ages. This can't be helping their brand.

  • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

    A lot of people are agreeing with your sentiment on this one

  • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

    I've been hearing the world ridiculous thrown around quite a bit when it comes to Forrester lately

  • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

    Hi Eric, great points. It could be recessionary thinking indeed. Guess will see how it plays out

  • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

    Yep, Forrester is definitely an IP company but what's interesting is why they chose now to make these changes. Afterall this has been around for a while. Why now? I can imagine that if Jeremiah Owyang and Peter Kim were still at Forr. that they might be a bit less than happy about this.

  • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

    Hi Jeff, sounds like Forrester could use some advice from you :) I know there are several former analysts that want to speak up about this but are remaining quiet for now. I understanding their reasoning but I just think it's flawed.

  • http://janetfouts.com Janet Fouts

    Which is unfortunate for them…

  • http://www.iddaaybk.com iddaaybk

    Which is unfortunate for them…


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