User trust is built by shilling

Am I the only one who still thinks "conversation" should mean "How's the family," "How 'bout them Yankees," and "Let's talk about our feelings" and not "I'm in bed with this company because..."? Federated Media (a competitor of Valleywag's parent company) started another "conversation" sponsored by one of the blog network's advertisers. In the last "conversation," bloggers wrote blurbs pushing Microsoft's slogan, "People Ready." The new blurbfest centers on how search services can win users' trust. The answer, according to "conversation" sponsor Hakia, seems to be "give them a poll to fill out and let them comment a bit." Bloggers including Techcrunch editor Michael Arrington and GigaOM manager Om Malik (who was supposedly sorry for his involvement in such a project) gave little quotes tailored to Hakia's message. None of this is evil, or even dishonest. It's just crap. The same kind of crap that supposedly led people to leave corporate-owned newspapers and TV for blogs that wouldn't spew it.

Bonus! Hakia attached a song about "searching for better search." If you had a really great night last night, and you need a sledgehammer to bring you back into the desperate hopeless drudgery of your life, this song is better than "Birth School Work Death." One line goes, "Your childhood is posted on eBay, starting bids 25 cents."