Merv Adrian offers two well-commented posts on analyst blogging. I think the whole thing was (probably not intentionally) framed in terms of large-firm analysts, leading to a lot of Golly gee whiz! Blogs aren’t the same as subscription analyst reports. Harm can occur when people forget this! And that led to various calls for things like industry-wide codes of how analysts should and shouldn’t write, etc. (Merv himself was the lead offender on that one.)
Grrr!! Any suggestion that there’s one right way to communicate rubs me the wrong way. Indeed, I’ve been arguing that there’s an evolving information ecosystem that will ever more depend upon there being healthy occupants of many different niches. Most particularly — and few vendors have yet wrapped their minds about this — it will increasingly be the case that primary news sources are analysts with NDA obligations. And yes — every once in a while it is important to be the one who breaks the story.
I don’t even like the idea that there be rules about fact-checking, error-correction and the like, for a couple of reasons. First, that kind of thing can lead minimum standards to also be regarded as sufficient care. Second, such things can easily be framed in a way that sets up vendors as arbiters of who does a “proper” job of writing about them and, even worse, who will be given enough information to be able to write about them.
Oracle once evaded my requests for information about app servers for 18 months and then called me “unprofessional” for writing about Oracle’s app server without a recent briefing. Unsurprisingly, I was eventually proved right.
But all my caveats notwithstanding, I highly recommend that pair of posts to at least be skimmed through.