Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Techdirt Insight Community

I’ve enjoyed knowing Mike Masnick almost as long as I’ve been blogging (I used to work with a guy who was friends with Mike in high school, we got to know each other through Mitch), and I’ve always been impressed with the business he’s built around Techdirt. Most of us in the blogosphere know Techdirt as the great blog at, but the primary business has been their Corporate Intelligence service. When Mike called me last week to fill me in on their newly-launched Insight Community, I was convinced immediately. They formally announced the community today.

The concept is simple: Insight Communities leverage thought leaders in specific areas; companies engage Techdirt for confidential insight and analysis from those individuals. The people at Techdirt have always been good at weeding out the important stuff (that’s what makes their Corporate Intelligence service valuable, and their blog so good) — so identifying influential bloggers on key topics won’t be hard at all. Bloggers — never a group known for a dearth of opinions — get to trade on Techdirt’s name and access to corporate clients. The end result will be fast, informed opinion that will be quite useful to the companies who hire Techdirt.

Mark Fletcher thinks this is a shot across Gartner’s bow I’m not so sure it is in the short term. I see the two co-existing for a while, since the very notion of turning to bloggers (many of whom are proudly amateurs and will see this as only a secondary source of income) for actionable information will be anathema to a whole class of companies who wouldn’t bat an eyelash at spending big bucks to engage a more traditional analyst firm. But for those companies who are more aggressive, who are more comfortable making big decisions based on informed opinions by people who may not be traditionally seen as “pros”, this is an intriguing option. Seems very much like a classic Christensen “disruptive” market offering, actually. Can’t wait to see the impact it has…

1 comment:

  1. Rick,

    Thanks for the kind words! We had a great time at the conference and there's been a *tremendous* response to the new offering. Really exciting... Will keep you posted.