About 70 colleagues, scattered across two floors of an Arlington high-rise, spend eight hours a day doing much of the same. Some of them are also playing video games, watching movies and cruising around MySpace.That’s exactly what the clients of New Media Strategies, an online marketing company, pay the employees to do. Companies ranging from movie studios and television networks to automakers and burger chains hire these professional Web surfers to scour the Internet for any mention of their brands. Over the past few years, the “online analysts” have helped the companies track their reputations, found ways to get their products noticed and joined online conversations to help steer them the way clients want them to go.
More recently, as the explosion of blogs, social networks and video-sharing sites has driven big companies to recognize the role of Internet image in protecting their bottom lines, traditional media companies and private investors are seeking to buy Web-savvy start-ups that have a toehold in cyberspace.
Read this article from the Washington Post