Christine Overby [Posted by Christine Overby]

Last week, Jeremiah Owyang, an analyst on the Interactive Marketing team that I manage, caught flak for comments that he made on his personal blog about the community vendor Mzinga. As you might expect, we both have been communicating with Mzinga's Chairman Barry Libert and other members of his team. At the same time, Jeremiah has been reflecting on the conversation begun by the post. So have I.


All of us at Forrester have learned from this. We have a blogging policy. I’m using this as an opportunity to reinforce these guidelines with bloggers on my team. So are other Research Directors. Forrester will continue to update these guidelines regularly as we gain new insights. Treat your social media policy as a living, breathing thing – I think these are good words for analyst firms and clients alike.


I am thinking too about the relationship between our research – which is, well, highly-researched and planned – and our social media contributions which are more informal. Should an analyst refrain from stating opinions in social media because it’s more organic? I don’t think so. But can we modify our tone and conclusions to reflect the more spontaneous nature of social tools? Absolutely.


Analysts will continue to participate in the Groundswell. At the same time, we’re still learning like everyone else here. As such, I welcome the dialogue and your comments.