Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

Shelfari astroturfing: The evidence

UPDATE: CEO Josh Hug left a omment on a piece by Seattle bookseller Michael Lieberman (also in the spamming charge, I’ve come up with over 50 examples.

The offender I found has the ID “schaufferwaffer.” The ID is the give-away. It’s really easy to Google something like that, and turn up this same evidence.

The posts below make it clear this was no slip of the keyboard. Deceiving people was the whole point. It’s icky to don’t go on and on about how much you “love” Shelfari without mentioning you’re paid by them, and worse to call yourself a “user” and wax rhapsodic about how you’re going to win a site contest for which employees are ineligible. But the low point is surely the blog post with the woman who just found out her mother-in-law had brain and lung cancer. On the plus side, Danny wished her well. On the down side, he still took the opportunity to lie about who he was and shill for his employer.

Again, I want to make myself clear. We have lots of honorable competitors (listed here and here). Shelfari is a bad actor. Considering that they’re the only well-funded site, with a reported $1 million from Amazon, their spamming and astroturfing is particularly despicable.

In fairness, “Danny” now comments mentioning that he works for Shelfari. Meanwhile the ID has been deleted. Nobody at Shelfari has ever mentioned or apologized for this. I triple-dog dare you to post about it on the site and see what they say.

“I have been on Shelfari for a couple of months now and absolutely love it.
Any good books you could recommend to me?
-schaufferwaffer

P.S. Check out the blog widget :) Its pretty cool”

http://adversityuniversity.blogspot.com/2007/08/shelfari-tell-your-friends-what-youre.html

“Shelfari is such a great site. I joined a couple of months ago and I have been hooked on it ever since. All readers are welcome and everyones opinion is listened to.
Add me as a friend :)
-Schaufferwaffer”

http://www.westportlibrary.org/teenblog/2007/08/shelfari.html

“Thats the funniest thing I have read all day. I am adding you as a friend right now on Shelfari. I am still trying to convince all my friends to join. Any tips?”

http://ontherockswithsalt.blogspot.com/2007/08/they-see-me-rollin-they-hatin-trying-to.html

“friend me
schaufferwaffer
I dont know if i can compete with 300 books…but hey its all about rediscovering right?”

http://www.sarahannf.com/wordpress/?p=385

“Its my favorite website! Add me as well.
schaufferwaffer”

http://sirmartin.wordpress.com/2007/08/09/a-social-networking-site-for-book-lovers/

“Cool blog. Another Shelfari user! Great to see you joined the site. Any books you could recommend me? My username is schaufferwaffer”

http://kakistocracy.wordpress.com/2007/08/12/oh-the-monotony/

“I am also a huge Shelfari fan! I am looking for a new good read. Can you recommend me a book?
schaufferwaffer”

http://cookieaisle.blogspot.com/2007/08/shelfaricom.html

“Cool widget! I have been on Shelfari for a couple months now and LOVE IT! I like the books on your shelf. Which ones could you recommend me?
-schaufferwaffer (username on Shelfari)”

http://atlfemme.typepad.com/made_it_happen/2007/09/shelfari—virt.html

“I am a big Shelfari user. What are you waiting for? Sign up and add me as a friend (schaufferwaffer). Recommend a good book to me!”

http://debrichardson.com/blog/?p=1018

“Ohhh also on Shelfari. Also a big fan. I love the mystery genre! Recommend me some good books….schaufferwaffer is my id.”

http://www.voiceoftech.com/swhitley/?p=310#comment-8188

“Shelfari is a great site. I have discovered so many new books there! Have you read my new favorite “A Thousand Splendid Suns”.
Add me as a friend. My username is schaufferwaffer.”

http://oemar.wordpress.com/2007/08/30/two-sites-to-see/

“Hey, I just stumbled upon your blog. I am also a Shelfari member and I am totally hooked. Could you recommend me any good mystery books?

-schaufferwaffer”

http://judywatt.livejournal.com/1007749.html

“I like Shelfari because of the social interaction. I met a lot of new “friends” who have recommended some great books. Add me “schaufferwaffer”. Also, check out the new Harry Potter contest http://www.shelfari.com/harrypotter/”

http://community.livejournal.com/bookzine/18020.html?thread=232292

“Hey, I just came across your blog. I am also a Shelfari member, and i must say…I am completely obsessed! Do you know of any good fiction novels you could recommend me?
Add me as a friend! My username is schaufferwaffer :)

-Danny”

http://marblecake.org.uk/index.php/2007/09/16/got-the-book-bug/

“Hey, I just stumbled upon your blog. I am also hooked on Shelfari. I just added “How I Live Now” to my reading list!
Add me as a friend. My username is schaufferwaffer. It looks like you have some great books you could recommend me.”

http://llcoolworld.blogspot.com/2007/09/shelfari.html

“I am a huge Shelfari fan! Add me as a friend. My username is schaufferwaffer. Any good book recommendations?”

http://joelsfive.blogspot.com/2007/07/shelfari.html

“Hey, I am on Shelfari, but have not heard about RIT. I do enjoy reading, but don’t know if I have enough time with the school year starting up to join a book challenge.
Any books you could recommend me? My username is schaufferwaffer.

-Danny
P.S. Cool Widget”

http://jennyburd.blogspot.com/2007/09/my-rit-weight-loss-challenge.html

“Hey, I just stumbled across your blog. I found it pretty interesting b/c I love Shelfari and the Great Gatsby is one of my favorite books. I was required to read it through high school and was blown away. Any books you could recommend me?
Add me as a friend on Shelfari. My username is schaufferwaffer.”

http://cherylpeeves.blogspot.com/2007/09/fall-reading-starts-now-for-me-anyway.html

“Shelfari is definitely my favorite book social networking site. I think its easy to use and has a nice looking interface.
Add me as a friend! My username is schaufferwaffer”

http://kylefitzgibbons.wordpress.com/2007/08/12/shelfari-catalog-your-library/

“Add me as a friend! schaufferwaffer
Any good reads to recommend?”

http://alexgarciainseattle.blogspot.com/2007/07/whats-on-your-book-shelf.html

“Add me as a friend! schaufferwaffer
Any good reads to recommend?”

http://commavictim.blogspot.com/2007/07/shelfari.html (yes, same text)

“The best part of Shelfari is the new facebook application. It links with Shelfari.com and now i can access my books on facebook. Recommend a good read to me at schaufferwaffer”

http://www.ghostwheel.net/2007/07/12/shelfari/

“Add me as a friend! schaufferwaffer
Any good books i should read?”

http://hesperuspress.wordpress.com/2007/07/16/shelfari/

“Your book sounds really interesting. I’ll check it out! I am also on Shelfari. Add me – schaufferwaffer”

http://shookfoil.blogspot.com/2007/07/road.html

“Wow what a turnaround! Add me as a friend. My username is schaufferwaffer.
Any good books you can recommend me?”

http://www.hornes.org/mark/2007/08/15/web-widget-wednesday-shelfari/

“I like your bookshelf. I’m also on Shelfari. Friend me “schaufferwaffer”.
Any good books you recommend?”

http://700milestohome.blogspot.com/2007/07/its-been-too-long.html

“I like the blog :) I also like Shelfari! Add me as a friend. My username is schaufferwaffer. Any good books you can recommend me???? To respond to the comment above me, the best part of Shelfari is that its FREE”

http://www.bronwynjameson.com/blog/2007/07/shelfari.html

“Checkout my shelf…www.shelfari.com/schaufferwaffer I am looking for a good mystery book to read. Any suggestions?”

http://www.feedmyapp.com/p/a/social-share-knowledge-web-20-applications-sites-shelfari/801

“Thanks for mentioning Shelfari in your post. I am also a pretty big fan of fiction, specifically historical fiction. My [sic] Schaufferwaffer, maybe you can recommend me some good books.
All the best,
Danny”

http://www.yardley.ca/dash/2007/06/24/shelfari/

“I love Shelfari!
Add me as a friend “schaufferwaffer””

http://spclibraryblog.blogspot.com/2007/07/shelfari-read-share-explore.html

“I am also familiar with Shelfari. Add me as a friend! Do you know of any good books you an recommend me?

-schaufferwaffer”

http://ceceliadowdy.blogspot.com/2007/08/shelfari.html

“Great Blog! Good luck with the job.
I am also on Shelfari. Add me as a friend. My username is schaufferwaffer.
Have you seen the blog widget? Are you going to add it to your blog?”

This is followed by a post from Dave, and is proof the company knew what Danny was doing. He pretends that the Danny’s comment was from a real user.

“Thanks for mentioning Shelfari :) It looks like I was already beaten to the punchline….but the blog widget mentioned 2 comments above has just been completely redesigned with some cool new features. I’d love to hear your opinion on it. Give it a try and tell me what you think.
Happy Reading,
Dave”

http://friedafoxworth.edublogs.org/2007/08/04/tools-are-just-tools/

“I hope your mom is alright. I found this blog through google blogs. I am also a user of Shelfari and love it. Checkout my shelf at schaufferwaffer.
DO u have a facebook account? They now have an APP on facebook and its pretty cool!”

http://bibliobiography.blogspot.com/2007/07/shelfari-finally-invents-widget-other.html#1858124091838702835

“I think Shelfari is also great! Checkout my bookshelf, my name is schaufferwaffer.
Also, did u know that there is also a facebook App that links to your shelfari account? Its pretty cool!”

http://alexgarciainseattle.blogspot.com/2007/07/whats-on-your-book-shelf.html

“I like the blog! I am also a Shelfari member. What do u think of the new contest http://www.shelfari.com/harrypotter/
I think i can win it! [No, he can't. People who work or the company are not eligible.]
Add me as a friend “schaufferwaffer”

http://girlygeekdom.blogspot.com/2007/07/shelfari.html

“Shelfari is my obsession. I spend way too much time on there, which is not a bad thing i guess
Add me as a friend!
schaufferwaffer”

http://www.makeuseof.com/dir/shelfari/

“Shelfari is a great site. I have been hooked on it since the beginning of the summer. Have you see the blog widget yet?
Add me as a friend. My username is schaufferwaffer. Do you know of any good books you could recommend me?”

http://the-visitor.blogspot.com/2007/09/for-book-lovers.html

“I joined Shelfari a couple months ago. What a great site! Add me as a friend!

-schaufferwaffer”

http://paprikapink2.blogspot.com/2007/08/keeping-without-keeping.html

“I’m liking the blog. I am also a huge fan of Shelfari. Add me as a friend! My username is schaufferwaffer.
Any good books you could recommend me?

Also, have you seen the blog widget?”

http://magysty.blogspot.com/2007/07/new-time-waster-on-web.html

“Cool Blog Widget! I have been on Shelfari for a couple of months now and just absolutley love it.
Do you know of any good books you can recommend me? How about “Life on the Run”. I have heard some good things.
Add me as a friend!
-schaufferwaffer”

http://www.rynosoft.com/mick/blog/2007/08/shelfari_1.html

“Shelfari is a great site! I am completely addicted right now. Could you recommend me any good books? Add me as a friend! My username is schaufferwaffer.”

http://gargleblogger.blogspot.com/2007/09/take-look-its-in-book.html

“I am also a Shelfari member and was wondering if you are participating in the Harry Potter contest? http://www.shelfari.com/harrypotter/
Grand Prize looks really tempting. Add me as a friend “schaufferwaffer”. Any good book recommendations?”

http://mommimi.typepad.com/the_dempseys/2007/07/harry-potter-an.html

“Thanks for mentioning Shelfari. I work there, add me as a friend “schaufferwaffer”. Do you
have any good book recommendations?
Have you seen our Harry Potter contest? http://www.shelfari.com/harrypotter/

http://authorsoundrelations.blogspot.com/2007/07/reading-and-technology-susanna-carr.html

“I like your list of books. I am also working on a list of books to read, however i am still compiling it. It can be seen on my account at Shelfari.com……My username is schaufferwaffer
Apparently Shelfari is coming out with a new blog widget that is supposed to be released in the next couple weeks. [Apparently indeed—You work for the company!]

http://daemon-ink.net/blog/?p=457

“I am a Shelfarian! Add me “schaufferwaffer”

You should add the blog widget. Its a pretty cool way to show off your books”

http://historicalromancemel.blogspot.com/2007/07/new-website-i-just-joined-shelfari-to.html#c942705946105895786

I really like the widget in your blog! I have read Jane Eyre and really liked it. Any books you can recommend to me? My username on Shelfari is schaufferwaffer…Send me a note!

http://tarasnichols.blogspot.com/2007/07/shelfari.html

“I like your shelf! Add me on Shelfari

“schaufferwaffer””

http://bruisedfancy.blogspot.com/2007/07/shelfari-book-shelf.html

“Hey, I just stumbled upon your blog. Whats happening in San Paulo is really fascinating. I have a few friends down there and I have to ask them what life is like without advertisements everywhere. Also, I am on Shelfari too. Add me as a friend! Recommend me a book :)

-Schaufferwaffer”

http://www.social-marketing.com/blog/2007/08/tip-jar-82007.html

“Sounds like you are a true bookworm
I am also on Shelfari. Add me as a friend! My username is schaufferwaffer
Any good books you can recommend to me?”

http://hhhl.wordpress.com/2007/08/15/what-i-do-on-my-summer-vacation/

“Shelfari is a great site. I discovered it a at the beginning of the summer. It’s pretty easy to use and the widget looks great on blogs.

Add me as a friend! Any good books you can recommend me?

-schaufferwaffer”

http://craig.cmehil.com/2007/08/shelfari-and-zoho-creator.html

“I just stumbled across your blog and I really like it! I signed up on Shelfari a few months ago and love it .
Add me as a friend, my username is schaufferwaffer.
Any good books you can recommend me?”

http://www.indezine.com/blog/2007/08/my-book-shelf.html

“Jusy Saw “Knocked up”. I couldn’t stop laughing. [Nice touch.]
Also a huge Shelfari fan! Add me as a member. schaufferwaffer”

http://www.sarahannf.com/wordpress/?p=384

The prosecution rests.

Labels: astroturfing, schaufferwaffer, shelfari

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