Sunday, January 13, 2008

Exchanging content for quotes

I'm in the process of soliciting quotes for the Mobile Social Networking report, and to have it be featured on various blogs.

It's challenging to figure out (and it's probably a similar one to that which faces anyone soliciting the feedback of others) how much to provide and how much of your information or opinions to hold back.

Obviously before an expert can pronounce on the value of a resource such as a market research report or a book, some of it must be examined and digested. The parts of interest to one expert might not be the same as for another expert.

There's also the matter of persuading a reviewer that I know what I'm writing and speaking about! They don't know me, have probably not heard of me before, my web site is terribly out of date and they haven't begun to read the blog. I was rather careful not to pick the brains of other consultants or analysts when I was forming my own thinking/foundations in 2007 so how will others be able to form an opinion? Only on the basis of the parts which I provide.

Another real drawback I have when soliciting these quotes is that only a few people are as deeply familiar with this domain as I am. That's good news and bad news. I think one of my responsibilities is to keep educating others.

Yesterday I met for two hours with Rolf who works in an investment/emerging technologies group of a local telco. My goal was to obtain a quote from a telco about the value of the report but it is not clear if he will be an approved spokesperson and he is not in the mobile side of the social networking business. Rolf is interesting because he is building up a team to launch a platform for social networking which he believes will be open source. I should introduce him to another person who is advocating open source for mobile.

Rolf is first targeting large telcos who want to operate on-line (Web) communities as a way to rebuild the relationship they have with their subscribers/customers (he says that telcos now only have a billing relationship with subscribers) then, when he reaches critical mass, he plans to pay attention to mobile. Besides this (focus on telcos who want to operate their own web communities but don't want to build their own platform) his language, although he has nice slides, is still vague.

He's going to conduct a workshop in about 10 days to receive internal input (but he admits that there's likely to be fewer people who understand what he's trying to do inside the telco than outside), then perhaps we'll explore a collaboration. I've offered to provide opinions/feedback on his business plan, based on my research on mobile opportunities to date. I'm not holding high hopes of getting what I need (quote from a telco for the press release).

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