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Friday, March 15, 2013

Anonymous Corporate Blog Comments:Has It Really Come To This?


When I first saw this "anonymous" comment pictured above, it felt rather fishy. As someone who has been blogging for many years, it's rather easy to spot an authentic comment over a comment by someone with a specific corporate agenda.

They happen fairly often even with a spam filter. When those comments come with links, I usually delete them. These comments are particularly annoying, because they are trying to take advantage of this blog's SEO to benefit their own company without paying to advertise on this blog.

Let me step back for a minute. Have you this read this blog post that I wrote back in September comparing Jif Mocha Cappuccino Hazelnut Spread to Nutella? Well, it's become a well visited post. A lot of people appear to be searching for comparisons between the two brands and they end up here.

I often reach out to brands and other sources to get responses and other information for my blog posts.  As I was writing that first post, I called the person noted on this press release and left a message. I never heard back from them.

In the post, I disclose growing up in a Skippy peanut butter household and acknowledge possible remnants of a childhood bias against Jif. My childhood peanut butter disclosure was made so that as anyone read that blog post, they could decide for themselves whether they wanted to believe my personal opinion. After all, it is just my personal opinion. No right or wrong answer. I just chose Nutella over Jif. Anyone who has ever read this blog knows of my undying love for Nutella.

Back to the "anonymous" comment. For my blog comments, after a post is several days old, permission is required to leave a comment. It helps me to monitor and cut down on spam.

So earlier this morning, I had an email to moderate a comment on the Nutella vs. Jif post. I approved it and left a comment as well. Then based on the "fishiness" of the comment, I checked my sitemeter stats to see if I had a visit from Jif or the parent company. Yes.  I did. See the screenshot below.

Based on the out click to post a comment, it does not seem like too much of a leap in logic to guess that a person from The J.M. Smucker Co. left this comment.

The time of the email to moderate the comment was 9:42 am this morning. According to sitemeter, the visit says 9:38:43 pm to 9:40:38 pm. For some reason the clock is 12 hours off, so the am and pm are reversed. Clearly the visit was this morning, since I cannot take a screen shot of a future visit tonight.

While I have not kept track of other visits, this is not the first visit from the company on that post that I noticed on sitemeter. Why didn't they just didn't return my telephone call or send me an email if they are that concerned with the post?

Anyway, I don't know who in the company may have left the comment and I hate to believe that an anonymous comment would have been authorized by the management of such a respected company. Maybe it was just an employee who truly loves the brand and figured that nobody would ever be the wiser...


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4 comments:

  1. Wow! Power to the sleuth!

    ReplyDelete
  2. enyasi - Thanks! So bizarre....

    ReplyDelete
  3. wow you actually had to go through all that sleuthing? you must have a lot of time or is this blog your business?

    ReplyDelete
  4. anonymous - It was pretty "in your face" obvious and didn't take much time. Plus the work that I do involves investigation.

    ReplyDelete

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