I just realized I am Advertising/Spamming my own blog and other blogs on which I have commented in the past because I just changed my Avatar from this:
“Hand Jive: American Sign Language for Real Life” is my new book with Janna Sweenie and I thought making the book cover my new Avatar would be a fun way to celebrate and announce the arrival of the book in bookstores on or around October 2, 2006. Now that I see the new Avatar, I like the semiotic change, but I now wonder if, in addition to being my own whore, if I am now my own Spammer?
What’s to stop active — or better yet, INactive — blog commenters from getting hired by companies to change their Avatar to promote a website or a phone number or some other advertising blitz? Can you imagine being a new beer company and going out and finding the top 1,000 blog commenters and having them all change their Avatars to the logo for your beer?
Why it’s sheer viral genius! You could buy hundreds of thousands of page views on the cheap that could reach for years back into the history of Avatar-enabled blog pages on thousands of blogs — and the beauty part is this: No one would be the wiser.
The Search Engines already indexed and tagged the old content as safe and sufficient and your Avatar Ads would be silently served up when a search return is clicked through to the blog. The Blogmaster would never know — especially if you were not posting recent comments.
Blog owners like the personal touch Avatars bring to their comments but with my Avatar Spam-Advertising scheme, the real power to control the identity and the visual semiotic of a blog would be in complete control of the end-user-commenter who can change an Avatar on a whim or a bribe or a kiss in the dark. Blogmasters can always turn off Avatars — or delete all the comments of offending Avatar commenters — if they become a nuisance and not a delight, but where would one draw the line between being annoying and appreciating the comments even if the Avatar was semi-self-serving or even blatantly self-aggrandizing like mine? Can “Akismet for Avatars” and “The Avatar Ad Network” be far behind?
Blogmasters have been making money on their commenters for a long time now with Advertising revenue that gets “played” every time a popular page with all those luscious comments is viewed by eager reader eyes. Isn’t it about time the “professional commenter” is able to independently bite into the blog revenue pie with an Advertising Avatar? I’m sure I’ll be tempted to turn off Avatars here after everyone reads this and resets their Avatars to line their own pockets… but I have books to sell…