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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Forrester Ranking Of Blogging Platforms

Using Forrester’s standard framework of measuring the platforms on three dimensions - Offering, Strategy, And Market Presence, Charlene Li
with Chris Charron, Tenley McHarg assesses the various players and rank the players. Forrester evaluates leading blogging platforms across 54 criteria and found that iUpload leads the market with its robust blogging capabilities and its strong strategic vision of a blog as a lightweight content management system (CMS), a collaboration and knowledge management tool, and even as a foundation to form communities of customers. When choosing between a full-featured suite like iUpload's Customer Conversation System or strong blogging-focused solutions like Movable Type and WordPress, companies should have a well-developed vision of how blogging will be used within the enterprise and then select a vendor that shares that vision. The report finds the top three platforms as:

- iUpload — Customer Conversation
- Six Apart — Movable Type
- WordPress

followed by :
- Traction Software — TeamPage
- Telligent — Community Server
- Six Apart — TypePad
- Drupal
- Roller
- UserLand Software — Manila

The report advises enterprises that while choosing a blogging platform, companies should first determine both their short-term and long-term needs and put vision first and platform second. The report also covers in passing the emerging trend of content management system beginning to offer blogging facilities. Warning enterprises, to be aware of the need for switching blogging platforms, the report advises enterprises to anticipate the day when you will need to switch providers and recommends conducting tests on how easy it will be to move all of your content to a new solution, especially if it is a hosted solution or if you anticipate using complicated data structures like linked profiles in a social network. A good report, a welcome one at that however few things stand out:

A. Forrester's skewed assessment methodology of assigning 0% weightage to market presence - this means a platform having a dominat marketshare has no bearing on the scores awarded and by extension, the rankings.
B. Within the meassures, I was surprised to see criteria like group blog management, internationalization support and online support features being given such a low weightage - after all blogs are all about colloboration!
C. The exclusion of blogger platform in the assessment takes the color out of the exercise
D. It might have made sense to have different categories - fully hosted and third part hosted (considering significant downtimes experienced sometimes in fully hosted solutions
E. The report would have beem more complete, if some real life switch/migration cases have been analysed.
I can go on and on, but can't ignore the fact that it is easy to criticise something and difficult to create something - I think on balance, the blogsphere could have done amuch better job - considering that charlene li and gand could have been under pressure to use a standard Forrester framework for assessment - which is certianly open to criticism - waht do you make out of an assesment criteria that tells you that the weightage of number, size, reference of user implementation accounts as zero. wait before closing - assessments from competing firms suck more- atleast forrester is attempting to be transparent with scores and attributes , others just declare and do not expose the details. So congrats charlene and team for coming out with a good report.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
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