The News Corp.-owned Times of London has been paying a search-engine optimizer to do the dirty work of shilling Times Online stories to social media sites like Mahalo, StumbleUpon, and MetaFilter. We can't believe it either -- that The Times is actually paying an outside firm to submit stories. My boss makes me do it the hard way.
Everybody does this, tag their own material, submit to Slashdot, Digg their clients; but most of us have enough pride to do it openly. Flacking is honorable work, never apologize for it.