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Posted by John R. Rymer on February 25, 2010
I’m soon getting a new tool for my work as an industry analyst: A Forrester blog. Before diving into my new blog, I think I should define its role in my work, and get your comments and suggestions.
My Forrester blog is a new part of my research lifecycle (depicted below). I’ve been pursuing some form of this research lifecycle for over 15 years.
The boxes show my five major publishing vehicles. The blog is the newest one, I’ve had most of the others for much longer. Around the lifecycle, I’ve listed the kinds of information I include in these deliverables. I’ve identified which publishing vehicles are free to all, and which ones are only available to clients who purchase Forrester subscriptions.
How does my research lifecycle work?
Thus, I plan to use my blog to react to news of interest to the application development pros I serve, but also to push out ideas and observations, USA Today-style factoids, explanations that I think will help people, and notifications (aka promotional messages). If I want to explain how I define the term “application platform,” I can use the blog to do so. No one is paying for the blog, and so if basic explanations aren’t interesting to you, skip that post. (Forrester clients don’t want to see basic explanation reports in their syndicated service – trust me.) If I want to share data of interest, I can blog about them. And so on. I promise not to overdo it on self-promotion and posts that are more clever than insightful.
My blog posts will never replace the Forrester research reports that I write. How could they? A Forrester Wave™ requires at least 6 months of painstaking work. Have you looked at the detailed data in the spreadsheet behind a Wave diagram? Such reports require a much higher level of effort than a blog post, as well as a more expansive publishing format.
I find this expansion of my research lifecycle liberating. At the same time, Forrester blogs are not edited, not peer-reviewed, and fact-checked only by me. And so I recognize that I must be prudent and fair-minded in my blog posts.
My first reason to write research is to help people. My new blog must fit this mission. But I also hope that my blog posts will create conversations that help me move faster from the early inkling of understanding to the sweet spot of great value for clients. Writing great research for Forrester clients is, after all, my first responsibility (and my passion as well).
Thank you in advance for your feedback.
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