Recently, I was perusing a blog, the name of which is not germane, and I noticed that the chief editor and head blogger had their own website. So, I curiously clicked the link which didn't work correctly. I edited the address in my browser by backspacing out the last few characters and it worked! There was the website in all of its glory with lots of marketing implementations in use: nice graphics, pleasant fonts, logical organization of tabs and links, etc. But wait, it get's...interesting.
The website is for a public relations / public affairs firm operated by this chief blogger who claims to be a communications expert. Under their Experience & Results tab, you find an interesting and shocking admission:
[FIRM NAME] offers more than a two dozen years of public affairs experience helping public and private sector clients efficiently and effective communicate with target audiences.
We specialize in:
Whether it is…
•employing innovative social media strategies to advance your message and create community
•generating support and gaining allies through effective community outreach
•influencing opinion leaders through via both new and tradional media
•successfully guiding your projecting throuygh the government approval process
•providing seasoned counsel to ensure your message is taken seriously by opinion leaders ad key decision-makers
…[FIRM NAME] has for years successfully represented and advised a broad spectrum of clients.
For a list of present clients, and examples of successes, send us an e-mail.
Some other strategies they "employ" are by bringing in special case bloggers whose only job is to support a specific cause. This means you might read a post and then comment your disagreement with the initial blog post. Then, several other special case bloggers lob personal attacks through multiple comments against you. These aren't simply fact-based arguments, they are carefully crafted assaults that redirect and twist your words for the soul purpose of shutting down all opposition. Then, if your responses are too negative and fact-based, they simply over-moderate (I think they delete them but can not prove it) them and your comment never gets posted. This is the new social networking game: she who screams the loudest is surely righteous...right?
Not all bloggers work this way, especially the smaller, more local blogs. So far as I can tell, Blogger.com and Blogspot.com (my host site) do not offer any tools for me to determine who is commenting here. This adds a layer of anonymoty which might encourage some open, honest comments without fear of reprisal.
Lastly, these are the humble words of one man. USER BEWARE!