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[News] AstroTurfers Dropping Life Flies? (More Microsoft Layoffs?)

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Linuxhater, failed astroturfer?

,----[ Quote ]
| So Linuxhater is gone. That shouldn't come as a surprise. Firstly, because 
| most of his purported complaints were not true. And secondly, because he 
| realised that he could only fail.  
| Linuxhater's run-of-the-mill complaints were wide of the mark because:
|     * Linux isn't hard to install
|     * Linux isn't hard to use
|     * Linux users aren't all totally weird (not all, anyway)



Microsoft's Razorfish cuts NYC staff

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft's online ad agency Razorfish laid off 40 staff in its New York
| office this afternoon, citing a dropoff in business from the financial
| services sector.


Now Hiring - Astroturfer, apply at Microsoft

,----[ Quote ]
| Evidently, a "Senior Marketing Manager" has the responsibility of:
|     * "assisting in defining and driving core marketing initiatives – most
|     specifically online & offline community-building"
|     * "further the dialogue on the value of the Microsoft platform to open
|     source audiences"
|     * "be a cornerstone for a global thought leadership website and will be
|     regularly featured in industry press around the world"
|     * "act as a visible external evangelist for Microsoft"
| Wow! That's all direct quotes from the job description. It is so blatant, I'm
| beginning to wonder if it's some kind of joke. Particularly the 'evangelist'
| line.
| Kind of like the famous Halloween documents, this posting really tips
| Microsoft's hand and shows us exactly what they're thinking. After all the
| smoke and mirrors over the deals with Linux distros Suse, Linspire, Xandross,
| and Turbo Linux, this shows that those distros were in fact acquired in order
| to be killed. It's not Linux that Microsoft wants, it's the customers.


China's Online Persuaders

,----[ Quote ]
| China's webspace is infamous for censorship, but increasingly, public
| relations firms there are helping their clients "manage" online
| conversations. China-based firms such as Daqi, Chinese Web Union and
| CIC "charge $500 - $25,000 monthly to monitor postings and squelch negative
| information or to create positive buzz," reports BusinessWeek.



Microsoft Pays $200 for Mentioning Its Tools

,----[ Quote ]
| If you're a professor and you mention Microsoft programming tools in a
| scholarly presentation -- in fact, even if you just use the tools --
| Microsoft will send you a check for $200.  


The Best Enthusiasm Money Can Buy

,----[ Quote ]
| We might think that spending several hundreds of millions of dollars every
| year on commercial speech would be just about enough to allow any company
| to "tell its story" to the public. But we would not be Microsoft, who the Los
| Angeles Times revealed was gearing up a multi-million dollar public relations
| campaign which included planting ersatz letters to the editor in major
| national newspapers. The goal: to create the appearance, if not the reality,
| of "grassroots" support for the company.      
| "Spontaneous" testimonials penned by hired guns may not be an entirely novel
| idea in the surreal world of public relations, but Microsoft's response to
| having been caught in the act of committing such a crass act was certainly
| uncommon. At first, the company denied their intentions to actually implement
| such a plan. Then, a few days later, company spokespersons announced a new
| spin: Microsoft has a perfect right to engage in public opinion manipulation
| campaigns, if that's what it takes to "tell its story."      
| Now, what exactly was that story, again?


Microsoft pays star writers to recite slogan

,----[ Quote ]
| The stodgy old media industry has a rule that newspaper reporters, and TV
| news hosts, shouldn't trade on their public trust to endorse products.

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