Laura Ramos [Posted by Laura Ramos]

On June 17, Forrester published my latest research on
how business buyers use social networking sites to inform purchase
decisions, the role these sites will play in future buying processes,
and three key ways for B2B marketers to tap into open, social network

Two key insights coming from this research:
discussion forums and online communities are poised to become the
online supplement for colleague interaction and the decision to join in
community activity depends mostly on the quality of the participants —
the discussion relevance, demonstrated experience, and shared

Overall, In the B2B space, I believe private, gated community sites will
trump public, open social networking for delivering business value over
time because quality discussion and demonstrated expertise matter more
to business buyers than the size or breadth of the community.

I explore this position in detail in my latest blog post on B2B Marketing POSTs, along with ranking all of the reasons people cited to join a community, and how I recommend you join the conversation.  I encourage you to give it a read.  I know there are a lot of community-building advocates out there
now. Let me know if you disagree with my position and why — looking
forward to hearing from you.

PS:  I was on hiatus during July, so I'm backfilling my posts for
June and July at this time.  Don't be alarmed if you feel like you've
missed something — it's just me filling in some blanks.  Thanks for