But he has no idea how bad it’s become. They say “grassroots’, I say “astroturf”.
One of the reasons I’ve become much more aware of this behavior in the media is because I’ve become a father. A lot of the guile and tactics used to market to adults is turned towards kids. Kids, especially kids with single digit ages, don’t have the same reasoning and logic facilities that older kids and adults have. It’s harder for them to distinguish the message from the meaning and the sales pitch from the testimonial. So when I see sites like Bitmans Place, I don’t see a harmless place for kids to learn about computers. I see a place that’s pitching Microsoft technology. When I see Pokemon, I don’t see a game. I see a TV show that sells kids on a product. I get nervous watching my daughter smile at Teletubbies. I wonder if the Elmo on her diaper will mean I have to buy her every g-damned do-something-to-me-Elmo doll that’s released.
Part of my mindset is why I accused Haacked of being a shill. Should have known better, of course. I see him make the post, I see Scoble pointing to the post in a C9 forum and I think “F$#%, man. Was that post a plant?” Turns out he had another source and another reason for posting the link, thank god.
It’s interesting, I’m not the only one who is sniffing the air in the BLOGOSPHERE and smelling something rotten. People in the Channel 9 forum are questioning the sites motives, lots of A-list bloggers are posting disclaimers and disclosures. I think we’ll start to see a lot more of this and this on peoples site. The usual disclaimer doesn’t cut it with me anymore.