Techdirt lets companies contact expert bloggers — discreetly — for advice

techdirtlogo.jpgThere is a lot going on at the Office 2.0 Conference this week, and we point to Rafe Needleman’s blog overview. He has blogged the main points, and describes the companies that are worthy of mention.

We moderated a panel, and may have more. But we want to call attention to one notable addition, which comes from Techdirt. Techdirt is a Belmont news site that runs popular blog Techdirt. We mentioned it in February, because it is doing well. It makes money by serving Fortune 500 companies with a recommended diet of reading (articles from blogs and other publications), so that their employees stay better informed.

michaelmasnick.jpgMichael Masnick, chief executive (pictured here), keeps building out the news service with new features — and this week launched a way for his Fortune 500 clients to reach out to a stable of expert bloggers for advice.

The service is called Insight Community. Techdirt contracts with an ad-hoc group of analysts, and pays them for providing their private opinions, feedback, strategy tips, or whatever. This advice goes to the companies that request it. Techdirt makes both sides “blind,” in that the company and the analyst don’t know each other’s identity. This protects them from getting too cozy with each other, and keeps the integrity of the analysis intact. TechDirt is the broker between them, taking a cut — and will allow both sides to graduate, if they choose, to direct communication.

Below is a chart describing how it works:

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It has already signed up SAP and Verisign as customers. Here is Verisign’s testimony, which describes how Techdirt’s analysts helped the company better understand the complex issue of network neutrality.