opinion piece posted by

The 8 Rules of Blog Comments – or how to spot a ‘turfer

Astroturfing

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  • 1. If the comment starts ‘I love your blog…’ then goes on to extol the wonders of the product that has been posted. It’s a PR agency.
  • 2. If the comment starts ‘I’m not an expert but…’ and then praises the product in question. It’s an in-house company marketing shill.
  • 3. If the comment starts ‘I bought one of these a few months ago, and it’s a great/fabulous/amazing/whatever….’. It’s an outsourced company paid to astroturf the client’s product anywhere they can.
  • 4. If the comment starts ‘I love this product, where can I buy one…?’. It’s the daughter of one of the product retailers doing a favour for her father.
  • 5. If the comment includes the sentence, ‘I prefer the Acme product (www.productaddress.com) because it has a bigger…’. It’s the daughter of a rival product retailer doing a favour for her father.
  • 6. If the comment starts, ‘I think you’ll find…’. It’s the ex founder of the company trying to get his own back on the VC company that shafted him.
  • 7. If the comment begins, ‘I am loving this but product…’. It’s a very cheap outsourced agency from the Far East shilling the company’s product.
  • 8. If the comment begins, ‘There’s a much better free version at…’. It’s a real reader trying to help other readers out.

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


5 Comments

  • hmmm….all this time i thought the "I love this product, where can I buy one…" people were just complete idiots who can't read the posts.

    • It's 50/50 Jeff ;-)

  • That reminds me, I need to write a WordPress plugin that replaces "Endorsed Product Name" with "The Post Author Rules" in all comments.

  • I think you'll find…
    I'm no expert, where can I find one?
    I love this blog!

    LOL, good entry. If I'm not mistaken, Amazon's review section has quite a few of these littered around. I recall hearing Belkin was in on the shenanigans, once.

    • Thanks Kainnon, your cheque's in the mail.

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