Someone asked me my reaction this week to the fact AMR Research has started to blog more aggressively of late. I told them I was thrilled. Not only is it validation of the medium -- it shows how good analyst-types will always be good analysts whether they're writing reports, presenting at conferences, advising clients, or writing op/ed style blogs. It also helps AMR reach a broader market, a challenge for them relative to Gartner and Forrester (despite what I feel is superior research on their part, at least in the spend, supplier and supply chain areas). My only advice to them is to focus on both quantity and quality. If they're going to commit to blogging, follow the lead of uber analyst/blogger Bruce Richardson, who practically pioneered the format, writing op/ed first-person style analyst columns over a decade ago. Also, people tend to read the blogger, not the firm. This means people look for individual style and knowledge. It also dictates that any analyst who is serious about blogging should blog as much as possible -- preferably more than once per week -- to develop a following.
What do you think about AMR's focus on blogging? Personally, I hope that it will become a useful tool for them to not only generate new research and advisory business, but to also share some of their knowledge with the large portion of the market that does not know the quality of the opinions and work they often churn out for their research clients. The only warning I have for them is that there are other analysts (and firms) that I think have damaged their brand by producing only periodic and superficial write-ups on their blogs. For example, using blogs as just a lead-in to advertise a recent "client only" report. Why is this bad? In my view, a blogger has a contract with his readers which unofficially states that their time is as valuable as the blogger's. Don't waste my time. And I won't waste your time.