Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hidden Advertising in Web Log Comments

As the number of individuals who read my posts increases, the number of comments I must 'moderate' on my web log sites increases as well. Sad to say, many of the comments are dishonest attempts to advertise commercial sites. Comments that succinctly declare that 'People should read this!' are not intended as compliments on the original writer's post. They are created purely and simply as links to the individual's own internet business, whether for insurance or home decorating items.

A web log writer might be excused for not being aware of this the first or second time a comment like this is made. I was startled but pleased when some one commented on an old mythology post of mine in this manner. Alas, but I was being damned by false praise. It was no more than a strategy by some one who wished to market his/her own internet business by connecting it to one of my web logs.

I am one of those individuals who detests insidious marketing. I am opposed to the clever pop-up adverts that clog the internet as well as all the adverts that internet providers force us to accept as hitchhikers on our emails. I don't like advertisers that pay for each 'click' to a site and refuse to make a Faustian bargain with any one in respect of anything I write.

Yes, I am a poor fool who could use the money, but it is a matter of principle. When telemarketers represent almost 90% of the callers to any landline personal telephone number now, and are respecters neither of courtesy nor of 'decent hours' in terms of their operations and attempts to insinuate themselves into an individual's private home, I resist in the only way I can: by not joining the ranks of those who encourage this kind of marketing.

I doubt if this post will be read by the individuals who have attempted to 'comment' on my web logs with links to THEIR sites. I am writing this primarily to warn others who have sites like mine. Be careful when you allow a comment to make certain that it is not merely an attempt to advertise some one's business. If the comment does not refer in detail to the subject-matter of the post to which it seeks to attach itself, it probably is nothing more than advertising.

Finally, there is another phenomenon that dogs my own internet footprints. Internet businesses simply include Freyashawk somewhere on their own sites in order to attempt to reap the benefits of any internet search engine. It is quite bizarre when a mention of one of my Harvest Moon farming guides leads to a search result for a site that sells weed-whackers in real life! In a way, that is rather clever. In any case, I do not think I can do anything to prevent it...

Perhaps I should perceive the fact that my name can yield tens of thousands of results in a search as somehow a reflection of my own renown rather than acknowledging it to be what it really is: a method of advertising for other people's businesses. Some would argue that reality itself is only a matter of perception. Whatever the truth, the internet is a curious universe indeed.

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