I have gotten a few comments on my blog that have made me suspicious and very interested in a new type of marketing oriented at blogs. I am not sure whether both of the comments were part of this marketing venture but a recent article in Minneapolis' Star Tribune confirmed that companies are starting to keep track of and target the blog buzz.
According to this article, Google, and several other blog search engines, such as Technorati and BlogPulse, keep close tabs on what's going on in the "blogosphere" (that's where you are right now!). BlogPulse additionally "ranks what's "the buzz" moment to moment in the blogosphere and tracks which bloggers are getting lots of attention measured partly by numbers of hits and links."
Companies hire these types of blog-tracking services "to stay on top of postings that could within minutes swirl into serious corporate damage as a 'blog storm,'" or to watch and wait while the blogosphere generates good buzz about a new product or service. Mazda even went so far as to create their own fake blog that generated good buzz about their cars, but eventually took the blog down when it was found out to be put on by the company and not by real bloggers.
The Star Tribune article also cites the tactics of companies that hire blog-tracking services, "When bad news cascades from an influential blog" clients are advised to "post a message on that blog explaining why they believe the original posting is wrong or unfair" - this may stop a 'blog storm' at the source.
So what about my blog? I'm very happy to report that I believe this has happened to me at least once, by a company that markets Giant Microbes, and may have also happened with someone from www.dna11.com (the company that makes giant DNA gels to hang on your wall). Or perhaps these comments were posted by anonymous bloggers that happened to be passing through... either way I'm happy because that means I have enough importance for people to stop by here every once in a while and post a comment. Thanks for stopping by everybody!