Is Karl Rove behind this?
August 16, 2005 12:49 AM   Subscribe

Blogging being outsourced to China. Entrepreneurs outsource blogging for money-making schemes. Where can you read about it? Their blog of course.
posted by AVandalay (28 comments total)
Insult: Coldplay, John Mayer, Neptunes, American Idol-related bands, Good Charlotte

Praise: Neutral Milk Hotel, Handsome Boy Modeling School, The Kleptones, Gwen Stefani

Woah, Gwen Stefani in the 'praise' group? Is that a typo, or like is dissing her played out now?

I can never keep up with these hipsters.
posted by delmoi at 12:53 AM on August 16, 2005

By the way, have you heard that new quen stefani single where she's all "It's bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S!". I saw her perform it live, and it was pretty cool to see her backed by a live marching band, but on the track it just sounds like another boring unsophisticated empty sounding hip-hop loop.
posted by delmoi at 12:55 AM on August 16, 2005

Holy crap, is this for real? The first entry seemed like parody, but the rest, huh.

Makes ya wonder.
posted by delmoi at 1:01 AM on August 16, 2005

I think its real and the two guys behind it are actually Karl Rove and Howard Dean.
posted by AVandalay at 1:15 AM on August 16, 2005

Wow. Perhaps the author of this "blog" can rewrite the wikipedia entry for "cynicism".
posted by clevershark at 1:40 AM on August 16, 2005

"While you try to produce a pure product free of outside influences, you are already including all your biases and leanings in your so-called pure work. Then you add advertisements to monetize your blog, but you try to keep the advertisements sandboxed in sidebars and headers to stay “legit” and avoid the appearance of impropriety. Why not embrace your biases and let your content be your advertising? Isn’t that a far more honest approach?"
Can I answer with a simple "no"? In fact, what this auhtor suggests, is transforming blogs into advertorial, and, man, am I sick of everything on earth being a not-so-subtle attempt to sell me something. Must even the world of blogging be transformed into one collosal SPAM farm?

Obviously I can't answer with a simple no.
posted by maxsparber at 2:01 AM on August 16, 2005

So they're going to hire people on low wages to churn out blog spam, and don't even have the shame to skulk in the shadows with the rest of the spammers?
posted by malevolent at 2:34 AM on August 16, 2005

Bound to happen as soon as the hype hit, really.
posted by dabitch at 3:00 AM on August 16, 2005

Well, they're not actually talking about blog (comment) spam - they're talking about creating whole swathes of blogs, with people writing content for them (that they may or may not actually believe/be interested in/whatever) and then lacing those blogs with editorial advertising for their clients... It's pretty fucking insidious, actually, unless these blogs are clearly marked.

Thirteen years ago I predicted that were we entering an era that would bring us so much information that information itself would become valueless - the value would be found in the people's opinions of what was important for me to read. My spiel was about newspapers at the time - in the 80s and 90s, newpaper editors began to abdicate their responsibility for actually editing what stories we read and just gave us bigger and thicker papers with all the stories in, which we could pick and choose. But no-one had time to read everything, so I suggested a service whereby people from various walks of life were paid to read the newspapers and create a list of the the stories they found interesting. I could then subscribe to a certain person's list, whose opinions I knew matched mine, or who would had a life interestingly different enough from my own that their picks would be of interest to me. In short, I predicted blogs...

But this doesn't work if the well is poisoned by people writing stuff that doesn't come from their opinions or experiences, but only from their bosses' ideas of what will draw the most people to that blog. I applaud the thinking behind this idea, and I think it's inevitable (if it's not already happening more quietly elsewhere - or not, if you look at, perhaps, Gawker Media) but I hate the idea, all the same!
posted by benzo8 at 3:01 AM on August 16, 2005

posted by afu at 3:19 AM on August 16, 2005 [1 favorite]

ok, i take it back, not fake just stupid. If you want to get cheap labor that has good english skills you go to India not China. Anyway it looks to me more like a stunt to get attention rather than an actual business idea.
posted by afu at 3:23 AM on August 16, 2005 [1 favorite]

I've seen blogs that do this alredy, they weren't very good and no, I never bothered to bookmark them but they are already out there hanging around in the shadows with adsense scrapers and other crap.
posted by dabitch at 3:30 AM on August 16, 2005

Kinda of a wast to tke a medium where the most compelling people have their own personal voice and then use it to make a cacophony of hollow voices. I think in blogging if your not interesting your dead.
posted by Rubbstone at 3:37 AM on August 16, 2005

Well, obviously it is already working. They've already created one interesting blog that is used to sell their services to potential clients. The bit about "group 3 music" indicates that either the whole thing is a fake or that the bloggers are quite brilliant.
posted by lazy-ville at 6:04 AM on August 16, 2005

Maybe what the blogging community needs is an authentication process. Nothing too high barrier of entry, but some sort of organization that will verify a blogger is who he/she states they are, and that they aren't some random spammer.

How to do this verification could vary. My first couple of thoughts were a 1 cent PayPal transaction, or faxing your redacted ID card to the organization.

Now, yes, I know that would exclude all those thirteen year olds blogging about their school life and how the mall is "totally cool", or whatever the devil kids call it these days, but isn't that the point? Then we don't have to look at those any longer.
posted by benjh at 6:30 AM on August 16, 2005

Heh. It's funny, with you guys all "OH NOES!, they are teh spamming thru blogs!" And then the "WE MUST REGULATE!" (dumb dumb dumb).
They're creating fake blogs to push product. But two things: First off, a vast majority of blogs already DO push product. That it's sincere or fake doesn't really matter if you can't tell, and blogs are an endless hype machine for the worthless bits of pop culture (see: The Killers, or any other band hyped to death by the "blogosphere"). You'll read 'em if you agree with 'em, and their credibility is based on your eyeballs.
Fake or real, blogs that push shit, blogs that hype things needlessly (breathlessly), they turn me off. I go read other things. Blogs are bound by the unregulated market of reputation, and some people don't mind being shilled to. Others do. It's easy to reach the first, with fake blogs or with product placement in real blogs (most bloggers'd hype the shit out of anything they got for free because most bloggers, most people, are pretty much whores when it comes to the excitement of getting something for free. I mean, hell, it happens to music critics and movie critics, why would bloggers be immune?) and people who don't like being shilled to will leave either way (or cry "Pepsi blue!" at every opportunity).
But hey, continue to rage against the dying light. Continue to believe that bloggers are pure and non-commercial and not mostly just some jerkoffs who want to be important so they say that the Bloc Party album is great just great OMG!
posted by klangklangston at 6:46 AM on August 16, 2005

Is it time to mention Pepsi Blue yet, or have I misunderstood that meme?
posted by alumshubby at 7:14 AM on August 16, 2005

ok, i take it back, not fake just stupid. If you want to get cheap labor that has good english skills you go to India not China. Anyway it looks to me more like a stunt to get attention rather than an actual business idea.

Yeah, why would you pick China for a venture like this? I can only imagine that native Chinese speakers good enough in english to write blogs that sound like they were written by Americans could make a lot of money as translaters.

They guy must either be in china for some other reason, or the whole thing is fake. India would be a much more logical choice.
posted by delmoi at 7:20 AM on August 16, 2005

If they admittedly publish bogus blogs, how can I know that this one is legit?
posted by winston at 7:59 AM on August 16, 2005


it's a joke.
posted by signal at 8:04 AM on August 16, 2005

3. Super Bloggers (bipolars, cynics, liberals, outcasts, super-hip)

The biggest problem spot right now is Group 3. Group 3 is the most difficult to reach through traditional media so it has the potential to be our biggest astroturfing area. To create convincing Group 3 product we need to have extensive faux-archives (to give the illusion of a faithfully updated blog) and we need to drop a lot of obscure pop-culture references. The key to good Group 3 is to spend 80% being negative about certain areas of culture and 15% excessively positive. The last 5% should be used for self-loathing because the blogger likes certain ‘un-hip’ culture.

joke or not, as a super-hip cynical liberal outcast, they've got my number.
posted by hypocritical ross at 8:11 AM on August 16, 2005

Silly, but harmless (if not a joke, which is seems like at first). I can only assume that those advocating *regulation* of blogging are just taking the piss. Why not an Internet usage tax while we're at it?
posted by mrgrimm at 8:22 AM on August 16, 2005

The long term goal is to generate a large untraceable astroturfing mechanism for launching of various products.

Hmmm...smells like a prank -- for all the reasons metnioned above. If not, guys meet your ethically-challenged friends at BzzAgent.
posted by ericb at 8:52 AM on August 16, 2005

Sixteen in the clip and one in the hole
Nate dogg is about to make some bodies turn cold
Now they droppin and yellin
It's a tad bit late
Nate dogg and warren g had to regulate
posted by eatitlive at 8:56 AM on August 16, 2005

It's a hoax. I posted a variant of my MetaFilter post on two of their threads. Each awaited moderation ... and, bang ... both have disappeared. It's obvious that the authors of that blog are following the discussion here ... as they reference benjh's comment in their most recent post. Their URL was registered last week ... and their first comments appeared this week. Their claim that they have raised $5 million in venture financing is highly specious. It appears to be an attempt at starting a hoax "meme" in the hope that MSM will pick up on their story. Nice try, guys.
posted by ericb at 9:18 AM on August 16, 2005

*Their URL was registered last this week...*
posted by ericb at 9:21 AM on August 16, 2005

Seems like fairly obvious parody to me. If nothing else, this site is trolling you.
posted by bshock at 9:55 AM on August 16, 2005

Metafilter: If nothing else, this site is trolling you.
posted by klangklangston at 12:22 PM on August 16, 2005

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