09.26.09

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Microsoft Employees Caught AstroTurfing Again?

Posted in Hardware, Microsoft at 2:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Chasing shadows - football

Summary: Xbox rivals ‘”trolled” by Microsoft employee and Forrester sells book to explain similar behaviour

Will has just shown us this thread and analysis where a Microsoft employee is said to have been “caught trolling GT5′s delay.” This relates to Xbox, which is one of Microsoft’s worst-performing products overall (amassing billions in losses). From the analysis:

Well ignoring the fact that the poster seems to have conveniently forgotten about GT5 Prologue and GT PSP it seem pretty standard forum posting behavior, doesn’t it? Well, not quite because it was quickly followed up by this post by one of the forum mods, BishopT.

Dude, if you’re going to make posts like this – you shouldn’t sign up for a GAF account with your Microsoft corporate email. Seriously.

I’m not going to suggest that this is marketing tactics where people go online and into forums to generally ‘diss’ the competition, even though that does happen – but it sure is pretty funny that someone would sign up to a website and post comments for the world to see with the purpose of causing friction or even to fuel the flames of the fanboy’s war with a Microsoft account…”

Another person, Slated, has found this book from the Linux-hostile Forrester (Microsoft pays Forrester to slam GNU/Linux and more recently to help promote Vista 7). Slated calls it “Forrester Research’s answer to Microsoft’s ‘Evangelism is WAR!’,” which is an ugly document that exposes Microsoft’s AstroTurfing techniques. It has also an accompanying talk. Here is a description of Forrester’s book:

It’s a bestselling book based on analysis by Forrester Research filled with practical, data-based strategies for companies that want to harness the power of social technologies like blogs, social networks, and YouTube.

Slated writes: “They have their own book on astroturfing, it seems.” Microsoft is no stranger to these tactics because it is paying bloggers to promote Microsoft, it has a large-scale Twitter AstroTurf, and it also has harnessed YouTube for marketing purposes, including viral videos.

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