Saturday, December 03, 2005

Who's leaving comments about Paul English's IVR cheat sheet?

I noticed that someone named "Kate" had left a comment on my second post about Paul English's IVR Cheat Sheet. Here's the comment:

Paul English makes some great points. I saw his piece on ABC World News Tonight and he's bringing to light that most companies operating in the IVR space have shoddy systems. There are a couple companies in the IVR industry trying to change things, however, with next generation systems that link to CRM systems. has a great web-based system that allows small businesses to create IVR systems that are even more sophisticated than what the big boys are using. My Dad uses the system for his online ebay store selling vintage posters and autographed baseballs. He's able to provide far better customer service using's system than he would ever be able to provide on his own.

Imagine my surprise when I saw that Jeremy Wagstaff had received exactly the same comment on his post about Paul English's Cheat Sheet. From Jeremy's post:

That’s one well-written comment. I was impressed (as I imagine, would be Not only can they be linked with the little guy (and who wants to bash the little guy?) but they get to bash some of their competitors too). But not being cynical about the posting, I allowed it through and emailed ‘Kate’ with a request to interview her father. If true, it’s a valid point and one to explore.

What I didn’t expect was for the email to bounce. Not that unusual, especially with comment spam, but not when the given name (‘Kate’) jibes with the email address (‘’). Why go to the trouble of putting a believable fake email address, especially when you presumably would be quite happy if someone followed up and got a bit of publicity for your eBay-selling dad? Baffled, I checked the IP address where the comment came from: a Verizon address in Washington DC. Not, coincidentally, that far from HQ in McLean, Virginia.

I wish I could say my sleuthing took me further. But I could find no Kate Robins in the phone book, no sign of someone with that Yahoo address on Google, or anyone on eBay who might be her dad (not that surprising; itÂ’s a big place). IÂ’ll keep looking, but if anyone knows Kate Robins, her dad, or could shed any light on this, IÂ’d love to hear from them. IÂ’d hate to think that my blog is being used by anonymous shills to do damage limitation exercises for the IVR/CRM industry. On the other hand, if Kate does exist and just mistyped her email address, IÂ’d love to follow up the angle she suggests.

Ok, so I did a little "sleuthing" of my own. Here's Kate's Blogger profile -- not much info there except for the fact that she's been a member since December 0f 2005; how conincidental. I also noticed on Google that if you search "Paul English", is the first sponsored result -- interesting also.

Anyone else received a comment from the mysterious Kate? Let's see if we can figure out who this is so that Jeremy can interview her.

To say what everyone's thinking: It would be very interesting (thoughsurprisingnot suprirsing)
to find that this is something is doing as a marketing effort to drive people to their product. Quite frankly, I don't really care who leaves comments on my blog, but fess up to what you are doing instead of trying to disguise it.

If this was a ploy by, consider yourselves busted.


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