Vinnie Mirchandani wrote about the new Analyst Transparency Workgroup, a gathering of big industry analyst firms to talk about how users can "access their favorite analysts across all paper, proprietary and RSS feed platforms and can seamlessly compare and collate their views on technology subjects and tags." Vinnie wants to know when they're going to be more open to the rest of the world; I'm wondering whether there's any progress toward delivering their content via RSS to their paying clients.
Vinnie's post really focuses on the lack of blogging at most analyst firms. They're in the business of selling what they write, so it's not hard to understand, but look at how visible Forrester has become in social media, largely because of their blogging analysts.
Putting up 1–2% of your research will not kill your business model. In fact it will increase traffic. And acknowledging your competition, a trade pub, a blogger will not kill your business model either. Should actually make your user experience richer.Which all makes sense to me. But when he mentioned "RSS feed platforms," I immediately flashed back to the Intelligence Delivery System™ I sketched out in mid-2006.
RSS as a delivery mechanism to clients
IDS was to be an RSS-based system for aggregating and redistributing market intelligence, including analyst research subscriptions, inside the corporate firewall. Existing access methods required logging into and searching each analyst firms's web site individually, which meant that many individuals with paid access to the research don't bother finding it. IDS would provide more efficient access to help companies extract more value from that research.
It turned out that existing enterprise RSS systems could do most of what I described, if clients could get their reseach in an RSS feed. So when I saw "RSS feed platforms" in Vinnie's post, I had to ask if the big analyst firms are making their content available to their clients in RSS feeds yet.
Barbara French answered:
The mechanisms for merging "competing" subscriptions include Northern Light and some other corporate content management systems. These solutions are not cheap, and none that I have found cover many firms.Northern Light looks like an interesting service, in an environment where analyst reports are available only through their web sites. But it strikes me as a workaround.
RSS coming soon?
The availability of RSS feeds would free client companies to incorporate the research into their own systems, potentially making the research more available—and thus more valuable—to their users. Is this part of what the new Analyst Transparency Workgroup means when they talk about access via RSS feed platforms?