Forrester’s Blogging Platforms Wave Evaluation now available
Nine platform evaluations, 54 criteria, and 30 user interviews later, our blogging platform “Wave” evaluation is now available. The process started with a post on this blog asking for feedback on criteria to use and I wanted to share back the results. I’ve included a summary below, but the full report – which includes detailed product evaluations as well as a customizable ranking tool – is available only to clients or for individual purchase. (You can find the full report here.) The nine platforms evaluated were Drupal, iUpload, Roller, Movable Type, Telligent, Traction, TypePad, and WordPress. There are many other platforms available, but these were chosen because of their market presence, unique approach, and tenure in the industry.
The general take of the report is that blogging is quickly moving beyond simply managing posts into a lightweight content management systems. Companies are also increasingly looking to blogs to provide the foundation for a community strategy, both for internal collaboration and external marketing purposes.
Here’s the executive summary as well as the Wave graphic that shows how we ranked the platforms.
Forrester evaluated leading blogging platforms across 54 criteria and found that iUpload leads the market with its robust blogging capabilities and its strong strategic vision of a blog as a lightweight content management system (CMS), a collaboration and knowledge management tool, and even as a foundation to form communities of customers. When choosing between a full-featured suite like iUpload's Customer Conversation System or strong blogging-focused solutions like Movable Type and WordPress, companies should have a well-developed vision of how blogging will be used within the enterprise and then select a vendor that shares that vision.
Three clear leaders emerged – iUpload, and Movable Type, WordPress. Note that these are three very different platforms, each with their own pros and cons. And in some scenarios, it may make more sense for a company to choose one of the other strong contenders like Drupal, Telligent, Traction, or TypePad.
In the end, I believe that a company needs to have a clear idea and vision of how blogging will be used within the company – to seek out a platform whose product strategy matches that vision. This is what I wrote in the report:
When choosing a blogging platform, companies should first determine both their short-term and long-term needs. For example, a company just dipping its toes into the blogging waters may want to start with TypePad with the goal of transitioning to a more robust, software-based platform in the future. Another company may want to start with a robust, hosted platform like iUpload from the beginning and avoid the hassles of transitions in the future. And a third firm may want the integrated community tools of a Telligent or Drupal solution. The unifying idea behind all of these decisions is a clear vision of the role that blogging will play within the company.
My next area of research will be a series of best practices on how companies can get started with both internal and external blogs – so if you have any tidbits or case studies you’d like to share, please add them as comments or email me.