Self promotion

che 17 January 2008 57

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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57 Responses to Self promotion
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Mr Evil Mr Evil 12:27 pm 17 Jan 08

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

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 12:22 pm 17 Jan 08

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?

Mr Evil Mr Evil 12:19 pm 17 Jan 08

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!

Thumper Thumper 12:12 pm 17 Jan 08

I have no problems with it if it is obvious (and states so) that it is self promotion and/ or it is local industry.

I think bands are a little different as it is also promoting entertainment. Otherwise if someone wrote in that you should all visit the AWM it would be canned.

Or the folk festival, floriade, etc etc

As would the DIY weekend segment.

Jazz Jazz 12:06 pm 17 Jan 08

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 Diane Absent Diane 12:03 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_VRCalaisV6 hingo_VRCalaisV6 12:02 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.

p1 p1 12:02 pm 17 Jan 08

….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!

Ingeegoodbee Ingeegoodbee 11:59 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.

fnaah fnaah 11:57 am 17 Jan 08

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.

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 11:56 am 17 Jan 08

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.

neanderthalsis neanderthalsis 11:42 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.

VicePope VicePope 11:39 am 17 Jan 08

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 Caulfield Holden Caulfield 11:39 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. 🙂

Mælinar Mælinar 11:34 am 17 Jan 08

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…

pierce pierce 11:34 am 17 Jan 08

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.

astrojax astrojax 11:31 am 17 Jan 08

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_VRCalaisV6 hingo_VRCalaisV6 11:28 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.

aa aa 11:24 am 17 Jan 08

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.

Sammy Sammy 11:18 am 17 Jan 08

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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