teaching an old post new tricks: netvocates again

I always find it strange how a post that’s several months old can suddenly get a link from a big site and go bonkers with traffic.

Remember a few months back when I started posting about Netvocates, the company that willfully uses B.I.A.S. [“Blog Intelligence and Advocacy Service” – I kid you not] as it’s acronym. (I’ll link to all the posts I’ve tagged with Netvocates but, as they’re in the business of Astrotufing, I’m not going to link directly to them from this post.)

When I first blogged it, the post got some links from some busy blogs (Daily Kos, Pandagon and others), which were then linked to by lots of smaller sites, and then reblogged by lots of people on livejournal and by forum users. A couple months later, the whole thing was revived with a link from Feministe and traffic spiked up again.

Today it’s round three with a link from Crooks and Liars sending upwards of a thousand visitors to that post about Netvocates from way back in May.


  1. I posted this same comment on my own blog in response to the new interest, but thought I’d share here as well. I realize there’s little I can do to convince you, but I will simply reiterate that NetVocates does not engage in “astroturf” tactics. No anonymous posting of any kind. The folks at NetVocates simply communicate openly and directly with bloggers to share information. Contacts come directly and transparently from NetVocates using NetVocates email addresses and phone numbers. If you don’t see those, it has nothing to do with anyone at NetVocates.

  2. You say that your employees make comments engage in “no anonymous posting of any kind…” and that, when your people do post, they do so “using Netvocates email addresses and phone numbers.”
    If what you say is true, then why does the Google search I just did for your corporate phone number [ (603)935.5100) ] turn up just one link – to the contacts page of your website where I found the number in the first place?
    Either you have no clients or you aren’t doing what you say you do. Come on Chip, if you’re people are posting “using Netvocatess email addresses and phone numbers” why not show us an example where we can actually witness your team’s work in action?

  3. The reason your search doesn’t find things is because NetVocates employees typically email bloggers directly or using their contact forms on their web sites. Their goal is to share information with bloggers, not to post their own content. It is then up to the blogger whether they want to use the information or ignore it (as you may recall, that’s how we initially communicated months ago). NetVocates simply isn’t in the business of inundating blogs with comments, despite the perception of some in the blogosphere. Unfortunately, it is impossible for me to prove a negative, so all I can do is do my level best to communicate directly and honestly. At the end of the day, you and others will have to decide whether to accept what I have to say or not.

  4. LIKE many people, I get about a dozen emails a day bearing news good and bad. The bad is that my penis is too small, too soft and lacking the endurance to satisfy a fruit fly. The good is I can build a longer, stronger and everlasting erection for a few hundred dollars — by taking miracle pills.
    Example: “Get ready to be stopped by women in the street. Your entire image will emanate increased size! This is what you always needed to lead a happier, more fulfilling life.”
    What’s being promised is akin to Jack’s magic beans, except penis-enlargement pills don’t work so spectacularly. To get the extra inches requires at least a six-month commitment. But the pills need to be taken with an exercise program — “jelq” — including drills similar to stretching hamstrings before jogging. To see what it takes to become a Mr Big, go to enlargepenisguide.com. You’ll find a nude man, a fairly happy man one imagines, pretending to be a clock, with what appears to be a baby’s arm grafted to his pubic bone as the minute hand.
    By the time I found this impressive fellow, I’d already paid $106 for a month’s supply of SizePro (chosen because of its professional-sounding name) and followed these instructions: “Type your name, the number of inches you want to gain, and the reason(s) you want to gain those inches in the blanks below. And read the completed statement out loud to reinforce the commitment that will lead to your ultimate success.”
    And so my colleagues heard me pledge earnestly: “I, John Elder, have decided I want to gain two inches in length and one inch in girth (I felt modest ambition would minimise disappointment). My reasons are vanity. And I’m committed to a good penis-pill system until I reach my desired gains.”
    If I hadn’t made this pledge, I could have abandoned the project — particularly after spotting Mr Baby Arm, whom I presume is also trying to improve himself. And that’s the rub. If you’re born with one of these ridiculous organs, there are times when just about every man feels short-changed.
    The average size of an erect penis is about 15.24 centimetres — six inches in the old money. (When talking about penis size, it’s traditional to use inches.) The sad thing is it seems there are many men living fretfully with a ruler in one hand and a world of hope in the other. To meet some of these people, return to http://enlargepenisguide.com — and log on to the “progress reports” forum. You’ll find men apparently taking the pills, diligently jelqing (stretching a flaccid penis) and sharing how it’s hanging. Like Nicky: “I’m 21, and, measured from the pelvic bone, the length of my penis is around 7.5 inches, but I’ve always wanted to be large like a porn star. I’ve been doing the exercise a few days now …”
    Occasionally, someone claims spectacular results. The simple reason is that the pills — herbal aphrodisiacs, not muscle-building proteins — give little more than an illusion of growth by concentrating blood in the otherwise shrivelled underbelly. But the real joke is that the more anxious one becomes about penis size, the more it is likely to shrink.
    “The curious thing about our society, most of the time we pretend that the penis doesn’t shrink,” says David Mitchell, a doctor and a medical anthropologist. “In fact, the penis doesn’t have a set flaccid size. It’s actually meaningless to measure the size of the penis because it varies from minute to minute according to the temperature and one’s state of mind. The trouble is, if you get anxious, it only makes it smaller, to the point where it can disappear … in cases where anxiety spirals into a panic attack.”
    Dr Mitchell has researched a recent outbreak of these attacks — known as “shrinking penis disease” — on the Indonesian island of Flores, where black magic is widely practised. In these instances, the sufferer believes he will die if his penis disappears. The last outbreak in a modern society occurred in Singapore in 1962, following a rumour that eating pork vaccinated against swine fever would cause shrinking penis disease.
    “There were people rushing through the streets holding their penises … some of them using chopsticks,” Dr Mitchell says. “As soon as they hit the hospital and started to relax, they came back to normal.”
    Dr Mitchell says the disease could re-emerge in the Western world. “It could come back again in our society if someone spread the right stories around,” he says.
    Chris Fox, of La Trobe University, is doing a PhD on penis size and its role in body image. So far, he has interviewed 15 men aged 20 to 75. “The short answer is that every man at some point in his life worries about the size of his penis,” Mr Fox says. “If we don’t like our penis we won’t enjoy sex. For people with a pathological issue with penis size, it will affect their sex life.
    “In some cases it will affect how they behave around other men. And one has to remember that most people make their comparison with a flaccid penis — at the urinal or in a change room. The only erections we tend to see are the very big penises on porn stars … and my interview subjects didn’t feel threatened by these giant penises because they felt they weren’t real. It’s in the real world that anxiety takes root.”

  5. There are literally hundreds of adverts and articles on penis enlargement — your inbox probably suffers as a result. They talk of the amazing, ‘unbelievable’ results that can be achieved. The only honest word here is ‘unbelievable’. Save your money. Nothing currently on the market has a permanent effect on increasing penis size.

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