Stealth marketing

XSeed recently had someone pull this stealth thing at GamerDad. The interesting thing was a setup post about something else some time before the one about how great Wild ARMs 4 is.

I guess the moral of the story is to be a little aware of who’s posting what and not take everyone and everything at face value, especially if that poster is only around a short time and talks about a specific game… a lot. :)

I like Nintendo, but I’m really excited about a very positive Microsoft article I recently submitted.

There’s a thread about this on another forum i read. It differed insofar as the person or people spend some time integrating with the community first, so wouldn’t be considered new posters.

Interestingly. Four months previously, someone else had spotted this on Craigslist:

Forum Poster
Reply to: [email protected]
Date: 2005-09-25, 12:50PM MST

The job is very simple and this is exactly what you will be doing:

You will create several accounts at a forum then post new topics and reply to old ones to help build content.

You must be smart, have knowledge with navigating forums, be a fast worker and able to create good starter topics to entice new users to post.

We expect an absolute minimum of 35 posts/threads per hour but would like to see more. Also the posts/threads must be able to entice new users to post so it cannot be simple statements.

You will have to work at home, school, or wherever you use the Internet. Pay is $6/hr and the hours vary from week to week. Per hour amount will go up depending on your speed and content quality. This is a part time job right now. We pay via PayPal so you must have a PayPal account.

If you are interested please respond with the following:

  • Subjects/Interests you are knowledgeable in.
  • Forum experience.


Good god, that is GRUELING for not much pay. 35 posts an hour is McCulloughesque!

Depends on how you set it up. If you have a quick bookmark list of your top 30 forums, and you have some kind of way to rapidly click down it, posting the same or very similar posts in each, then you could probably do a lot more than that. It’s probably pretty tough to cross-check forums very rigorously.


You guys oughta see a documentary called “The Corporation.” Internet forums aren’t the only place where this kind of thing is going on. Creepy stuff.

…Or am I a shill for the movie? Bwahahaha!

I’ve heard about this game called, “World of Warcraft”. I’m not sure if any of you have ever heard of it, but I’m wondering if it’s any good. Not many mentions of it around, but I know you all are very savvy about the games.

The best way to combat this is with the ruthless type of validation user accounts get at Gaming Age and the like. If anyone even smells something remotely bad, BOOM! out the door that poster goes with pretty much no chance of redemption.

Yeah 'cause that place is a bastion of honest opinions and no one posts with an agenda or preconcieved notions to sway the gaming market. :)

If only QT3 had some sort of stringent vetting proceedure.

This thread is indeed good viral marketing for penny arcade

I think disclosure is the key.

I have hung out here for some years now. I’ve always been clear where I work.

When your’e a game developer or really any sort of technology type engineer guy (it’s late, brain dying) it’s hard to seperate what you do for a living or hobbies.

I’m into games. I make games. I play games. I like to talk to other people about games. And it’s hard not to talk about the games one works on because well, that’s what we’re doing all day (And all night and all morning but I digress).

So disclosure and discretion. Like here on Qt3, I’m very conscious of trying not to “pimp” what I’m working on so that I can participate in the discussions that brought me here in the first place – the discussions on Tom Chick’s biological warfare programs and his vast list of enemies that need to be “taken care of”.

Just before Usenet went down the tubes, game companies got the idea that our opinion might be relevant (the fools!). So whenever a game went gold a whole squad of new posters would appear out of nowhere, telling everyone how great it was and shouting down any criticism. Didn’t seem to help much, though…

I can vouch for Brad Wardell’s authenticity. I’ve seen him post, like 15 years ago on csip.strat along with that [email protected] guy. So he really exists.

I can vouch for wisefool’s authenticity. I’ve seen him post… uhh… somewhere.

I can vouch for Wholly Schmidt, he’s a valued member of the community


I get junk e-mail, so I must exist.

This has to be tounge in cheek

Chris Woods

So, this drivel that I type has value? Who the hell conned the game companies into believing this?
Anyone have an idea what boost in sales figures they talk about when referring to this sort of thing?

It depends on your profile on a board how much value it has, I think. I mean, if Tom Chick says he digs something, that’s probably worth some sales, you know? Of course, he’s earned that over years of writing in magazines, so when he says something here (almost always about something he has already written about elsewhere) that carries weight.

If they can get people to do that for them with low pay and on much less sophisticated but often just as populated (and often even bigger) forums, then I think that’s going to translate into dollars they feel are well-spent.

It’s pretty shady shit, but that seems to be the angle and as I see it, there’s probably value if the poster can do it well, be convincing and never get caught.

Yeah, I got an email saying my account had been closed. Woo, great.