17 January 2008

Self promotion

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Yesterday Riot had a story go up where the poster asked a seemingly reasonable and innocuous question about a particular service and if anyone had any good experiences with a particular service provider. Not long after that the same logon posted a glowing review for the self same service provider.

Been alert types a good half dozen of the rest of you jumped on that user for the blatant and under handed attempt at self promotion and for frankly being an idiot for trying it.

Now we (the admins) got an email from the owner of that logon claiming that they didn’t write the post nor the comment, which if true could only really have occurred if that individual wasn’t secure with their logon details or had left themselves logged on to a computer that other people had access to. Unable to prove otherwise we dropped the post at their request.

But the question arises, besides this attempt being inept at best, is self promotion just outright evil and underhanded? and should Riot’s policy of post ownership being that of the author and therefore able to be removed on request of the author be reviewed so posts like the one in question could stay up so we could lay the boot in some more?

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No, I don’t mind, I think it’s a Supre™ idea.

Ah Sammy, You’re a classic. And when I find something classic I like to insure it with Shannons.

You don’t mind do you?

Typsy McStaggers5:01 pm 17 Jan 08

FIGJAM = self promotion

Good thing we don’t have a Subway™ here in Canberra, or the RA regulars might take me into one and bash me.

I doubt even Socrates™ was this clever.

But remember, it’s a Secret Shhh™

I’m Prouds™ of myself

You people have all gone Crazy Johns™. I think this entire thread should Cake-It-Away™. If I had more Freedom™ i’d leave, but the door is closed. Perhaps Ali-Baba™ will come and open it?

Damn, now I can’t find my double-u key. Oh there’s the Big W™ key, up there between the Cue™ and the E. This sort of thing would never have happened when I lived in Colorado™.

Perhaps everyone will Cotton-On™ to what i’m doing, and think i’ve gone Overboard™?

This thread is really getting me down: time for a cup of Lipton’s tea – Australia’s favourite brew.

Holden Caulfield4:04 pm 17 Jan 08

Actually, I thought it was their New Zealand off shoot.

Bunnungs warehouse has a certain Aussie ring to it tho : )

Holden Caulfield3:28 pm 17 Jan 08

Although, both companies can spell better than me!

Holden Caulfield3:27 pm 17 Jan 08

Nah, stuff that, Magnet Mart craps all over Bunnings I reckon. Plus their sausage sangas are usually cheaper than the rip-off merchants at Bunnungs/


Better get some nasal spray for that. Capital Chemist in Manuka I find are the cheapest.

Or nauseus howdyism…

perhaps the readers from RiotACT are suffering from ad nausem…

Howdy – I second that, in fact I bought some wire cutters yesterday and they’re much better than Magnet Mart’s ones.

Comment by Howdyho – 18th January, 2008

I think I’d better go and have a refreshing coke.

Holden – better go down to bunnings and get something for that. I reckon they have great prices, better service and better people.

From the Google Cache

Mobile car detailing the best in canberra
Posted on 16.01.08 by ccvc84 @ 3:33 pm
I was wondering if anyone has heard about Way2Go Mobile Car detailing. I was speaking to someone who said that they had got their car detailed and that the guy did an amazing job. Has anyone heard of him?

[Ed. was your experience also the same? who else would you recommend]

Holden Caulfield2:29 pm 17 Jan 08

I thought we may have had our wires crossed.

Holden – Ah, that answer. I thought you were saying you were a well paid Canberran musician : P
Silly me.

Maelinar: no, it was for some car detailing mob.

Holden Caulfield2:00 pm 17 Jan 08

Holden – are you now?

Well, I like having a shiny car. But I usually take care of that myself and I don’t feel the need to tell everyone I have a shiny car. 🙂

Was it the person who asked about Jewel of India ?

I’d like to confirm as I spend upwards of $100/year at the restraunt, as does Thumper, and several other of our acquaintances.

I remember it and had a suspicion it involved a contra deal 😉

[Ed. Jazz – it was on Riotv1.0 for chrissindy’s (which we still havent managed to migrate across). perhaps fortunately or unfortunately depending on your view there was no contra deal]

The funniest self promotion I’ve seen on here, poorly disguised as a review by a satisfied customer was for a certain local massage parlour.

I wish I could find the link.

Admin appeared to have been that sucked in that they turned it into a poll about whether riotact was really the place for brothel etc reviews.

Anyone else remember this one?

Perhaps the request for removal of a thread by the thread author should be accompanied with suitable $500 fee.

oh crap I just realised what the previous story was – in case anyone tries to make a connection out of it and my comment, there really isn’t one.

la la la la

Holden – are you now?

I’m still the one who coughed : )

If a band pretended to be a fan who had bought their CD and thought it fabulous. That would fall into the same category as Mr I have a sparkly car.

(I wonder how often that has actually happened???)

Holden Caulfield1:15 pm 17 Jan 08

Oh, so it was for a car detailing company was it?! I’m interested now. (So, who was it!)

Haha, howdy, I’m your answer.

Mr Evil makes the correct distinction – self promotion in the “my band/website/political party is the greatest” is a different kettle of fish from pretending to be a third party. All self promotion on RA should be accompanied by full disclosure of the poster’s affiliation or interest in the business being promoted.

If the owner of the account claimed that someone else wrote the story, couldn’t you have left it up but reassigned to “unknown astroturfer” instead of the supposedly hijacked account name?

I share the sentiments of many – if people want to promote they pay for it.

Johnboy’s promotion of concat is not the same thing – he’s one of the RA owners and if the owners choose to advertise something on here, that’s their prerogative.

As for people being able to request the removal of their own posts… I think they should be able to – but under reasonable circumstances.

In this instance the person claimed that it wasn’t them – and I think you made the right decision given your inability to prove otherwise.

Don’t know what sort of IP logging wordpress has, but that’d be the best bet anyway – see if the IP address used for the self promo is the same and/or similar to previous IPs used by the owner of the account.

Yes but Canberra bands aren’t in it for the money.

‘oh what do you do?’
‘well I’m a well paid musician in a local canberra band’


Deliberately misleading the consumer in order to make them pay for a service you provide as a business is the issue.

Besides, who goes on about having their car cleaned so much they need to tell the world, really?

‘Yeah, went down to the car wash the other day ‘insert plug’. Can came out sparking so clean I could see my ‘insert shameless plug’ watch in it.’

No, but we’d all expect an invitation to a bbq at your place. 🙂

I built a backyard BBQ the other day, and I am quite fond of it.

If I write up a piece headlined “Local man unveils homemade BBQ, women swoon, enemies quake in fear” you wouldn’t mind?

I personally am quite happy for people to come on here and tell us how wonderful their product is – so long as they are open about it.

But when they do it underhandedly, well look out, as we’ll take to you like Ivan Milat took to a backpacker!

actually i was inclined to leave it up, but my fellow admins didnt agree.

I think however its a valuable lesson for everyone in business that you really need to disclose your interest in something in order to be fairly judged by your peers. That, and if you are going to put yourself out there you really need to be good at what you do.

Any advertorial that we run here at the-riotact is very much a two edged sword due to the nature of the open forum. The feedback you will get (both good and bad) is going to be very dependant on the service and experience you offer your customers.

Absent Diane12:03 pm 17 Jan 08

I have no problems with self promotion – if you are stupid about it however then people will more than likely notice and probably won’t do your product so well.

hingo_VRCalaisV612:02 pm 17 Jan 08

I don’t know about you guys, but anyone who forks out money to advertise on RiotACT gets my two thumbs up ultra-cool award. One such example is Troy Williams. No matter how you vote, you have to respect the fact that he was willing to advertise on a site that is well known for being against-the-grain and often critical of politicians. Not only that, he contributed like any other member. RiotACT sure beats the hell out of CT and their glorified MySpace page of a website.

….and should Riot’s policy of post ownership being that of the author and therefore able to be removed on request of the author be reviewed so posts like the one in question could stay up so we could lay the boot in some more?

as laying the boot in the the prime reason we all read and post… Yes!

Ingeegoodbee11:59 am 17 Jan 08

Self promotion is ok if it’s for anything to do with beer, bands and decent grub.

The sheer lameness of the recent incident was dealt with and dispatched by RAers with aplomb. Leave it up there for ridicule I say – some of the most fun I’ve had here has been on threads like the overcharging pizza place, the dodgy online wine merchant and the ineptitude of Miss Wright – OK so some lame-arse car detailer probably dosn’t have the same potential, but I think its always best to let the “market place” sort it self out without heavy handed regulation.

And surelt Ed’s can put a “Blatant self Promotion” warning on the post if it looks suss.

I don’t like the blatant deception of someone pretending to be a “customer” when they are actually a proprietor, which to me is quite different than the deception of a puff piece.

I can’t quite nail it down, but there’s something about pretending to be someone you aren’t in order to get a financial reward that just bugs me.

On self-promotion:
Johnboy was fairly free about plugging TheConcat See here
The local bands are fairly good at it, and have been effective at helping build the site in terms of local public support and goodwill, so I don’t see anything terribly wrong with that.

But free-plugs-as-articles is where I draw the line, as apparently we have the power to alter Google Rankings for search phrases (as I discovered when using the words “bungled police chase”), which really ought to be taken into consideration as a factor for anyone random & new keen to immediately post articles after signing up.

Or they can just do like Troy Williams did and pay for advertising.

neanderthalsis11:42 am 17 Jan 08

Self promotion should be left to Greens politicains, AFL stars and those with seriously fragile egos…

Maybe the business in question could offer a 15% discount to folks who mentioned the RA. One of us could do a review, write it up and if it was any good, recommend it to other users.

I’ll have what they previous comments are having. I saw it, thought it looked a bit suss and ignored it. Where this happens, if I were RA, I’d be inclined to leave the post up, but prominently identified as the indulgent piece of ….. ummm …… unaccompanied sexual activity …. that it is.

Holden Caulfield11:39 am 17 Jan 08

I reckon self promotion can be evil if you set up the bait and come back later with the catch. Or if you post an image that is stupidly large with Comic Sans type on it.


However, if self-promotion has respect for the audience and is up front then it should be okay. But then, that is pretty much free advertising and RA needs to decide if they’re happy with that prospect.

Giving plugs is often fraught with danger. Another site I post used to have an absurd policy where you could only give a genuine free plug if they were a site sponsor! It even got to the point that one company was so popular, but not a sponsor, that any threads mentioning them were deleted and their company name was replaced with *** by use of a swear filter. Haha, that went down like a lead balloon and, fortunately, the admins have since relaxed that policy somewhat.

I’m a bit of a n00b here anyway, so I guess I’ve said enough. 🙂

It’s open forum – come one, come all.

Personally, I think that self promotion should be prefaced with a comment like ‘this is blatant self promotion but,’. – this will also reduce the amount of Rioters kicking up at least sensible self promoters (to quote regular self promoters such as Thumper’s band, Meatbee’s band) as good examples of self promoters.

If they get caught out – suffer the wrath like everybody else. I trust you have also taken remedial action on the errant password control of the logon concerned as well…

Looked like a duck – and a clumsy one at that.
Was there much of a time difference between the creation of the login and the publishing of the post?

Self-promotion up here seems ok for anyone with a band, movie or animal ambulance service – maybe it’s not such a bad thing.

Maybe the price of this though is that RA’ers have a right to make their comments and the publisher can’t pull their post down unless there is a serious problem.

i noted in a thread posted by a company that provides a service to create a beverage that the ‘story’ was an advertorial, but seemed to be howled down. what was the ‘service’ of this dispute and so why is the beverage creation business different just ’cause a few boon posters like a cold amber?

i agree – business promotions shoud attract advertisment fees, and a disclaimer (which the post i reference also neglected). i second hingo…

hingo_VRCalaisV611:28 am 17 Jan 08

If any company really wants to notify people of their product, then they should purchase advertising on RiotACT. I have no problem with local shop owners posting articles as long as they don’t abuse the fact that RiotACT is a free open forum. If they are going to do so, they need to support the site financially.

isn’t that the all the city news? It’s just one big ad! I don’t think there’s ever a piece in it that isn’t paid advertising.

Follow the lead of CityNews. If a business wants some promotion, make them purchase advertising, and then offer to run a puff-piece for them (with appropriate disclosure).

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