Live from Seattle

Just a note to let you all know that I’m in Seattle for Say Everything-related events.

If you’re around these parts, come on down to the University Bookstore at 7 p.m. Wednesday for my talk and booksigning. Would love to see you there.

Seattle is in sunny glory tonight. What a place when the gloom clears!

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  1. Carlos

    Best weather in the country during the summer. And while fall and winter are hard to take for some people, Seattle weather isn’t potentially lethal like the Midwest. All in all, at any given moment, the weather in Seattle is probably better than at least half the country.

  2. Scott, thanks so much for your presentation at MS Research yesterday. The Q&A session was just getting good when you ran out of time.

    The last question I wanted to ask: Any thoughts on “astroturfing” and corporate blogs? I run a corporate blog that’s clearly marked as such, but recently got accused of astroturfing. The general complaint seemed to be that despite my being open about my employer and the purpose of the site, the blog “doesn’t feel like corporate marketing,” and therefore people felt misled.

    It seems like the impressions of “blog format = authenticity” are still ingrained to the point where, even if you’re transparent, people can still feel misled by a corporation using the format. Any thoughts on this?

  3. Scott Rosenberg

    Wow, Ariel, that’s a new one to me! The complaint is that because you write in a personal voice and yet are open about the fact that it’s part of your work for your company, you are somehow misleading people? And they want you to put your impersonal press-release voice back on? (They should go read The Cluetrain Manifesto…)

    I would wonder who’s doing the accusation (is it people you know or anonymous detractors) and what their motives are. Because as long as you’re up front about the nature of the blog, there really shouldn’t be any cause for complaint. “Astroturfing” is by definition covert. If you’re open about it, it’s not astroturfing.

    Without seeing your site it’s hard for me to say anything more, but I suppose if you look at your “disclosure” or labeling of the corporate nature of the blog and think it can be made even more prominent, that’s one possible response — if you conclude that the complaint is sincere and not just some sort of drive-by nastiness.

  4. Thanks for the response, Scott. My site is, and the criticisms came after a flurry of links on reddit, digg, metafilter, etc. So some of the snarking can be chalked up to anonymous griping about Microsoft, which is completely to be expected. But still — as someone who’s been blogging since 2000, I want to do what I do with integrity, so I take the criticisms seriously.

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