Thursday, October 16

Astroturfing forums

Now, I'm a cynical sort, so I may be prone to seeing things that aren't really there, but I tend to find that when I'm searching the web for comments on a product, I can often find forums that I find suspiciously eager to declare their love for one particular brand. While some brands are able to gather fanboys who will declare their love of the product of their own genuine fanaticism for it, others are otherwise so functional (e.g. a waterproofing spray) that you can't imagine them inspiring devotion.

So when I find a forum that discusses a brand only in the most worshipping terms, that uses the full product name repeatedly, and that links and promotes their website at every opportunity -

"BRANDNAME have a great competition on their website (link)!"
"I went to the BRANDNAME website (link) and registered straight away!"
"BRANDNAME is great!"
"BRANDAME is a friend, and it's a companion, And it's the only product you will ever need"

etc (alright, that last one is from a Tom Waits track), it doesn't look like the grass roots devotion that some brands have inspired, it looks like the astroturf of a company trying to fake it. And now I'm not going to buy their product either.

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