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Paid Shills In Forums (online Reputation Management) A reminder about 'fantastic work at home' jobs for soulless sell-outs

#1 User is offline   Evildave 

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 10:09 PM

The regular reminder about shilling for cash is about due.

It's become a common enough practice that lots of shady companies (especially Microsoft, who kept getting CAUGHT) to hire them. After all, you can't have 'negative' comments go unanswered in consumer reviews or in opinion site, not even for an hour. A GREAT way to make money if you're worthless individual and don't have a 'soul'.
http://www.ehow.com/...me-as-paid.html

It's different from 'spamming', where we have these armies of mindless idiots and bots posting links and drivel to some product or service everywhere that they can.

You have to have good writing skills and sound 'smart', and be 'on topic'.

Basically it's 'online reputation management'. Only the best and brightest. Only the most model netizens. They even work hard to become 'volunteer' moderators in forums, so they get to warn and/or kill other people's comments, and even accounts, for being 'too biased' against the company/companies that they shill for. Mostly, all they have to do is turn the page on a negative comment, and it 'goes away' under a relentless 'defense' of Microsoft's (or whoever's) products, business practices, etc.
http://www.google.co...tion+management

Not a 'five star' review? It burst into flames and burned a baby to death? A hundred different 'thoughtful' four and five star reviews later, and it will at least be 4+ rating, and the negative review is buried in noise.

http://imgs.xkcd.com...ornadoguard.png
http://xkcd.com/937/

Companies also pay (and give expensive gifts to) 'journalists' for positive product reviews. When they don't outright commission stories as advertising from their bosses.

Cooperating shills can simply sit there and discuss the wonderfulness of the bright future of the marvelous new technology of their employers (or their empoyers' customers) and drown out any dissenting posts, as effectively as if they had deleted the posts, without ever answering them. They can even disagree vehemently about what features are 'best'.

And of course, there's astroturfing the politicians. I think companies like Microsoft learned their lesson after GETTING CAUGHT AT IT SEVERAL TIMES. So now they pay shills and shill shops to astroturf the politicians for them.
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#2 User is offline   coastie65 

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 09:19 AM

This is ridiculous: " Basically it's 'online reputation management'. Only the best and brightest. Only the most model netizens. They even work hard to become 'volunteer' moderators in forums, so they get to warn and/or kill other people's comments, and even accounts, for being 'too biased' against the company/companies that they shill for. " From my experience, the reputation system here is being abused by the members and NOT the moderators. When comments are against the community standards we will "kill" them. It is up ot the individual member to read and be familiar with the community standards and conduct themselves accordingly. Yes, we get our share of SPAM which is removed as quickly as possible. The moderators are in fact Volunteers and spend a lot of time on the forums ( I moderate two ). There is no bias on our part and I will warn person "A" just as fast as I would person "B", as would the others. The moderators here do not "Shill" for any Company / Organization. No doubt, there are paid people that post this stuff ( Make Money from Home using your computer ads ) and these are usually the ones we see. This not to mention the occasional person selling Credit Card Information ( Numbers & CVV's ) which is downright illegal.

The problem is you have say fans of Windows and fans of Apple / Mac. Let an article get posted of either and it becomes a battleroyal between the fan boys. From a moderator's standpoint, that is a PITA. I'm all for putting the Apple / Mac stuff on the MacWorld Forums, but that can't always happen because of the nature of the article and unfortunately, some members don't know how to conduct themselves. Moderators are only doing their jobs ( unpaid I might add ).
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#3 User is offline   Evildave 

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 03:25 PM

With the 'Reputation Management' professionals trolling away the whole time to turn it into a battle royale, if necessary to to discredit participants.
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#4 User is offline   Evildave 

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 03:36 PM

(cross-posted)

This post has been edited by Evildave: 15 September 2011 - 03:36 PM

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#5 User is offline   brodybrian 

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 01:12 AM

Online Reputation Management (ORM) is the process of maintaining a positive reputation of your online presence by minimizing negative comments or information about your company. This is done primarily through the process of Search Engine Optimization and this process helps in Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Marketing.

This post has been edited by coastie65: 31 December 2011 - 12:39 PM

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#6 User is offline   Evildave 

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 02:38 PM

Yes, that's ONE technique, though utterly ineffective, since you can't control what most search engines present. What you're describing is merely advertising.

http://en.wikipedia....tion_management

Techniques

ORM is related to search engine optimization (SEO)[9] and uses many of the same techniques. However, their goals differ greatly. [10] Common ORM techniques include online promotional activity through new content creation, involvement in the social web sphere (through forums, blogs, social networking), promotion of existing positive content and building social profiles. Traditional websites and consumer reviews are also monitored. The material monitored can include both professional journalism and user-created content such as blogs and blog comments. More difficult, but nonetheless relevant techniques can include formal "take-down" requests to try to convince site managers to remove negative content, and finally, litigation. [11]

Proactive reputation-building techniques can include responding immediately to public criticism stemming from unannounced changes to a product's capabilities and features; offering free products to prominent reviewers; and writing positive comments and reviews in the guise of customers posting to online forums or review sites. However, most sites attempt to screen out such covert plugs, and rate their contributors based on how highly others value their contributions.[12]
[edit]

Basically, damage control and lying done by professionals to silence or marginalize opinions that they don't like.
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#7 User is offline   ShreyasMulgund 

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 02:10 AM

View PostEvildave, on 31 December 2011 - 02:38 PM, said:

Yes, that's ONE technique, though utterly ineffective, since you can't control what most search engines present. What you're describing is merely advertising.

http://en.wikipedia....tion_management

Techniques

ORM is related to search engine optimization (SEO)[9] and uses many of the same techniques. However, their goals differ greatly. [10] Common ORM techniques include online promotional activity through new content creation, involvement in the social web sphere (through forums, blogs, social networking), promotion of existing positive content and building social profiles. Traditional websites and consumer reviews are also monitored. The material monitored can include both professional journalism and user-created content such as blogs and blog comments. More difficult, but nonetheless relevant techniques can include formal "take-down" requests to try to convince site managers to remove negative content, and finally, litigation. [11]

Proactive reputation-building techniques can include responding immediately to public criticism stemming from unannounced changes to a product's capabilities and features; offering free products to prominent reviewers; and writing positive comments and reviews in the guise of customers posting to online forums or review sites. However, most sites attempt to screen out such covert plugs, and rate their contributors based on how highly others value their contributions.[12]
[edit]

Basically, damage control and lying done by professionals to silence or marginalize opinions that they don't like.


Thats a nice piece of information that you have sourced from Wikipedia. I was browsing across various forums, and chanced upon this particular post. It seems that there are some standpoints which have not been looked at. I work in the online reputation management vertical of an internet marketing firm, and let me tell you that if you are a big brand, there will be scores of people writing absolutely garbage content about you. And please don't be under the notion that people write reviews genuinely. There are a lot of people out there, who use the garb of anonymity on the internet, and write a lot of crappy stuff about people & brands, just for the fun of it. There is no means to verify the authenticity of their claims. A person who gives a chance to the brand to redress his grievance by providing details of the transaction with the company, can be called as a legitimate customer. If you have the time, you can check out how many people are actually ready to "get their plea redressed"

Online reputation management becomes absolutely pointless, if the brand actually screws up. But it is more of customer engagement rather than negative URL suppressal. You can find more about ORM here. It is my company page which talks about the need for online reputation management.
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#8 User is offline   Evildave 

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 01:01 PM

And a nice bit of ORM for ORM.
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#9 User is offline   Evildave 

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 01:18 PM

BTW, can you link to any examples where people are just 'being mean' to a big company, and have no legitimate grievance?

Because an ORM firm is PAID to assume that ANYTHING negative about their client is 'false'.
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#10 User is offline   Evildave 

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 01:31 PM

BTW, 'WOT' rates your site VERY negatively. Very untrustworthy.
http://www.convonix....ion-management/

Better get your own monkeys busy launching and clicking on WOT ratings to 'fix' that... somehow. It looks like a child porn server virus scam site.

Of course, if you can't even 'fix' your OWN online rating, then perhaps the negative ratings as a SCAM site are basically authentic.

Why PAY you to do what you can't do for yourselves???
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#11 User is offline   mjd420nova 

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 05:02 PM

Ever since the company I work for issued me my first pager (1980) and then a laptop (1983), I have been very guarded in revealing that employers name lest I be judged by that business or those who didn't care for that company and their business. I am presently retired from them but still do extensive work as a consultant and a "go to guy" when things start to burn out of control. I maintain quite a number of clients who have left that company for their service and contract me directly. I do know of a number of people who do spend inordinate amounts of time sending e-mails (spam) to customer listings and even go to competitors sites to bash them, their people and products in an effort to drive more business to their own companies. I find this reprehensible and unethical. This also borders on slander and have no quams about calling them on this, in person, not online. One way to prevent others from using their flaming tools in forums is to never present anything for them to attack.
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#12 User is offline   Evildave 

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 07:24 PM

True. I certainly wouldn't put my own name, business or customers up for ridicule in a forum, like that. That's kind of another strike against a supposed 'ORM' company. Being so clueless as to stand out like that, and strap on a bullseye in a forum topic that is obviously a bit hostile to the 'ORM' concept. Brave or stupid? Hubris runs deep in this one.

But with 'ORM', they're using lots of 'work at home' hirelings with anonymous accounts to pretend to be 'real people', to complain about negative reviews and try to get them deleted ('OMFG! They used a cuss word when describing how XYZ ate their pet! I am SO offended!'), or bury the bad reviews on the 'next page', or simply reduce the 'damage' a one-star rating has done by posting a lot of 4 and 5 star ratings. Or even make a deal with the webmaster of that forum to 'clean up' the content. A legal threat is always an option, too. 'Take down those comments about our medication killing people's relatives, or we will sue!'

For every solitary 'butthead' going out and just making up 'bad reviews' for giggles, there is a large and formidable army of 'heroes' attempting to stamp REAL negative reviews, from REAL consumers, with REAL experiences, out of existence.

Most of the time when a consumer takes the time to go online and post a bad review, they had an authentic bad experience. It's fresh on their mind.

But to an ORM person, paid to 'protect' a 'brand', ANY negative publicity is an 'unwarranted attack' that must be dealt with!
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