Recently, there have been several analyst reports that I've found interesting and think would be worth discussing on the blog. Only thing is, I've read them as part of IBM's subscription, and due to copyright and licensing, I don't think I have the ability to reprint the reports or even quote them. The reports are available on the analyst websites for purchase, but the abstracts they've posted don't typically contain the content that I think would be worthwhile to quote and discuss.
What are accepted/best practices in this area that you've seen other bloggers use?
It occurs to me that there's a potential business model for distributing analyst content, similar to Google's AdSense/AdWords programs but more focused -- and smaller scale.
Analysts need to get people to buy their reports. I read some things about an impending "shake-up" in the analyst industry. Redmonk's James Governor, discussing the decision to open source a particular report, has written "Well, in our admittedly biased opinion, most industry analysts are stuck in the Cathedral and act as if analyisis was an esoteric discipline, featuring the analyst as high priest with enterprise users and vendors as our flocks.... At RedMonk we prefer to spend time in the bazaar, which is where the marketplace for ideas is at its richest. We prefer to admit, rather than disguise, antecedents for our ideas. We prefer to acknowledge, rather than obscure, the conversation that is the foundation to our work. "
As it stands now for most of the works produced by most of the analysis industry, however, quote too much (or at all) and you violate copyright or contract, and the analyst presumably loses revenue. But if you don't quote analysts at all, though, surely the analysts lose just as much or more. There needs to be a way to find the mid-point. There ought to be a way to allow limited quoting of analyst reports, with consistent ground-rules, and market-based mechanisms for setting mutually acceptable terms for both site owners and content owners.
I say that every time you properly quote an analyst report in a blog, that's publicity for the analyst. They should pay you! If, of course, they get results in terms of click-throughs or purchased reports. Sound familiar?
Now, perhaps you may publish a company-sponsored or company-related blog, and you don't really want to cross the line of accepting money from analysts for publicizing their reports that concern your company. No problem! You should still be able to quote from reports, in a limited and controlled fashion. Your compensation could simply be the right to occasionally quote more extensively if you are generating results for the analyst.
Someone could set up an advertising/content licensing network for analysts. It could work something like this:
Analysts would submit the reports that they want to get out, and they get broken into quotable chunks -- paragraphs, sentences, tables, graphs, etc. At the analysts choice, the sentence and paragraph chunks can be turned into graphics or left as text.
Bloggers sign up for the network. They choose whether they just want to post quotes, or whether they want to post both quotes and AdSense-style content-dependent text ads.
In either case, bloggers can go to the network site and select quotable chunks of analyst content that they want to use. As with other similar systems, they get a small HTML fragment that they paste into their blog in order to bring in the desired content.
The system tracks who is quoting what, and can impose limits that the analyst sets on how much of a report can be quoted by any individual or in total.
Of course, the HTML fragments include a link that takes users to a site where the full report is for sale. If a sale is made the analyst gets their share, the network operator gets a commission, and bloggers who have also agreed to carry ads also get a commission. If the sale comes from a click on a site that declined ad revenue, the analyst and network operator split the blogger's share.
The adverstising portion works like other ad networks. Bloggers who run analyst ads are compensated for ad clicks in the usual manner. Analysts bid on ads in the usual way as well, but with a twist: their bids are adjusted according to how favorable their terms are for quoting chunks of content.
What do you think? Could this idea fly?
1. james governor12/12/2005 10:52:08 AM
something very much like what you describe launched last week- no kidding- its called IT-analysis.com. check it out and let me know what you think...
2. Richard Schwartz12/12/2005 11:12:45 AM
Hmmm... at first glance that seems more of a centralized thing than the network I'm describing, but very interesting and maybe there's more there (an affiliate network?) than I'm seeing right off the bat.