How's this for viral marketing?
December 26, 2000 10:28 PM   Subscribe

How's this for viral marketing? In order to promote their weblog feature, created a weblogger. Last week, many Geocities users received the same message (included inside) from "Bianca Broussard", in which she says, "I was noticing your writing style, and I think the weblog format might really work well for you." They actually created a fictional person and gave her a blog with over a month of entries. Pretty sneaky...
posted by Aaaugh! (17 comments total)
Here's the e-mail I (and many others, it seems) received:

Hi "xxxxx"

I was surfing geocities and checked out your site at
geocities/xxxxx. I have a good friend with a really similar
site, and I passed your url along to her. Have you ever seen a
weblog? I was noticing your writing style, and I think the weblog
format might really work well for you. I just started one
recently, and I am actually thinking of dumping my homepage in
favor of just having the weblog, since I'm enjoying it so much
more than maintaining my homesite. Anyway, I really just wanted
to say thanks for an interesting site!


Another fun note about "Bianca:" the administrative address in her whois lookup points to a Mailboxes Etc. in New York City. Heh.
posted by Aaaugh! at 10:31 PM on December 26, 2000

So what does that bring the total number of weblogging tools to? I know about Blogger and Manila and now Xanga off the top of my head... what else is out there?
posted by anildash at 11:27 PM on December 26, 2000

there's groksoup and pitas, which have both been around a while. There's several others that are sort of in the same genre, or are trying to be.
posted by mathowie at 11:30 PM on December 26, 2000

"There's Greymatter, too," its shy creator whispered from the corner.
posted by Noah at 3:24 AM on December 27, 2000 [1 favorite]

As an adjunct to their main 'site, nPorta logs are simply another service for users.
posted by mattw at 3:25 AM on December 27, 2000

Does anyone know of other non-existent webloggers created for more, uh, legitimate purposes? Having done a story "as" the blog of a guy I invented from whole cloth, I'm curious to see what other fictional uses people are finding for weblogs. I suppose the richness of a medium can be measured by how long it takes the artists, the pornographers, and the advertisers to discover it.
posted by grimmelm at 6:57 AM on December 27, 2000

Conversant includes a weblog plug-in as part of its content management system.

Getting e-mails from pretend bloggers--Geocities users have all the fun. That could so easily be turned to evil...
posted by mrmorgan at 8:11 AM on December 27, 2000

How long has Xanga been around? What's their story?
posted by beefula at 9:21 AM on December 27, 2000

James - you might be interested in Imaginary Year, a serial fiction project that isn't exactly the same sort of fictional weblog, but uses the weblog medium to tell fictional stories. (btw, I adore Lotvs Eaters...)
posted by judith at 9:40 AM on December 27, 2000

I heard that zannah, of usr/bin/girl, is really an extended experiment by a San Francisco web design team...
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 9:44 AM on December 27, 2000

I think that on principle, I couldn't bring myself to use the products or services of a company that uses such tacky marketing techniques. Tacky, and wrong. Viva Blogger!
posted by jmcnally at 10:13 AM on December 27, 2000

After looking all over xanga, they leave a bad taste in my mouth. They seem to be a bit too big on email. Email 5 friends to win a laptop. Email a bunch of people about your new blog. Email your posts out to subscribers (actually, that one is nice). Email posts you like to anyone else. Promote your site by email. Xanga announces itself by emailing geocities blog owners. Email, email, email.

The xanga site started out as an epinions clone, but now looks like a blogger/blogspot/manila morph.

Maybe I'm just bitter because Biz Stone (if memory serves, he's the creative director of xanga) used have a site design that reminded me a bit too much of my own work.
posted by mathowie at 3:52 PM on December 27, 2000

Looks a bit of a twit too.
posted by rodii at 7:24 PM on December 27, 2000

They seem to be a bit too big on email

that's because the latest Business 2.0 declared that email is the way (back) to the future... lol (well not really ol, more of a chuckle to myself actually)

posted by chaz at 9:25 PM on December 27, 2000

the funniest thing of all, actually, is that "Biz Stone" uses Blogger on his personal site...
posted by chaz at 9:34 PM on December 27, 2000

Matt, Biz is on to us, for he changed his site design.

Google Cache to the RESCUE!
posted by Avogadro at 6:57 AM on December 29, 2000

Boy, he sure likes that bold sans-serif headline font.
posted by waxpancake at 12:34 AM on January 2, 2001

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