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  1. #1
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Thumbs down GRRRRRRR - Please let me block the noise. - GRRRRRRR
    Logged in late this morning (10-ish) and saw a lot of new posts. One was a real answer to a (lame) question and the others were NOISE. I want to BLOCK/IGNORE (or whatever) Affilired and four or five other sub-forums that are little more than twitter-like posts with ZERO engagement.
    But the system will not let me!

    It may be just me being grumpy today - but consider that this also may be a reason for lack of engagement here at ABW - so many "noise" posts with no engagement. When people see "Today's Posts" that look like this they may (unlike stupid ol' me) just quietly go away.

    abw-affilired-lists-grrrr-web.jpg

    • The first post is a nice answer given by Witzer to a very short question by a newbie.
    • The next three are announcements by Affilired - in which I have ZERO interest because, even though I am in the hotels vertical, I do not use any of their products because they have none in my niche markets. (How's that for a run-on sentence?)
    • The next one is a spammer from yesterday with a "reply" today by a newbie with a one-liner intro - that received no response.
    • The next one is a plain announcement (with no engagement) from a Chinese merchant whom I do not use.
    • The next three are again Affilired - again with zero engagement.


    With only one valid response to a page full of new posts is it any wonder I closed my browser and went outside to mow the lawn.

    I really, really need a way to block Affilired and the other few "noise posters" who do little more than use ABW as a Twitter feed.

    While Affilired and BangGood may not have the savvy to create engaging conversation, the other posters do. They are intelligent folks with a lot of industry knowledge but do nothing to make their own sub-forums engaging. I can't imagine why that is the case because they say they want to see this place grow.

    Look at that screen shot I just posted. Why would someone new, with serious industry experience, even want to become involved - when they see nothing there????? Would that attract a new advertiser? Should it?

    A couple years back when Jill and I had the GirlyChecks forum we gave tutorials, we presented product highlights, we provided lists of best sellers, we asked for (and received) opinions), we did silly things (and people responded), we ran contests (with cash prizes - giving away nearly $1000 that one year), we shared personal pictures, we involved people from ABW with our exhibits at two Affiliate Summits --- and WE HAD ENGAGEMENT. In addition to the prize money, we spent $2500 (we were Inet's first cash customer) for that year of exposure and we were determined to make it worthwhile. Do we see anything at all like that any more? No - we just see myriad posts that are simply Twitter-like announcements - and little else.

    Back then there were a couple of other engaging sub-forums. Decorative Ceiling Tiles was also quite engaging. In fact, Milan and I did some cross-posting engagement activities. Unfortunately he got chased away. Greg Hoffman Consulting used to be quite engaging but they now have other channels they use (facebook, blog, email, phone) and I can see why. There is little left here to attract serious affiliate marketers.

    Then there was the addition of the "Adult" sub-forum. I'm still not sure of the reasoning except that it was likely an effort to help build traffic. It didn't attract much traffic and that is now nearly dead. What it did do was chase some good folks away.

    Can there be a change to make the existing sub-forums more exciting and engaging. Certainly. Will it help bring ABW back to an interesting level of activity? Can it? Maybe yes, maybe no. Unfortunately, I doubt we'll see any changes to find out. Why? Because this one post by a grumpy old man will just be glossed over and status-quo will remain.

    Geeze - I just posted more than I have in a long time. This really should be on a marketing blog where "I" can reap some benefit of original content and build some engagement for me. But...I thought I'd give it one shot here.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.


  2. #2
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    Bill - Even though, I agree that some of these threads are rather annoying and there should be a way to block/ignore them. I don't agree that members aren't participating because of them. This has been going on for a very long time now. I personally think members are just fed up with all the member fighting/attacks that were going on here at ABW. AMs/OPMS/Merchants got fed up with being called out publicly on issues. Affiliates began to feel that even though they voiced their opinions regarding affiliate issue, NOTHING ever resulted from it. For all the discussions that went on regarding toolbars, affiliate tax, etc., what really changed because of those discussions? Sadly, I believe affiliates have simply taken a "Why Bother?" attitude.

    Networks do whatever they want to.
    AMs/OPMs/Merchants do whatever they want to.
    Google is out to kill us all.

    Sorry, about being so blunt but it honestly is how I feel. It's a tough industry that we are in and I feel like I'm constantly under attack. I also think many affiliates have given up the fight and moved on to other things.
    Last edited by msladybug; July 10th, 2015 at 07:02 PM. Reason: typo


  3. #3
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    Networks do whatever they want to. - Yep
    AMs/OPMs/Merchants do whatever they want to. - Yep
    Google is out to kill us all... Yep but not exactly

    I had something similar in my signature for a while, about google killing affiliate marketing. The thing is Google is doing what's best for them. And affiliates are in its direct path. So affiliates have two choices. Either get out of Google's path(which means don't be in this line of business) or get run over. It's very difficult to survive as a full time affiliate now a days. I can't imagine how stressful that will be.

    I still do it since I like writing code, learning new technology. But I do it for fun. I have given up on the hope of ever being able to do it full time.


  4. #4
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    It seemed to me , this board was sold at the time it had started losing the momentum, and I remember posts from some of the most talented folks about this thing going nowhere. Well, we've arrived, a long time ago. I learn new tricks about AM elsewhere, posts like "Content is the king" are meaningless brainfarts. etc.
    ...skipping...
    But this place is still a bridge between merchants and affiliates.
    And I'd love to wipe out the "Introduce Yourself" section.


  5. #5
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    I couldn't agree more with all the above posts, and thanks Bill for speaking out what I have been thinking about saying for quite a while.

    We are losing more and more old and talented members here at ABW. I'm not sure what or who chased them away, or they just simply fed up or gave up...but one thing I know is that is I miss them a lot and wish someday they will think of this place where many of us learned, shared and grew our affiliate skills, and come back to rejoin us. We've built this forum with our content contribution, I don't want to see it fade away and vanish into thin air. The ABW is not what it used to be, but at least we still have a place to voice our opinion(matter or not) and support each other.

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  7. #6
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Should this thread go to the Inner Circle and we hash this out again?

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    Should this thread go to the Inner Circle and we hash this out again?
    I see no reason to move it to the IC but it is Bill's thread so he needs to be the one to say where he wants it to be. I'm okay with it if he wants it moved.

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  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    Should this thread go to the Inner Circle and we hash this out again?
    I think it should stay where it is unless Bill want it moved. Nothing secret about it to be moved to Inner Circle.

    Plus, I believe some old members might still come here and read posts without login in. I want them to know that they are missed dearly, and I hope they will be back and re-join us soon.

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  12. #9
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Awaiting Bill's response to move or not to move - it's up to him. If no, we can start a separate IC thread.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, theres no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  13. #10
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    Nothing sensitive here. We all know ABW is struggling. We can turn it around only if we are self critical and discuss openly what may be ailing ABW.

    I also like the suggestion that the 'introduce yourself' thread may be past its prime. Let's get rid of it. It may be a bottleneck for the new members. BTW I never introduced myself here. So nobody here knows if I have dogs or cats or a wife or all of them:-). But what does that have to do with affiliate marketing.

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  15. #11
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    I know the Intro thread can be a pain much of the time, but I still like it for the "real" new members and getting a bit of insight into what makes them tick.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, theres no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  16. #12
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Bill would like it to stay where it is so it will remain in the Midnight Cafe.

    But a "complementary" thread in the IC would be fine to start.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, theres no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  17. #13
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Feel free to extend a similar discussion to the Inner Circle - where some of the seasoned members may wish to be a bit more critical. I know I might say more there. However, by having this in the Midnight Cafe I was hoping some of the newer members might add some perception (as newbies) to what I wrote about as being a problem with attracting new blood.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  18. #14
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Sounds like this is meant to stay public, not a problem. I too recognize that there is a lot of advertising going on here which is what pays for ABW to stay a community. I have seen other iNet properties turn into AdSense fodder when their community aspect eroded away. I just ignore the advertising for the most part as I do on other web properties I frequent but understand the comment about noise to content ratio. It would be nice if we could tune the forums we want to see and suppress those we don't but vBulletin doesn't have that functionality. I asked about that when I was Admin.

    As for the Introduce Yourself I largely ignore that as well unless I see several posts in a thread then I bother to read it. Just like reading the paper I skim the articles, read what interests me and the same with the advertisements. Why is ABW any different and why is everyone so touchy. True we had better content when Haiko was here but that was when things were newer and fresher. Now AM is matured and many of those old conversations don't matter any more. This is still the place where affiliates can voice their opinions anonymously without hesitation, not too many places where you can do that anymore. ABW is what we make of it and we still are piloting the ship.

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  20. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    True we had better content when Haiko was here but that was when things were newer and fresher. Now AM is matured and many of those old conversations don't matter any more. This is still the place where affiliates can voice their opinions anonymously without hesitation, not too many places where you can do that anymore. ABW is what we make of it and we still are piloting the ship.
    I agree....It is called evolution. The things that we talked about in the old days have changed. We were all newbies that were learning and growing as a group. There is a whole different set of things to discuss today.
    Also consider that a lot of the "old folks" have evolved. Many who were pioneers in the "affiliate marketing'" business are now "affiliate managers" with new views on the affiliate business.
    You must climb this mountain. There is no elevator. ---- Don't stick your finger in the liquid nitrogen.
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  21. #16
    ABW Ambassador VampireSkunk's Avatar
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    I suspect many of the old brigade have given up and left the industry altogether. It sure isn't getting easier.

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  23. #17
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VampireSkunk View Post
    I suspect many of the old brigade have given up and left the industry altogether. It sure isn't getting easier.
    I don't think that's the case.

    I am still in touch with many of that "old brigade" on a regular basis. Many of us are "friends" on Facebook (as you and I are) and I also exchange email with some and actually talk with others (had an hour long talk with Donuts a few weeks ago). I even see a few on a semi-regular basis. (If I am at our Baltimore house on the last Tuesday of any month I attend the Baltimore Affiliate Marketers' Meetup, which continued after the Mini-Affiliate Summit meetups stopped. Three of those attendees are regulars who used to post here. Another former regular here spends the summer at our beach house (my daughter). Two others visit here from time to time. I still make sales for a company that used to have a decorative ceiling tiles sub-forum here and I continue to talk photography with two others that had another sub-forum here. ETC.

    No, the folks are still "out there" - they are just not "here" any longer.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  25. #18
    Travel Performance Agency AffiliRed Platform's Avatar
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    Hi there,

    Due to allusions to AffiliRed, we would like to answer to your complains. Yes, AffiliRed has a sub forum where we post what we consider is useful for users to monetize their site. If this is noisy, disruptive or irritating for some users we apologise but as far as we know we are not breaking any rule by posting in our own sub-forum.
    We manage more than 140 Travel Programs and therefore we have tons of creatives and random information that we consider relevant for our current partners and potential ones.
    Bill, it is a shame that being in the hotel vertical you aren't interested in our products at all. What's your niche? Engagement works both sides, and maybe this is the right time to get in touch and see if we can do anything for your site?
    And again, if we are talking about engagement, we have previously posted contests and even posted questions, but replies so far have been very little.
    Yes, we do agree that we should try to create engaging conversations and we will try harder from now on, but as it is mentioned in the threads, but think forums have evolved to something more complicated. We are more guys in the forum, there are more merchants, more technologies, more newbies, and we are all trying to do our best.
    If there's something it can be do better, it is ok to complain but...why don't suggest what's best too?

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  27. #19
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    @Affilired - I was not complaining about you specifically. I was complaining about the many sub-forums that do nothing other than Twitter-like announcement streams. I just as easily could have listed Affiliate Window or Hamrick.biz because I believe they, too, are keeping serious affiliate marketers from becoming involved at ABW. I simply want to BLOCK the sub-forums in which I have no interest. I don't know you. personally, but I do know that the poeple who run those forums have the ability to operate an engaging forum - if they really want to see this place regain some stature as the place for affiliates to interact.

    as far as we know we are not breaking any rule by posting in our own sub-forum
    You certainly we not breaking any rule by doing what you do. If you are happy spending a lot of $$$ for a few eyeballs on your announcements that is entirely your right to do so.

    Bill, it is a shame that being in the hotel vertical you aren't interested in our products at all. What's your niche?
    I basically work Ocean City, and Baltimore, MD - using white label programs through Priceline and Expedia (Hotels.com). I have been producing with Hotels.com back to the early days (March, 2000) with TravelNow.com. I have met with your organization at Affiliate Summit(s) and you really don't have many properties in my niche areas. I have been with Expedia and Priceline for so long I am at well advanced commission levels and it would "hurt" to add another.

    why don't suggest what's best too
    I believe I did provide some examples in my original post.
    Last edited by Bill; July 28th, 2015 at 07:02 PM. Reason: Typo correction...
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  29. #20
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    BTW - I have found a way to effectively block the sub-forums that I don't want to see. It's actually quite easy to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. I simply don't come here as often. If I'm not here I don't see the chaff - and, sadly, there is very little wheat any more.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  30. #21
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    Bill, glad you were able to figure out how to block those forums you had no interest in.

    I'm guess, I must be different as it doesn't bother me to see threads about things I'm not interested in. I just give a quick glance at the thread titles and move on. I kind of feel if businesses are paying to have a forum here they should be able to post threads (within ABW guidelines) they want to. Sure, I might not look at them but on occasion one might peak my interest enough to click on it. Now don't get me wrong, I would love to see more topic and engaging threads being posted. The truth is, if businesses aren't paying for forums and ads here, ABW would disappear quickly because profit is the end game with any business venture.

    With all that said, I would encourage anyone with a forum here to really take the time to reach out to affiliates with topics that will draw affiliates into your forum. I would love to see more niche merchant threads. For example, if a merchant specializes in certain merchandise then tell more about them in the threads. Don't just say they are having a Big Sale. What do they sale? Finding merchants on networks isn't always that easy as descriptions, keywords are limited or categorized too much. So if you are just listing Big Sale, 20 % Off type of threads you are really just targeting affiliates already a member of the program. That type of info should be sent by email to affiliates. You are missing affiliates that might be interested in joining a program. A big sale tells them nothing about the affiliate program.

    Another idea would be to post when merchants increase commissions. Affiliates are always interested in merchants that may be more affiliate friendly.

    Sorry rambling on here - Just my 2 cents for what it's worth...


  31. #22
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I chose a long time ago to do my posting on the forum and not my sub forum. My sub forum is to announce my merchant's promotions to my existing and potential affiliates and for that I solely use it.

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