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[News] Shills and Astroturfers the New Trend?

Getting Paid To Write A Blog Post - Is This The Future?

,----[ Quote ]
| I just saw over on TechCrunch that PayPerPost has raised $3 million
| in venture funding. What PayPerPost does is allow advertisers to buy
| a blog post ? often referred to as a paid plug. Instead of buying
| normal banner advertising, the advertiser would pay the blogger to
| write about their product or service. This of course raises manye
| thics and credibility issues.


Microsoft reigns in that arena. It has been buying bloggers and, from that
perspective, it has got some very shady history. I have assembled a short
list which I think is worth a glance.


,----[ Quote ]
|     "Some years back, Microsoft practiced a lot of dirty tricks using
| online mavens to go into forums and create Web sites extolling the virtues
| of Windows over OS/2. They were dubbed the Microsoft Munchkins, and it
| was obvious who they were and what they were up to. But their numbers
| and energy (and they way they joined forces with nonaligned dummies who
| liked to pile on) proved too much for IBM marketers, and Windows wont
| he operating-system war through fifth-column tactics"
|     Mr Dvorak wonders if Microsoft is today using reverse-dirty-tricks
| to promote the Xbox 360: pay people to create Web sites that slam the
| gaming computer in order to provoke a barrage of defenders. 


Notable examples of viral marketing

,----[ Quote ]
| # ilovebees.com - viral marketing for Halo 2
| # Hotmail, promoted largely by links at the bottoms of emails sent by
| its users, is the classic viral marketing example
| # Microsoft's Origami Project campaign
| # Microsoft's Xbox 360 campaign, called OurColony


Recent examples

,----[ Quote ]
| In 2001, the Los Angeles Times accused Microsoft of astroturfing
| when hundreds of similar letters were sent to newspapers voicing
| disagreement with the United States Department of Justice and its
| antitrust suit against Microsoft. The letters, prepared by Americans
| for Technology Leadership, had in some cases been mailed from
| deceased citizens or nonexistent addresses.

Halloween V: The FUD Begins


Bill Gates lends cash to buy newspapers

$350 million to MediaNews

,----[ Quote ]
| Gates involvement has been very behind the scenes. In fact many of
| those involved in the deal didn'teven know he was one of the investors.
| It was carried out through the Gates Foundation, the world's largest
| philanthropy outfit.


A new Microsoft-commissioned anti-Linux study debuts

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft seemingly has backed off from trumpeting its "Get the
| Facts" studies, as of late. But that doesn't mean the company has
| ceased commissioning research outfits to perform its anti-Linux dirty
| work. 
| On September 25, Mercer Management Consulting released a new
| Microsoft-backed study. The study is entitled "Driving Lower TCO and
| Rapid ROI through UNIX Migrations." The synopsis: "Microsoft Windows
| the preferred choice for UNIX migration when IT organizations migrate
| servers as part of a focused effort to improve business processes,
| deploy critical applications or restructure their IT architecture." 


IDC pronounces Linux unimportant to European economy 

,----[ Quote ]
| A recent IDC white paper on the economic impact of Microsoft's super
| soaraway new Vista operating system seems to be lacking one crucial
| ingredient -- other operating systems.


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