By Charlene Li
I'm conducting a review of corporate blogging solutions this quarter and could use your help in the process. Forrester has been doing evaluations -- we call them "waves" of technology solutions for the past few years and we thought this would be helpful to do for blogging software and services, specifically targeted at corporate solutions (so this excludes blogging sites like Blogger, LiveJournal, MSN Spaces, and Xanga that are focused more on individual consumer bloggers).
But in a departure from other Forrester Waves, we'll be managing this process in a more open process, primarily through this blog. It won't be neat, it won't be smooth, but my hope is to engage a wider audience in the process and tap into your collective knowledge and wisdom.
So this is the process we'll be following:
Part 1: We’ll ask for feedback on features and functionality required for corporate blogging, and get recommendations on providers to evaluate. Open source solutions will also be considered.
Part 2: A set of specific criteria will be posted on this blog for feedback.
Part 3: The final set of criteria will be available for you to use in grading a current/potential blogging solution provider. You will be able to suggest and grade any blogging solution provider that you have had personally used.
Forrester will also conduct our own in-depth interviews and evaluations of a select group of providers using the same criteria. We will also conduct detailed interviews with end-users of those blogging solutions.
We’ll end up with two evaluations: one that’s the result of open participation and one that’s the result of Forrester’s formal evaluation methodology. I think that there’s value in both approaches and we’ll see at the end of this process how much they differ or agree.
The top line results of both evaluations will be available on this blog and survey participants in Part 3 will receive a copy of the summary report. But only Forrester clients will be able to access the full report, evaluations, and detailed spreadsheets at www.forrester.com.
My hope is that this open process will lead to greater input from the general community, resulting in a richer evaluation of the blogging solutions than can be provided by just a few knowledgeable experts. I honestly don't know if we're doing this the right way or what the result will be, but I trust that you'll help me figure it out as we go along. So by all means, let me know what we should be doing differently in this process, and how we can improve it.
So on to Part 1 of the process!
My definition of a blogging solution is a software or service that enables the online publication and management of a blog. At a minimum, the solution should allow the user to set up a Web page, write posts, and manage them. Blog support services like FeedBurner or aggregators like NewsGator don't fall into this category.
I'd love to get your feedback on the following two questions -- feel free to post as a comment or to email me directly.
1) What features and functionality are most important to you when selecting a corporate blogging solution?
2) What corporate blogging solutions did you/are you considering? Why did these solutions make it on to your short list? And in the end, why did you pick your solution over the others?
Thanks, and hope to hear from you all soon!