I'm surprised not to see Microsoft listed in this article. They were famous for a particularly inept and blatant "astroturf campaign" of letter writing to the L.A. Times a few years ago; the expos'e of which was widely reported by the mainstream media at the time!
That was the first I'd heard of the term "astroturf" in this context; and I know that many of my peers (mostly computer nerds, but generally savvy and well-read) had heard the term, as well.
-- good point -- the example was in the Edelman profile -- have copied it across to the Microsoft page and added link into the astroturf page. thanks for pointing the omission out -- bob
-- I recently saw this used in reference to a near troll like post that ended up being a hoax. On an active dave matthews band fan discussion board it was posted that britney spears should perform with dmb. A bit more subtle, but gives you a little more perspective on the idea of astroturf'n - rob
- "One technique is to induce a number of supporters to write e-mails, letters to the editor, blog posts, crossposts, and trackbacks in favor of the campaign's goals. The campaign typically instructs the supporters on what to say, how to say it, where to send it, and, above all, how to make it appear that their indignation, appreciation, joy, or hate is entirely spontaneous and independent — and thus "real" rather than the product of an orchestrated campaign. Sometimes, pre-written letters to the editor are distributed for submission to local newspapers, as their theoretically limited circulation makes it unlikely that anyone will notice the same letter appearing in many publications simultaneously. Fortunately, news consolidation services, such as Google News, have made it easier to spot such campaigns."
But, in this case, it is more likely that the source is one in the same, not a group effort unless it has enlisted the assistance of others. IMHO Artificial Intelligence 12:48, 22 Oct 2005 (EDT)