Since the last review of the InformationSpan blog index, Forrester have significantly changed their approach to analyst blogs.
They’ve tidied up the structure of their aggregate blogs, which now closely follow the professional Roles used to categorise their research. Within each of the three broad categories (Information Technology, Marketing & Strategy, Technology Industry) there are a number of roles defined: 18 in all.
At least as importantly: the Forrester blog network is now based on blogs by individual named analysts. Previously, individuals only appeared as authors in the topic-related blogs. In response to this, InformationSpan has rebuilt our Index to Forrester blogs so that you can see a complete list of analysts who are blogging, with links to their blogs, their bios and the roll-up blogs for their coverage areas. So far as that goes, it’s similar to what we’ve always done for Gartner; we will also indicate changes to the list such as new analysts or blogs no longer active.
Forrester have done some smart stuff behind the scenes though. Contributions in each topic area are “rolled up”, so you can still review “the Forrester blog for XXX professionals”, in each of the 18 Role definitions, at the three category levels, and as a single roll-up (or should that be “Role-up”?) of all blogs. Alongside the 18 Role blogs, also, there are lists of the analysts contributing to each topic: so InformationSpan doesn’t provide analyst-name indexes in the topic areas, because we don’t need to (unlike the case for Gartner).
Similarly, we don’t provide a custom search for Forrester blogs. Again, we don’t need to, since Forrester’s site has the capability to do it.
Finally, we commend the Forrester Community which is an online discussion space linking analysts to the wider community. You don’t need a Forrester subscription to join the Community.
One negative change, though. We’ve removed all references to Forrester podcasts. Yes, you can still find some podcasts if you search the iTunes store. But no podcast directly published by Forrester (at least, so far as I’ve discovered) has had content added since mid-2010 and the Forrester podcast URL no longer exists. Some analysts do contribute to external podcasts, and iTunes will find these for you.
Along with this, the Gartner index has been updated but, apart from one or two changes in the analyst list, there’s little to report here. Gartner’s Blog homepage has always been an aggregate of the most recent blogs from the home community, much as Forrester’s is now.
Reviewing the Index is a work in progress. I intend to add a section for IDC, whose online Insights Community is a combination of blogs and discussion, and is worth exploring – though many of the categories relate to industry vertical sectors, so don’t blanket join everything! Watch this space, and keep an eye on the “last updated” dates on each existing page. Do let me know of any problems, but please make sure you’ve done a browser refresh first!
One other note. I find that the latest versions of Firefox don’t correctly back up the framed pages when you use the Back button; and Chrome reverts to the first-loaded version of a framed page. As a longer term project, I’m looking to simplify page structures. In the meantime, apologies!