Josh Bernoff of Forrester Research, co-author with Charlene Li of the groundbreaking social media study Groundswell, recently issued a Forrester report entitled The Growth of Social Technology Adoption. I came across the link on ReadWriteWeb. Delighted at the chance to download my copy, I went straight to the site, where I was stopped dead in my tracks. Unfortunately, all I got to read was the synopsis, because the full report costs $279.
Now I don’t want to appear cheap or ungrateful. Josh, Charlene and Forrester have been quite generous in sharing their social media knowledge. For example, you can go to the Groundswell web site and create, free of charge, a basic Social Technographics profile for a demographic and geography of your choice. I also recognize that Forrester Research is a business, and businesses need to make money.
Still, social media is in its infancy. And many of its standard bearers, bloggers like me, promote the cause on their own time and with their own finances. Sure, I have a day job in marketing and communications, but my forays into social media are not an official part of that job — yet. I’m working to change that, and one of the ways is by constantly deepening my understanding of social media and slowly but surely bringing that knowledge to bear on the work I do for my employer and our clients. But for now, whatever resources I leverage to build my knowledge base, if they involve a monetary cost, I fund out of my own pocket. And $279 is a bit steep for my budget.
So here’s my request to Forrester. How about a special rate for independent social media proponents like myself? Google provides many services — Google Analytics for starters — free of charge. They recognize that by helping marketers to learn how to use online advertising more effectively, it will ultimately help Google’s business. In the same way, if Forrester helps me to nurture my expertise of the social media space, that should pay off in the long term for Forrester. I will be better able to show my clients the value of social media for their business, get them started in the space and eventually purchase Forrester reports, tools and services that help them engage successfully.
Or how about a discount for people who bought Groundswell? (I’m sure I still have that Amazon receipt somewhere.) Or for writing a review of the book on a blog?
And if all of this doesn’t move you, Forrester, how about just getting into the Christmas spirit? I’ve been a good boy all year — especially as a standard bearer for social media. I hope when Santa comes down my chimney this year, he’s got something in his sack from Forrester.