I’m talking about comments like these, which were left since my last post on the subject. Damon Aldora left this one on 11/4:
So this is DirecTV’s first attempt at a TV Everywhere option and just reading over the specs, it doesn’t seem very TV Everywhere-oriented. In order to use it you must be on your home network, and while doing that, you can only see the 20 hours that is available on the Nomad. You can’t even see live TV. That is why I use the 922 SlingLoaded DVR from my employer DISH Network. I love it because it lets me stream anything I have recorded to my DVR, and I can choose to watch live TV if I want as well. On top of that, I can go anywhere I want, and watch TV as if I was at home. So the Nomad is a good attempt at TV Everywhere, but is still too limited to be worth the $150 asking price.
And Joseph Lopez left this one on 11/16:
The new Nomad from DirecTV is a great idea but this doesn’t allow streaming to live TV. So when you go on trip there is no up to date info on news or shows. This is only provides what ever you load on it. You can only get 20 hours where with DISH Network’s TV everywhere you can get access to 300 hrs off the DVR. You can see live TV and this works on multiple mobile devices. I have enjoyed my TV everywhere since I am always busy. I don’t have much time for home. This gives me what I need. I work over at DISH where I signed up and received this free.
Damon used a Gmail address, while Joseph used his dishnetwork.com address, and both were posted from 18.104.22.168 which is a Dish Network corporate IP. So these Dish Network employees are spamming blogs using company resources, presumably on company time. You’d think Dish might want to put a stop to that, right?
Apparently not, based on the response Peter received from Dish PR head Marc Lumpkin when he inquired about the spam:
“We require our employees who post about DISH products to identify themselves as a DISH Network employee,” Lumpkin told me via email. “This appears to be an informative posting describing the options consumers have for getting entertainment and is posted in a discussion of a similar topic.”
Really? I asked. You sure you want me to print that?
“It looks informative to me and appropriate for those Web site discussions. I’m fine with the response.”
So there you go, if it isn’t being actively encouraged then it at least has the tacit approval from management. Dish is happy with their employees astroturfing blogs with crap like this. I’m going to steal Peter’s conclusion since he puts it very succinctly, and I don’t think he’d mind given the circumstances:
Okay. So, Marc, Kevin, Dish Network CEO Joseph Clayton, et al. — we don’t really need to spell out why this isn’t “informative” or “appropriate,” right? Because we don’t need to explain why you shouldn’t show up at funerals for people you don’t know and hand out flyers for term life insurance, either. Right?
But think about it this way: Stuffing BS comments onto Web sites is the kind of thing that low-rent scammers do. You? You’re a big, publicly traded company. You have 14 million satellite TV subscribers, a left-for-dead video-rental brand you want to revive, and big plans to launch a new Web TV service.
That’s a whole lot to take care of. And spending time and money on tacky, clumsy astroturf seems like it won’t help, and could probably hurt. This article, for instance, doesn’t go in the “win” column, right?
I couldn’t have said it better myself. The best things we bloggers can do is continue to delete such comments and blacklist users who leave them, and continue to call Dish out for the spam. Public shaming can work. If the fallout from the spam is damaging enough to their brand, they may reevaluate their stance. If you’re getting spam like this on your blog speak out about it; make it cost too much for them to continue doing it.
As I’ve said before, employees of any company are welcome to join the discussion and leave valid comments on posts. They can even pimp their employer’s products if there is a legitimate argument. But cookie cutter comments only weakly linked to the post are not legitimate, they’re spam. Don’t do it.