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MMORPG.com Discussion Forums

General Discussion

General Discussion 

The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Paid posters "Shills" and marketing.

3 Pages « 1 2 3 » Search
55 posts found
  bcbully

Elite Member

Joined: 3/03/12
Posts: 7933

 
OP  12/26/12 3:08:48 PM#21
Originally posted by Amana
We do have a rule against advertising on these forums and we find and ban shills frequently. If you guys want to continue this discussion, please do not discuss current or past posters on this site. And definitely not by name. Thanks.

nice

  ghstwolf

Novice Member

Joined: 3/21/08
Posts: 386

12/26/12 3:11:09 PM#22
Originally posted by bcbully

My questions are do you think this is going on within our community? If so, how do we spot them?

What do we do when we spot them? 

Is it possible to prove that they are "shills"? 

Can our forum sites do anything about them?

 

Lastly, and most important, how has this affected the mmorpg industry?

It probably does happen, and it is virtually impossible to spot the good ones.  There is a potential tell, a new member that is well written and focused on a single or narrow set of games.  Then again, someone cleaver (and give credit for getting paid to do what so many of us do for nothing) could cover their tracks on that as well (and a smart company will target established members of a forum).

Nothing, the better ones know how to work a mild positive bias without resorting to "fanboyism". If anything their goal is to start and sustain a conversation that will highlight positives, that doesn't mean being the biggest fan in the room.  If anything "trolling" a game can serve the purpose every bit as well, maybe better as a new poster.  Going negative will almost always draw out a game's fans (many voices of support > 1 person's) and ideally get a few "undecideds" engaged in support.  A savvy company could allow playing that angle.  Remember, bigger game companies are using this to target people not swayed by their traditional marketing efforts.

As a shill, your job is to manipulate a positive result in a public way and do so without revealing a connection.  Unless they suck at what they are doing (and even then), proving anything would be too expensive and ultimately ineffective.  It is the same situation as trying to stop gold farmers, albeit with even less data to mine.

What to do about them, nothing.  Their performance is heavily based on starting and adding to the discussion, that is good for everyone.  It's good for the sponsor, good for the site (active sites usually make more) and that same activity is good for us as well.  Fanboys don't succeed, they are easily written off and foster negativity.

As for what it has done to the industry, I tend to agree with NBlitz.  Let's be honest, it's just a new twist on an old marketting tactic.  It's not even all that effective in most settings, really it requires a physical crowd to work well.  If the "bandwagon" approach really was strong in an individual setting McD wouldn't have gone away from it (XXX Billion served is a pretty strong play to this method).

  bcbully

Elite Member

Joined: 3/03/12
Posts: 7933

 
OP  12/26/12 3:11:24 PM#23
Originally posted by Kothoses

Do what the majority of internet posters do, if some one likes something that you did not, instantly resort to accusing them of being one of these people.

 

PS where did you see this advert, in what context and for which company because I know a lot of media outlets use people like this to direct discussion towards topics that are being discussed on their site/in their publication.

I found it under one of my searches. The context was "we are hiring." It even be in one of those links in the first search in the OP.

  Gdemami

Elite Member

Joined: 9/23/08
Posts: 7686

12/26/12 3:24:39 PM#24


Originally posted by bcbully

Skills required: 

1. Have excellent written English skills and can interact with the users of the forum you are asked to post on.

2. Have excellent research skills as you’ll have to research about a particular thread topic before you post a reply to it.

3. Ability to read and understand something and write about it in their own words. Payment will be on Net-30 basis and we'll pay based on performance. 


I will take such shill over trolls/haters/bashers I see on these boards any day. So for me, more power to them!

If one disagree with you, it must be paid poster...old story, no news there.

  Drakynn

Novice Member

Joined: 3/02/08
Posts: 2051

12/26/12 3:29:41 PM#25
Originally posted by bcbully

Looking back on this past year on mmorpg.com, I can't help but think some of our former members (maybe current) were infact "shills". 

 

This is a quick google search on paid paid forum posters. They seem to be in high demand. 

 

The University of Chicago estimates 1/3 of reviews have some sort of financial incentive. 

 

Here is an actual add form a company looking for posters

We'd like posters who'll be able to make at least 20 posts a day; the more the better. 

Skills required: 
1. Have excellent written English skills and can interact with the users of the forum you are asked to post on. 
2. Have excellent research skills as you’ll have to research about a particular thread topic before you post a reply to it. 
3. Ability to read and understand something and write about it in their own words. 
Payment will be on Net-30 basis and we'll pay based on performance. 

 

My questions are do you think this is going on within our community? If so, how do we spot them?

What do we do when we spot them? 

Is it possible to prove that they are "shills"? 

Can our forum sites do anything about them?

 

Lastly, and most important, how has this affected the mmorpg industry?

In my experience most of the people who would be accused of being shills here do not meet any of the skills required hehe.

  iamrta

Novice Member

Joined: 10/13/11
Posts: 164

12/26/12 3:34:37 PM#26
Originally posted by DashiDMV
STAR WARS THE OLD REPUBLIC IS THE BEST GAME EVER AND HAS 0 PROBLEMS. EA IS A WONDERFUL COMPANY TO WORK FOR AND ADMIRE AND JEFF HICKMAN ALWAYS MAKES GOOD DECISIONS.

I LOL'd lots

  Gdemami

Elite Member

Joined: 9/23/08
Posts: 7686

12/26/12 4:01:45 PM#27


Originally posted by Drakynn

In my experience most of the people who would be accused of being shills here do not meet any of the skills required hehe.


Exactly my thoughts and I would be very happy to have some more posters on here with listed qualities.

  RedJorge

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/07/11
Posts: 106

Sheldon Cooper: Leonard, be serious. We're playing a game here. (Big Bang Theory)

12/26/12 4:02:39 PM#28

Positive paid reviews and writing is a thrieving business, as you can see on this New York Times article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/business/book-reviewers-for-hire-meet-a-demand-for-online-raves.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Now, imagine how cheaper is to contract forum PvPers to defend a product. They cost a dime a dozen..:)

RJ

Leonard: Penny, you are on fire.
Penny: Yes, so is Sheldon.
[laughs]
Sheldon: Okay, that's it. I don't know how, but she is cheating. No-one can be that attractive and this skilled at a video game.
[walks away]
Penny: Wait, wait. Sheldon. Come back, you forgot something.
Sheldon: What?
Penny: This plasma grenade.
[explosion]
Penny: [laughs] Look! It's raining you.
Sheldon: You laugh now. You just wait until you need tech support. (Big Bang Theory)

  erictlewis

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/08/08
Posts: 3060

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

12/26/12 4:11:53 PM#29

I am sure we got paid shills in some of these forums, and in some cases they are very easy to spot.

The point is to put the shill on ignore I got that message boy howdy. They don't want us calling out the shills, and they don't want to hear about I got that message loud and clear.

  RedJorge

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/07/11
Posts: 106

Sheldon Cooper: Leonard, be serious. We're playing a game here. (Big Bang Theory)

12/26/12 4:23:50 PM#30

Shills plague all internet forums, social networks, etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shill

We are all able to spot them..:)

 

Leonard: Penny, you are on fire.
Penny: Yes, so is Sheldon.
[laughs]
Sheldon: Okay, that's it. I don't know how, but she is cheating. No-one can be that attractive and this skilled at a video game.
[walks away]
Penny: Wait, wait. Sheldon. Come back, you forgot something.
Sheldon: What?
Penny: This plasma grenade.
[explosion]
Penny: [laughs] Look! It's raining you.
Sheldon: You laugh now. You just wait until you need tech support. (Big Bang Theory)

  phantomghost

Elite Member

Joined: 11/05/11
Posts: 686

"Kill me, my man kills you, that's how you lose."

12/26/12 4:27:40 PM#31
Originally posted by DashiDMV
STAR WARS THE OLD REPUBLIC IS THE BEST GAME EVER AND HAS 0 PROBLEMS. EA IS A WONDERFUL COMPANY TO WORK FOR AND ADMIRE AND JEFF HICKMAN ALWAYS MAKES GOOD DECISIONS.

Yes, the best game ever.  The game play is spectacular.  The storylines are absolutely breathtaking and full of excitement.  The game is one of a kind.  EA definitely produced the greatest MMORPG of its kind.  We have never seen a game so unique and full of innovative and exciting content.

"I see they watchin' me and takin' notes on my moves, Run up on me it's all I want I ain't got nothin' to lose."

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13947

12/26/12 4:57:13 PM#32

Is the cost of being a good enough shill to sustain a conversation on a forum such as this without it being obvious that you're a shill too high for it to be profitable for any company to hire you?  It might.  Bots exist for a reason, you know.

It's much easier to be a good shill on review sites with no give and take among community members, as you don't have to read what anyone else said and take it into account when replying.

  RedJorge

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/07/11
Posts: 106

Sheldon Cooper: Leonard, be serious. We're playing a game here. (Big Bang Theory)

12/26/12 6:56:12 PM#33

Shills do not have to be really good.

For most of the forums, it is enough to behave like a fanboy and slam everyone that complains about certain aspects of a game.

Actually, most of the shills choose this path. Its easier than being very good at counteracting people´s rightful complains with apparently well constructed reasoning.

Leonard: Penny, you are on fire.
Penny: Yes, so is Sheldon.
[laughs]
Sheldon: Okay, that's it. I don't know how, but she is cheating. No-one can be that attractive and this skilled at a video game.
[walks away]
Penny: Wait, wait. Sheldon. Come back, you forgot something.
Sheldon: What?
Penny: This plasma grenade.
[explosion]
Penny: [laughs] Look! It's raining you.
Sheldon: You laugh now. You just wait until you need tech support. (Big Bang Theory)

  Ortwig

Elite Member

Joined: 4/20/12
Posts: 1124

12/26/12 7:06:14 PM#34
I'm laughing at the prospect of getting paid for well constructed reasoning but I guess political consultants get paid. I just have the feeling that game companies are cash strapped enough without having to worry about paying people to argue for them. Best strategy (and more economical) is to just create a good game and have us fanboys do it for free. :)
  ghstwolf

Novice Member

Joined: 3/21/08
Posts: 386

12/26/12 7:26:20 PM#35
Originally posted by Quizzical

It's much easier to be a good shill on review sites with no give and take among community members, as you don't have to read what anyone else said and take it into account when replying.

 

True, which is why product reviews on a site like Amazon are nearly worthless.  The same can be said of many blogs too (some of the head to head comarisions are very even handed).  Unfortunately I also see a similar tendency in professional reviews, the kid gloves treatment smacks of a sort of "pay for play" syndrome.

However, engaging an audience does have a value.  Ads only go so far to persude, reviews a bit further but an actual conversation can reach into the dark and skeptical corners.  There is also the potential to "leak" info (test something controversial) and get feed back without the damage "official" avenues will cause.  A good discussion can/will yield some great information, whether for actual design or for tuning the pitch.

It's not that hard to justify the value or at the very least the potential value such a position can generate.  The bonus is this is a down time position, the sort of thing that doesn't need to pay very well.  20 quality posts a day isn't that hard or time consuming, it might take some one a couple hours, and that is on 1 site.  With 2-3 sites to canvas, that goes down as copy and paste could drop the actual posts to write down to 5 or 6.

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6496

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

12/26/12 10:26:27 PM#36

An easy and damning accusation without any burden of evidence.  Where have we seem this one before, Cotton Mather?

If you must indulge in conspiracy theorist plots, there surely must be a few with bigger brands of villainyand with so many eager fanboys, why in the world would EvilGameCorp need to pay for the milk that the cow gives away for free?

The main problem with conspiracy theories is they defy Occam.

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  StonesDK

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/11
Posts: 1845

12/26/12 10:29:54 PM#37
Originally posted by Icewhite

If you must indulge in conspiracy theorist plots, there surely must be a few with bigger brands of villainyand with so many eager fanboys, why in the world would EvilGameCorp need to pay for the milk that the cow gives away for free?

The main problem with conspiracy theories is they defy Occam.

It has been confirmed by the mods.. End of discussion

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6496

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

12/26/12 10:31:33 PM#38
Originally posted by Starpower

It has been confirmed by the mods.. End of discussion

That they exist?  Or that they are commonplace?

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  StonesDK

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/11
Posts: 1845

12/26/12 10:40:55 PM#39
Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by Starpower

It has been confirmed by the mods.. End of discussion

That they exist?  Or that they are commonplace?

Commonplace wasn't used. I belive the word used was "frequently". Now I understand frequently is a relative statement but it sure does sound more powerful than "rarely"

  Drakynn

Novice Member

Joined: 3/02/08
Posts: 2051

12/26/12 10:44:03 PM#40
Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by Starpower

It has been confirmed by the mods.. End of discussion

That they exist?  Or that they are commonplace?

I believe this is in reference to

Originally posted by Amana
We do have a rule against advertising on these forums and we find and ban shills frequently. If you guys want to continue this discussion, please do not discuss current or past posters on this site. And definitely not by name. Thanks.

Which does seem to be confrimation.

I doubt however that most of the popel who get calle dor thought of a shills here actually are.I think the shills would be more subtle than the fanatical posters that evangicalize games tend to be,.In this case it doesn't defy occam's razor that there are shills but it does defy it that everyone that doesn't agree with you is a shill.

 

 

 

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