Thursday, December 14, 2006

Internet Blacklist? Watchlist?

I interact with the internets as a consumer (spend LOTS of money through it thats for sure) and as a micro-content provider (thats blogger to you and me). I blog for my own reasons and do not make any money directly from it. I could walk away from blogging tomorrow in terms of real life impact because it doesnt support my family, it just serves as a great way to meet new people (you guys).

My career would not be negatively impacted by my blog, I am a scientist.

But I have to tell you..

I am getting creeped out that my blog is being cruised by "Internet Crisis Management" companies. I can see their footprints with StatCounter. I see them surfing my pages (its sorta like seeing dead people, sorta, only creepier).

I gotta wonder why supposed tech-savy companies would use their alphabetic addresses instead of numeric IP addresses.

I gotta wonder just what they think they will do if they find that I am saying something their clients dont like.

I gotta wonder how much money they make off of simply surfing the web, finding mentions (pos and neg) about a company or industry, and serving it to their clients like its fresh red meat.

Talk about derivative after-market trash.

Many of you may have likely first been spidered or fingered by such a company a few months ago if you participated in the Save the Internet campaign.

Now I have these same sorts of companies cruising a recent post I did on my issues with the use of carbon monoxide on any hemoglobin-bearing meat. This is intelligence gathering for the meat lobby (huge bux).

Does anyone have any experience or knowledge about this sort of thing? I cant suppress my gut-response creep-out to the big brother aspect but is it really benign or should it be something I should worry about? (I will likely just stay with the creep out and disgust but not worry)

This Post was written by Nika from Nika's Culinaria


Anonymous said...

I wouldn't worry too much about it. Those spiders are just tracking the 'conversation', not so much who's doing the talking. Can't spin something until you know what's said. Nothing really will happen to you, it's bad PR to directly call out bloggers; the blogosphere reacts negatively and suddenly 1 post becomes 1000. At most you may get contacted by a PR firm but that's only if you get high pageviews daily and repeatedly post on it. If they do something that does make you uncomfortable beyond just lurking, report it to a site like They like challenging these companies and this really is a consumer issue.

Anonymous said...

I've looked at referrer logs and IPs and stuff on my blog and figured that visits from corporations are just their way of keeping touch with what the consumer chatter is. (I get them crawling me when I talk about fair trade issues.)

I don't feel like it's big brother, I think it's rather responsible of them to visit sites via whatever "watch lists" or services that they have to see what we're saying. For years bloggers have been annoyed that no one takes their influence seriously, this is just corporations and lobbyists doing just that.

kitchenmage said...

I manage a couple of non-food blogs, one of which is for a group opposing siting LNG plants on the Columbia River. That site is not only crawled by arachnids sent by people in the industry, it gets lots of clearly human traffic from various levels of gov't (US, international, local) and all sorts of energy industry folks (lots from TX). I'd love to sniff each visitor and shunt the known industry folks off to some other site, but it's such a hassle.

What I really need is one of those celebrity flotillas like down in southern CA the other day. Then I could post lots of pictures titled "DarylHannahInBikiniProtest.jpg" and get TONS of traffic. So much traffic I wouldn't notice the BP/Sempra/otherIcky companies visiting.

nika said...

cybele: its not a company or lobby per se.. its actual intelligence gathering dedicated companies.. hope that makes sense.

Paul: kewl, will use that resource if it becomes relevant.

KMage: hmm.. traffic, yumm. I am just about over the traffic fetish (working hard to break it!)

Anonymous said...

Paul's right (the other one) it's not a big deal unless you're blowing the whistle on something really big.

PR companies have long been using these types of services that scour the printed press. I've done some work of that type in the past. Companies don't necessarily react to bad press, but they definitely keep an eye on it so they know how to counter the arguments.

I don't worry about how much they're charging for the 'intelligence' they gather, it's the lawyers whose desk the reports land on that I worry about.

It's scary, but it shows we have to be responsible - it's the lawyers who are watching, not big brother.

nika said...

seems to me big brother would definitely be a lawyer :-)

Anonymous said...

Are you talking about companies like