Has NetVocates Visited Your Blog Recently?

Filed under:D. Sirmize,Opinion,Politics,Web Log (Blog) — posted by Tyler on June 10, 2006 @ 2:09 am    Print Post

NetVocates LogoMany bloggers are starting to notice some new referrals from a company called “NetVocates” (mine showed up as coming from arrca.netvocates.com to be specific).

I recently invited a guest blogger (who writes under the pseudonym D. Sirmize) to share his political opinions on my blog. I began to get hits (55 to date) from NetVocates a couple days after his first political post. It would seem that whatever they’re currently looking at is based on opinions of a political nature.

Political posts of the last week or so include titles such as, “My Favorite Political Blogs“, “Liberal Bias in Mainstream Media“, “Liberal Media Bias: Follow-up #1“, and “Google Admits Mistake with China, But…“.

Other bloggers that have written about visits from NetVocates seemed to have an Al Gore video in common. None of his posts mention Al Gore, but it would seem that the common link is certainly of a political nature.

Mindcaster, PSoTD, and Baraka, have all posted about visits and have all speculated as to the whys and whats, but no clear answers have emerged. Robin of cybersoc.com speculated about the relationship between CustomScoop and NetVocates which he says were owned by one and the same, Chip Griffin. That theory was rebutted by Chip [interadvocacy.com] himself, but in his “verbose” post he didn’t answer the more nagging question: Which of his clients are interested in our content and what exactly are they doing with it?

So I asked him.

Verbose is good and, for me at least, you’ve cleared up the speculation concerning the link between CustomScoop and NetVocates.

But we’re still all wondering why our blogs are being visited. It would seem that our political content is the common link. What client of yours might be interested in that? I suppose that would be confidential information, but we’re all dying to know!

As far as knife making goes, I’m sure you could whip something up…if you’re life depended on it. ;)

I’m just curious more than anything, as most of the people who are searching for answers about NetVocates are. Perhaps we’ll find some answers, perhaps not.

Please let us all know what else you find out, or just post a link to your blog and we’ll continue to speculate as to what content they might be interested in specifically.

Perhaps we were targeted by accident since two of our recent titles has the word “bias” in it, which happens to be an acronym for the sub-header at NetVocates.com: Blog Intelligence and Advocacy Service (BIAS).

10 comments »

  1. As you surmise, our actual clients are confidential. I can tell you that our client base is diverse and there are countless organizations that want to know the opinions of the blogosphere. Our team and technology visits thousands of blogs every day to listen to what bloggers are saying and help our clients better understand this important medium.

    Comment by Chip Griffin — June 10, 2006 @ 6:28 am

  2. Hi there, my blog was also visited by them recently.. just a few hours ago actually.
    Here is the post that they went to.

    Comment by Miriguy — June 12, 2006 @ 8:46 pm

  3. I’ve had quite a few visits from these guys – the first time they came in (mid May) they were searching for “climate change”, “earth” and “al gore” (I’ve mentioned Al and “An Inconvenient truth” a lot lately).

    My initial guess is that they were working for a climate change advocacy group – but the alternative is that their working for some bunch of Exxon funded global warming denial monkeys like the “carbon dioxide is good for you” freaks at the CEI…

    Comment by Big Gav — June 13, 2006 @ 2:29 am

  4. The interesting thing is that neither Tyler or I have made any mention of global warming, Al Gore, or his movie.

    Incidentally, Big Gav, I don’t think there are many people out there who actually deny global warming. That the earth is in a warming trend is not in dispute. The question is the cause of the warming. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I tend to believe that this is part of a normal earth climate cycle and not the result of human activity. Certainly we should do as much as we can to be good stewards of this earth, but I don’t buy into all the apocalyptic hype.

    Hmm..I’m guessing NetVocates’ bot mines comments too. Great, I’ve just given them more red meat!

    Comment by D. Sirmize — June 13, 2006 @ 7:35 am

  5. The interesting thing is that neither Tyler or I have made any mention of global warming, Al Gore, or his movie.

    I would blame that on the fact that, as Chip Griffin says, “our client base is diverse and there are countless organizations…” Different clientel may have had an interest in this blog and there may be no relation between the blogs mentioning Al Gore and ours. Although it’s fun to play “conspiracy theorist” for a while, I think that we can close the books on this.

    I think Chip has done a good job of defending his company and explaining their motives. I’m sure it’s going to be profitable as there is certainly a reason companies and groups of people should be interested in what the blogosphere has to say.

    Comment by Tyler — June 13, 2006 @ 8:23 am

  6. I wasn’t trying to be a conspiracy theorist (well, not in my comments here anyway – some of my own posts could be considered conspiracy theories of a sort) – I don’t actually mind trolls all that much, even professional ones.

    Assuming Chip’s client base is “diverse” might be a big assumption though – check out “townhall.com” (which he also was involved with) and see how diverse the spectrum of opinion there is…

    I’ll also note that I wasn’t suggesting that global warming is their only interest – other blogs have noted them watching for “coke” and “fat tax”, “net neutrality” and various other hot topics.

    As for global warming being caused by humans – I base my belief on the scientific concensus rather than any political belief (or any concern I may have for the environment) – I think Science magazine’s survey of the field says it all:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/306/5702/1686

    But I’m happy to consider any other well founded theories people may have – even paid for theories…

    Comment by Big Gav — June 15, 2006 @ 4:23 am

  7. So you’re assuming I’m basing my opinions on political positions rather than science? To say that the theory that global warming is human-caused is “scientific consensus” is quite a stretch. I’m sure your views on the environment have nothing at all to do with your political slant.

    As for NetVocates, I don’t think the business owner’s political position necessarily dictates his business practices. I’d bet Mr. Griffin would cash a check from a liberal think tank just as soon as we would cash one from a conservative org.

    That said, I also wonder about his “diverse clientelle.” Chip indicates that NetVocates was set up earlier this year. How many clients can you amass in that amount of time and have it be all that diverse?

    I think organizations of both major political mindsets are wise to keep their finger on the pulse of the blogosphere (although I’m not thrilled with the pay-per-troll aspect of NetVocates), so I’m sure that Mr. Griffin’s business plan does not include any kind of political discrimination. $$ from liberal groups is still $$.

    Comment by D. Sirmize — June 15, 2006 @ 9:59 am

  8. How do we know NetVocates is the first and only company to do this? While the company claims opinions are true for any troll posters, what if a cop were paid $1,000 dollars for every arrest? No one would trust that.

    Comment by logicallaws — June 16, 2006 @ 11:05 am

  9. Posts on “Net Neutrality” also attract attention. Check your stats for 24.34.65.2 Unknown OS, Unknown Browser. Check that IP and you’ll find a New Hampshire Comcast connection.

    You know, for a company that uses “Proprietary Technology” to aid their clients, they sure as heck don’t have a mastery of basic PR. For instance, in his comment to me, Griffin said that they don’t try to hide themselves. Then, his spiders come in unmarked.

    Wait, I smell smoke… Someone’s pants may be on fire.

    Comment by Unclebeal — June 19, 2006 @ 5:55 pm

  10. Thanks for the information, it was very helpful.

    Comment by environment — July 4, 2006 @ 8:13 am

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