Open Ratings and Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) today announced a strategic partnership for eCommerce ratings in which Open Ratings’ technology will be incorporated into Forrester’s PowerRankings™ and other future ratings products. The technology developed by Open Ratings provides a powerful means of gathering and processing online survey data for eCommerce ratings. Forrester will use this technology to expand the data stream associated with PowerRankings — unbiased rankings of eCommerce sites in the most popular categories.

“The Open Ratings technology provides the most robust survey platform for eCommerce ratings we have seen,” said William M. Bluestein, Ph.D., Forrester’s president and chief operating officer. “The technology resolves a number of key methodological issues and enables real-time analysis of online survey data. We look forward to applying Open Ratings’ technology and research data in our next generation of online research products.”

Forrester will employ Open Ratings’ technology in PowerRankings surveys found on the Forrester Web site and its affiliate sites. Forrester will also incorporate Open Ratings’ unbiased ranking data and other intelligence into its syndicated research products. In turn, Open Ratings will augment its real-time user feedback with information from Forrester’s extensive Technographics® and PowerRankings databases, which make use of annual survey data from more than 160,000 households and provide insight into the purchasing attitudes and behaviors of online consumers.

“Our relationship with Forrester is an important first step in achieving the Open Ratings mission of dramatically increasing the level of trust, reliability, and brand recognition between online buyers and sellers,” said Stan Smith, CEO, president and founder of Open Ratings. “As the recognized leader in Internet research, Forrester will enable us to tap into the motivations underlying purchase decisions in a variety of categories, assisting us in our efforts to provide users with reliable information about what makes eCommerce successful.

The recently launched Open Ratings eCommerce rating system empowers buyers and sellers while leveling the playing field for all businesses, big and small. With the Open Ratings solution, buyers gain trust, sellers make more sales, and the Web becomes a safer environment for transactions. It provides shoppers with a resource to make confident buying decisions and allows sellers to know more about potential buyers prior to the completion of a transaction.

Open Ratings offers a sophisticated, unbiased rating service that is designed to dramatically increase the level of trust, reliability, and brand recognition in eMarketplaces, with an initial focus on the hot business-to-business market sector. Based in Cambridge, Mass., Open Ratings was founded in May 1999, after placing as a semifinalist in the MIT $50K business plan competition. Cofounded by MIT Media Lab eCommerce expert Pattie Maes of Firefly fame and Stan Smith, former vice president and general manager of Agile Software, Open Ratings is backed by Atlas Venture and Nicholas Negroponte. Its service is offered as a neutral, Webwide, cobranded service presented through major online partners. The Open Ratings service is based on technology that was developed after three years of research at the MIT Media Lab. With the Open Ratings solution, buyers gain trust, sellers make more sales, and the Web becomes a safer environment for transactions. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at