A recent study by Jupiter Research and BuzzLogic has suggested that blogs are more influential in product decisions than friends on social networks. What can a site like TechRepublic, which has a mix of bloggers and social networking, do to help you make better product decisions?


Believe it or not, there is no vast media conspiracy in covering topics. At least if there is, I’m not on the A-List and haven’t been getting the memos lately. I just sometimes get lucky in posting a topic on here that’s echoed elsewhere.

Case in point, the other day I asked: “What Influences You in Making a Final Product Decision?” Just yesterday, TechRepublic sister site News.com featured an article revealing a study by BuzzLogic and Jupiter Research that also looks into what influences product decisions. Based on its survey, BuzzLogic claims that bloggers have more influence on product purchasers than peers on social networks.

Now, because BuzzLogic is a company that tracks bloggers for companies and allows companies to find out what people are saying about them, the survey is a little self-serving. It’s not unlike Microsoft paying for a study that says that Linux costs more to own than Windows. So, you have to take the results with a grain of salt.

At the same time, however, it does point to the influence that blogs have over buying decisions. The study doesn’t go to the detail of saying whether these “influential” blogs come from places like TechRepublic that has paid bloggers or whether it’s just the generic volunteer blogosphere. That would be equally enlightening I believe. Nor does the study entirely discount the power of community. It just merely says that bloggers exercise more influence.

How can TechRepublic help you decide?

One of the nice things about a site like TechRepublic is that there’s a little bit of everything. We, of course, have (brilliant, handsome, and well-written) bloggers you can rely on, but there’s also the largest IT community on the planet to back it up. Plus there’s a large library of vendor-driven whitepapers you can draw upon to compare and contrast vendor views.

We’ve never done formal “product reviews” on TechRepublic because other sites in the CBS Interactive family like ZDNet and CNET have complete review sections.Other sites also do reviews to death. We’ve always felt that what our audience doesn’t want is yet another comparison of 45,000 flat screen monitors. However, we still feel that actual products deserve some kind of coverage other than merely cracking open stuff.

So tell us: What can TechRepublic do to help make it easier for you to decide about making product purchases?