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?