Savvy marketers have folks monitoring blogs and conversations. At a recent workshop I attended, I found out that IndyMoms has people that are hired to keep conversations going. At this same workshop I met someone who to promote an expo had some four people she had hired to create twelve personas. Each person had different e-mail addresses for the type of “Mom” they represented in discussions that would happen to mention the expo. IndyMoms tries to watch out for such fraudulent discussions but I am sure they cannot uncover them all.
Companies also monitor blogs to find customers complaining about service or product features as well as those on forums trying to solve problems. This is a smart and legitimate way to keep in touch with customers and to monitor satisfaction.