Forrester analysts can blog after all

Last week a story about the market analysis and research firm Forrester started doing the rounds of Twitter and the blogs. The scandal was that Forrester planned to ban their analysts from publishing industry comment on their personal blogs.

Anyone who follows any industry knows the power of the analysts. They write research that influences the industry they monitor, advise companies on which firms to work with, and many individual analysts are feted as gurus… enjoying the rock star treatment at international conferences.
The initial burst of highly negative criticism around this news was that Forrester was going to somehow gag their analysts, preventing them from using Twitter or any personal blogs to offer opinions on the industries they cover. The blogosphere reacted badly. It looked like yet another example of big business gagging employees, but is it really so simple as the Twitter comments suggest?
Take a look at the statement released on Monday by Cliff Condon of Forrester, the guy in charge of social media use at the firm. Cliff argues that they want their analysts to use more social interaction, not less, but the real issue is that clients want to find all their Forrester research in one place, rather than having to hunt down comments by individual analysts.
Does that mean Forrester is asserting it’s own brand and importance above that of some very well-known individual analysts? Perhaps if I was one of those analysts I might feel slighted at being told to stop broadcasting opinions, unless it’s on the corporate site, but then why are the views of those people listened to anyway. Isn’t it because they are Forrester analysts?

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