hot dogs, spambots, and japanese comics 08.24.2005, 1:25 PM
Deleting my way through our daily torrent of spam, I came across a bizarre item that is, if not interesting, at least slightly amusing. The MSN-run site for one of Japan's major newspapers, Mainichi Daily News, trackbacked to my post from yesterday about japanese cell phone comics. They planted a link to a story about a part-time employee at a Nathan's Hot Dog stand in a popular Japanese comics market. Apparently, the employee made some disparaging comments on his personal blog about obsessed comic book fans (known as "otakus"), creating a small uproar and leading Nathan's Japan franchisees to issue a public apology.
Unless this is all some joke (it can be hard to tell), they seem to have found my post based on the keywords "japan" and "comics." Whether it was a robot scouring the web or a Japanese editorial sub-sub with poor english, I'm not sure. But it's disturbing that a major newspaper might be resorting to spam to promote itself. That's usually the province of online poker and penis enlargement (oh god, the robots just perked up, I'm sure).
In a way, the trackback does indirectly support my post, in so far as the Nathan's Hot Dog incident underscores the significance of comics in Japanese culture. But, c'mon Mainichi...
Posted by ben vershbow at August 24, 2005 01:25 PM