I am sure you missed me, I know I did miss you. Yes, you.
If you don’t count the Merry Christmas (have you checked the tour of It’s a Small World – Christmas Edition I recorded and made available) and Happy New Year (yes, my wife really did take that picture – she is that good), I have not written anything since probably October or so (most of the month of November has been busy with Vendor’s talking about their positions on Social Business – a very well received series).
Yes, almost three months of no blog posts. Shame on me, shame, shame. Shame.
Well, that is not true – I did write tons, just nothing good enough to publish. I have close to 10,000 words on why Salesforce matters and how Dreamforce was a turning point both for cloud computing and them – but it lacks the quality I’d like to publish. Wrote the summary to the “What does X think of Social Business?” series – but never posted it.
Wrote three more posts with focus areas and research concerns for 2011, but they are not really finished. Four more posts on varied customer service topics – but have not been able to finish them. There are other varied topics (ROI versus CYA, Empowerment, EFM and VOC, etc.) — but none of them were good enough to offer them to you.
I have been quite upset about that, to be honest — pretending it is writer’s block, that I just have to focus.
Today, I realized it is not that.
The problem is that you can only go so far with a blog post that you write in a few days or hours. There is limited depth to it, more questions left open than answered. Honestly, that is the model I was taught at the-big-research-house-where-I-used-to-work (new year’s resolution: don’t mention them by name, build my own brand) – give them enough to pick up the phone and call you.
When I set out to become an independent analyst I did it to do something different. There are flaws in all models, including the large research houses (and my new model, and more than likely yours as well); I wanted to tackle the ones I knew about and set out to try something different, something new — I wanted to not only start the conversations, but follow up to them.
That is my focus for 2011: continuing the conversations.
I will go back to primary research (truth be told, been doing it already – just not in a formal fashion) as a method of research.
I will set out to talk to many people as I usually do, but I will do it with a purpose. Not only do I want to know what they are doing and what their experiences have been – I also want them to answer questions one-through-five. I am going to create and work on formal research reports, with specific questions and analysis.
Bear in mind that primary research is not easy, not usually done anymore. As shocked as you will be, the-place-where-I-used-to-work only does primary research for market numbers – not for anything else. The primary research unit was disbanded long time ago, so there is not a lot of research to the research analyst. I know of similar situations at other large houses.
I am bringing primary research back to the job of research analyst.
Now, this is where I need your help.
I want to create a large database of practitioners who are interested in knowing what others are doing, and want to use that data to share with all of you. I have a database of fair size of practitioners – people whim whom I talk and discuss the market on a regular basis. I have had (by last count) over 1,200 conversations of varied length and content in 2010: end users, vendors, consultants, practitioners, analysts and more. This year already, in the past week or so I have officially been working, I already have about 20 interesting conversations.
I would like to expand that database. Could you please send me an email (click on that link and a new tab will open) and let me know you would like to participate. Your help would be appreciated, and never abused (of course, I won’t use the information for anything else, will only ask you to complete a short 4-5 question survey once a year or less, and you may be asked to participate in larger studies in exchange for a donation to your favorite charity).
Finally, if you have any burning question that you would like to know the answer to – please send me an email and let me know – or leave them in the comments section. If I can, I will incorporate them into the studies and let you know the answers.
What do you think? Want to leave me a comment and let me know?