Don’t even think of trying this!

In a new and most unfortunate development, an otherwise reputable orchestra the American Symphony Orchestra tried to advertise a concert by posting a comment on my blog. And also on Amanda Ameer’s, and no doubt on other blogs, too on at least one other ArtsJournal blog. These comments were nothing but advertising copy. I deleted the one on this blog the moment I saw it, and sent a stern e-mail to the orchestra’s marketing director. [I was kind, and didn’t name the ASO in my original post. But Amanda outed them, so there’s no point in saving their face.]

I hope it’s clear that this way of advertising is completely inappropriate. (And also that my outrage at this has nothing to do with the orchestra’s ASO’s music.) For one thing, ArtsJournal sells ads on these blogs, and can hardly tolerate people trying to use them to advertise for free. But far beyond that, spam comments would disrupt the fine conversations we have on this blog. Nobody wants to wade through advertising to see the latest posts. I can’t quite imagine what this orchestra the ASO was thinking, but clearly they have no idea how blogs work (a milder way of saying that they don’t respect the integrity of what we do here).

So if anyone else, God forbid, is thinking of doing this — don’t. I don’t care how terrific your music might be. Your ads, if they showed up here as comments, would just be a new kind of spam.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. says

    Condolences on the comment spam, especially from an organization that ought to know better (we bloggers get robotic comment spam all the time, but we’ve come to expect it and delete it as we would take out the trash).

    The crime here, however, is more in the inelegance of the effort than in its intent. The web in general — and blogs or forums in particular — demand a different kind of promotion than the “hey, look at me.” Rather, these forums demand promotion by contribution — by adding intelligently to the conversation, by proving your insights to be attention-worthy over time, and by helping to create a communal space where your own actions do not inhibit or diminish the potential actions of others.

    The sad fact is that arts organizations should be the world-leaders in this kind of approach to the world — passionate but responsive, speaking with focus but listening with equal intent, working to help OTHERS succeed. Obviously, we’ve got a lot of work to do.

  2. says

    Way to go, Greg. You’re talking about the ASO, which was the entire point of their comment/ad in the first place. They’re getting more publicity out of it now than the deleted comment ever would have.

  3. says

    That reads a little less funnily than I’d intended. I meant no disrespect.

    Didn’t take it disrespectfully, Mark. Don’t know if you saw Amanda Ameer’s blog on the ASO spam, but she raised the same possibility, very wryly. Personally, I don’t think the ASO has the imagination or chutzpah to run this double scam (advertising runs if I don’t delete the comment, they get publicity if I bitch about them). But lucky them — I did spell their name right.

  4. says

    I’m not spamming! It’s just that reading every single one of your posts calls to mind a great website I recently visited where u can see barly legal teenz doing it all 4 cheap!! Only $4/95month anonymous billing credit card.

  5. says

    Great post Greg and great comment Andrew!

    I have been thinking and talking about this a lot lately. New Media is all about conversation, communication and collaboration. Performing Arts organizations should be great at this stuff!

    I think there are still too many people who don’t “believe” in blogs, which really makes no sense. I mean they do exist. I’m commenting on one right now!