Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft is 'Buying' Blog Posts That Glorify Microsoft Windows

Cash rules everything around me



Summary: Microsoft is distributing prizes to encourage people to promote Microsoft Windows ("PC")

Remember the days when dead people sent letters to defend Microsoft from regulators, simply because Microsoft paid for this serious crime to be committed [1, 2, 3, 4, 5.



Remember the many examples of Microsoft AstroTurfing, which we put at the bottom of this post for competition.

Well, Microsoft is not changing its ways. Having already turned students into its free-of-charge marketing people, Microsoft is now turning to bloggers and others as it tries to convince them to write about their love of Microsoft Windows. The evidence is right here in a new press release:

Brickfish, the social media marketing solution, and Microsoft have teamed up for a three-phase social media campaign around its Windows and Windows Live products. Located at http://www.brickfish.com/Windows, the “Windows Brand Ambassador” campaign will begin with a Call for Entries, in which entrants are asked to create photos, videos or blogs that showcase why they use PC’s and / or should be Windows Brand Ambassadors. Of all eligible entries, the top 200 highest scoring entries will advance to the Semi-Finals where they will be voted on by the community. From the top 100, as voted on by the community, the Windows Social Media Team will choose 40 Semi-Finalists as Windows Brand Ambassadors for the next eight weeks. During the next eight weeks, the 40 Windows Brand Ambassadors will receive weekly video challenges from Microsoft. Each week’s challenge will highlight a different way the Windows Brand Ambassadors use Windows every day. The winner of each challenge will be selected by relevancy of their response, creativity, and the volume of viral buzz they generate during that week’s challenge. The Windows Social Media Team will choose one of the “Windows Brand Ambassadors” as the grand prize winner, and will reward them with a trip for two to Microsoft's main campus in Redmond, WA.


There is another news report about General Mills doing something similar, which voids trust in bloggers.

General Mills Recruits 'Mommy Bloggers'



[...]

"We don't tell them not to write" about bad experiences, "but most want to only write positive things," said Stacy Becker of Coyne Public Relations. She was talking about General Mills' new blogger network, "MyBlogSpark." Coyne built the network of "more than 900 bloggers -- over 80 percent are moms," and General Mills will "feed them free products and enable them to run giveaways for their audiences." General Mills requires participating bloggers to "contact the MyBlogSpark team before posting any content ... if you feel you cannot write a positive post regarding the product or service."


This is unethical, it's disgusting, and it corrupts the Internet at large.

Earlier today we published a couple of posts about Waggener Edstrom, which acts as Microsoft's PR department and serves it mostly by stalking people. Waggener Edstrom also gave pre-beta Vista 7-loaded laptops to prominent bloggers some months ago. Here is Microsoft hosting a "marketing automation" event, which sounds like the type of thing Waggener Edstrom is doing and here is Microsoft recruiting more in Waggener Edstrom to boost the image of Microsoft's mobile business, probably by planting messages and policing reporters, as usual [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10].

SEATTLE: Microsoft has selected Waggener Edstrom and an advertising firm to work collaboratively on its mobile communications business.


For those who want to learn about the genesis of PR, we recommend this excellent documentary series from the BBC. It shows just how ruthless and unethical this dark side of the industry can be.

Posts about Microsoft AstroTurfing:

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