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  1. #1
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    While I have read much, if not all, of the posts regarding Industry Standards; the upcoming meeting; the incredible number of suggestions, and the proposed and accepted participants - I would like to add my two-cents to this topic if I may.

    First of all, are the results of this meeting going to indeed define all standards for our neophyte affiliate network marketing industry; or, are they simply going to be indicative and/or binding to restrict the parasitic community to rules which may or may not follow legal protocol.

    You know, something Hamlet might say as, "a custom more honored in the breach than the observance".

    Althought I fully support the idea of this particular meeting, I also believe (as I have stated more than once) that the principals of this meeting must indeed be decision-makers. So far, the affiliate network providers who supposedly have agreed to attend are BeFree, LinkShare and Performics. I have spoken to Stephen Messer at LinkShare, and know that he is going to be in attendance, but will Jamie Croughamel of Performics attend? (he's the CEO BTW) Will Stephen Joseph from BeFree attend (please folks, Blair Heavey has no authority whatsoever, and Gordon is floating on that great Board of Directors' Parachute in the sky).

    As for CJ, so far I haven't read a single thing that indicates they plan to attend at all. If they do; and although from what I understand, Todd Crawford's family is heavily invested in the company, he is the wrong person to attend (once again, my humble opinion), as he reports to Jeff Pullen, President of CJ.

    Get the point? Only decision-makers so that once it is over, a unified and decisive document or proclamation is created and presented to the affiliate and merchant community at large.

    Now (and I'm sorry to be so damned long-winded), as for the proposed merchant and affiliate attendees... The chances of disorder to the extreme are more than simply probable, they are an absolute.

    For instance, Shawn with Overstock has worked very hard here to help get this thing going, but the fact of the matter is that Overstock derives a great deal of income from Morpheus. That is a fact. Therefore, either Morpheus will follow all dictates from this meeting as they pertain to any sort of parasite action (which frankly is a probablism), or Overstock will have to boot them from the ranks of affiliates should they follow the same dictates.

    On the affiliate side; and I apologize Haiko for this comment, but why are you even contemplating attending this event unless it is as an independent reporter for ABW? I have seen many propose you as an attendee, and to your credit, I have not seen you step up and accept as of yet, but I truly believe that it makes little sense to have you there unless, as I say, you are representing your 5900+ members as a reporter of the factual happenings at the event.

    Should we have affiliate representation? You bet we should. But who(m)??? My recommendation would be Heyder. I don't personally know him, but I respect his opinion and his usual good judgement.

    All these words come down to a simple point. Unless something is done, and done by the right parties, we might as well all go to bed early and start using the internet as a research tool again instead of a profitable enterprise.

    Obstinatedon

    You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

    Mahatma Gandhi

  2. #2
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    There are any number of affiliates that could serve admirably at attending this meeting. And I would hope that more than one has the opportunity. However, Haiko is certainly qualified, and I feel his presence is vital.

    His opinion carries a tremendous amount of weight with the members who joined this board, and, while we are an independant lot, I think that most of the members here feel that they can trust him to represent their interests and needs competently and fairly.

    Somewhere, I am sure, the Gods of War are laughing.

  3. #3
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    Hi!
    I agree with your thoughts that decision makers should be the ones attending the meeting. What I am puzzled about is this

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> On the affiliate side; and I apologize Haiko for this comment, but why are you even contemplating attending this event unless it is as an independent reporter for ABW? I have seen many propose you as an attendee, and to your credit, I have not seen you step up and accept as of yet, but I truly believe that it makes little sense to have you there unless, as I say, you are representing your 5900+ members as a reporter of the factual happenings at the event.

    Should we have affiliate representation? You bet we should. But who(m)??? My recommendation would be Heyder. I don't personally know him, but I respect his opinion and his usual good judgment. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    In one breath you question why Haiko would go and the next you agree to affiliate representation. Haiko is our affiliate representative and an affiliate as well. (That is if he is willing to go.) So why are you giving him the title of a just a reporter. Are you inferring that the networks will not let Haiko speak? Why would it make little sense for him to be there? I also agree with you judgment on Heyder and I can think of a few others as well.
    Just looking for some clarification.
    Cazzie

  4. #4
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    Hello Elbowcreek & Cazzie...

    First of all, I want to make a declarative statement that I also think the world of Haiko. He and I have had numerous conversations on this board, and I think he has done a world of good by bringing all of us together here. As a matter of fact, I feel uncomfortable speaking of him in the third person here, but I will explain myself as you have asked.

    That said, I feel that since Haiko is the leader, indeed the owner, of ABW; a online community that consists of affiliates, merchants, and even network providers - he would be better served himself as a representative of this body as opposed to being a representative of a singular part of the whole - the affiliates.

    Haiko's voice in this forum has at times been the voice of all three; and therefore, I think his presence at an Industry Standards meeting should also represent the overall body politic as opposed to being affiliate specific.

    If you think I was taking a jab at Haiko, you are gravely mistaken.

    Obstinatedon

    [edited by Obstinatedon because of fat fingers]

    You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

    Mahatma Gandhi

  5. #5
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Obstinatedon,

    After reading your post, it kind of seems to me that maybe this should have been posted under the "An Industry Standard is Needed" thread where it was asked there for suggestions. I only say this because all though a bit lenghty, the post appears to boil down to who you think should be there. Which is fine and you should express your opinion. It's just that there is now so much info all over the place, and it will help everyone if posts can start being more on topic and in threads that already exist whenever possible. Then something important doesn't get overlooked. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    Let me see if I got this right in the condensed version: Only the decision makers should be there so that a set of standards that has substance and is decisive can be formulated and then passed out to the merchants and affiliates to for them to adhered to. Now in order to avoid total chaos at the meetings, because I suppose things will get too disruptive and nothing accomplished, there should be no merchants or affiliates. Well at least Haiko for the affilate representation, but Heyder is ok. Even though he is an affiliate and not a decision maker. No offense Heyder. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

    Hmmm. That kind of sounds like a network meeting and not an "industry" meeting. You are going to have to do some more selling on this suggestion before I'm buying it. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] Some more rationale behind your suggestions here might be helpful. I personally vote for all parties being involved. If things in that meeting aren't a bit chaotic, then no true reform or change has happened. Suggesting that only representatives from one frame of reference (the networks) be present and formulate the standard is very dangerous.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Haiko's voice in this forum has at times been the voice of all three; and therefore, I think his presence at an Industry Standards meeting should also represent the overall body politic as opposed to being affiliate specific.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    But isn't that exactly why he should be there? A standard will only have a chance of surviving and truly making a difference if it addresses all party's conerns and interests in a fair and equatable fashion. Who else has the ability to see the issues from all sides and angles since he has been the voice of all three? I saw things in his proposal that addressed issues of concern of all the parties. It even had something in there for the parasite's and a way for them to continue to generate revenue (as long as they play by the rules). And Haiko took some heat by some affiliates for even having that in there. Because of his unique perspective, it would be a terrible waste for him not to be there. Call him a "consultant" if you don't like him being an "affiliate representative."

    [edited to add:

    Oops, sorry. I see that you did these same basic thoughts a few days ago in the Industry Standard thread. Guess it was just an emphasis thing. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

    Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies

  6. #6
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    It would be a wonderful thing if the active posters here could send me a list of people (3-5) that will act as the voice of the affiliates.

    This will require flying - possibly to NYC, or where ever the meeting will be held.

    I only ask because I don't think I should decide on the 3-5 affiliates that will act as the affiliate's voice. I would rather you all come to some sort of a consensus...

    Shawn Schwegman
    Overstock.com
    801-947-3119
    shawn@overstock.com

  7. #7
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    I am a little unclear about what is to happen at this conference.

    For instance, are there going to be a series of resolutions to be voted on? If so how are votes apportioned?

    And the networks, whose interests are largely the same... how many votes do they get each?

    And how about those whose activities are widely considered illegal?

    Do they get to vote? What about the status of any agreement reached if they subsequently get sent to prison?

    You see, the law expects you to come to it with clean hands... and should there be some kind of legal dispute in the fullness of time...

    Well. I'm sure I don't have to spell it out.


    Anyway, what with all of these interests at work, I'm not sure 5 affiliates are enough representation if it is one person one vote. After all there are 5000 affiliates here.

    Now if the networks were to agree on one person to represent them, the affiliates were to agree on one person to represent them and a third person both parties agreed upon had the casting vote..

    Well, I'd have far more confidence in an arrangement like that.


    I

    [This message was edited by Icicle on October 02, 2002 at 08:35 PM.]

  8. #8
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    BLFH...

    You are right, I should have posted this in another thread - I apologized to Haiko this morning for that very thing.

    Let me respond to a couple of your statements please.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Now in order to avoid total chaos at the meetings, because I suppose things will get too disruptive and nothing accomplished, there should be no merchants or affiliates. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    That is not at all what I said, nor frankly what I meant at all. What I said was, "...as for the proposed merchant and affiliate attendees... The chances of disorder to the extreme are more than simply probable, they are an absolute."

    Count on it! But, that doesn't mean that I don't think either merchants or affiliates should be there. As a matter of fact, merchant representatives MUST be there as they are part and parcel of the end result - booting the parasites from their programs, if indeed they are parasites and not simply assumed to be due to past history.

    Affiliates should be there as a collective voice of the abused.

    Factually however, many merchants have a very high revenue stake with some of the so-called parasites, and will definitely be working toward getting them to act responsibly so that they can continue to drive revenue. Thus the disorder when the affiliates will want them out at all cost.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>That kind of sounds like a network meeting and not an "industry" meeting. You are going to have to do some more selling on this suggestion before I'm buying it. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The networks will have to be the gatekeepers, as indeed they are now. They are not the network police, as many would have them be however.

    LinkShare is the only one of the networks to actually put something to paper that basically says (paraphrasing of course), "don't steal, or you're out". The merchants will have to take the same stand. BeFree has made a proposal, but since they have no agreement with the affiliates, that proposal must rely upon trust. Doesn't do it for me.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Suggesting that only representatives from one frame of reference (the networks) be present and formulate the standard is very dangerous.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I agree totally, and never even remotely made that suggestion.

    Best,

    Obstinatedon

    [edited by Obstiantedon due to lack of sleep]

    You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

    Mahatma Gandhi

  9. #9
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    I believe it's incredibly important to have at least one (preferably 2) lawyers specifically versed in intellectual property and internet law present at the meeting, to "vet" the discussion and the proposals made by the affiliate networks to see if they stay within the bounds of law.

    Frankly, if such legal representation is not available I can see a situation arising where the networks say "well, this is what we've decided is OK" and then a code of conduct is voted into place that continues to push the boundaries of what is legal on the Web, just like the current parasitic activities do.

    With lawyers present, the discussions will need perforce to stay on pragmatic solutions that remain within the bounds of law - and this can only be a GOOD thing for affiliates!

  10. #10
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    >Affiliates should be there as a collective voice of the abused.

    If that was the case we'd send a talking football.

    I want an intellectual property lawyer as my voice.


    I

  11. #11
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    Geez Icicle...

    Have you ever been in a room full of lawyers?

    Funerals are more productive!

    Obstinatedon

    You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

    Mahatma Gandhi

  12. #12
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I want an intellectual property lawyer as my voice. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    A very, very, very smart intellectual lawyer!

  13. #13
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    Obstinatedon,

    >Have you ever been in a room full of lawyers?

    Yes. Some of my best friends are barristers (way more fun than solicitors). Anyway Steve Messer from Linkshare is a lawyer. How is he by the way?


    >Funerals are more productive!

    Well yes. Even when you factor in the cost of the hit-man.

    But I was hoping to keep this civilized. So in the first instance I want an intellectual property lawyer. [edited by Haiko]

    One who knows about federal copyright violations.


    I

    [This message was edited by Haiko on October 02, 2002 at 09:41 PM.]

    [This message was edited by Icicle on October 02, 2002 at 10:04 PM.]

  14. #14
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    Obstinatedon

    Sorry if I didn't understand your post. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] I got the overall impression after reading it that what you were advocating was basically representation of only the networks. I was just making the mental jumps from one point to the next, but glad to hear I must have just slipped and landed on my backside somewhere along the way.

    It went something kind of like this: need the decisionmakers of the networks --> strong and decisive document to give to merchants and affiliates --> merchant and affiliates present = disorder an absolute (side bar: this may be where I slipped and fell. Were you saying that with the merchants and affiliates already recommended that disorder was an absolute and not just the fact that any merchant or affiliate was present? Just now finally kind of grasp that, if that is what you meant. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] ) --> Shawn shouldn't be there (I really wasn't sure what that whole paragraph was getting at. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif[/img] ) --> Haiko shouldn't be there --> Heyder's cool, he should be there.

    Glad to hear you don't think the meeting should be weighted towards anyone party. But since you didn't mention it, who do you think should be representing the merchant's if not the one's already suggested?

    Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies

  15. #15
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    Anyone who can't see that clued-in lawyers working to ensure that IP laws aren't being broken have an important role to play at this kind of meeting should perhaps think about trading in their rose-tinted spectacles for some strong reading glasses [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  16. #16
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    BFLH...

    Once again, I never indicated that Shawn should not be there. My example of Shawn, Overstock and Morpheus is one that many merchants are stuck with. I never indicated that Haiko should not be there - I only stated that I thought his roll should not be restricted to that of affiliate representative.

    Icicle...

    I spoke with Stephen yesterday. He appears to be fine.

    I stand by the fact that I would much rather be in a tank full of sharks than a room full of lawyers working on agreement language.

    Obstinatedon

    You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

    Mahatma Gandhi

  17. #17
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    Can WE just get to the point of sending our best at this point? Time is running out and this will NOT be the last/final meeting anyway. Get our best in there to feel the waters and to better prepare for upcoming meetings.

    IF there's a lawyer on board the ABW, he/she would have already stepped forward to offer free/paid services, yes/no?

    So . . what do you say? I say LET'S GO~!

  18. #18
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    No need for us to get lawyers to protect our commissions from theftware and spyware applications. The big legal guns already have the perps and their cohorts in their sites. First comes the closing down of the spammers and the merchant's fined who monitize the Opt-out and UCE e-mail marketers. Next comes the P2P networks getting lunched and closed down for willfully enabling Child porn file sharing and copywrite music theft. That also will direct the Attorney Generals to look at who monitizes these P2P rascals with spyware amd Adarez programs.

    How do the big legal guns work? Slow and sure! The below named Attorney General and his gift child DA of NYC got $120 million fine from Meryl Lunch and more from shady analysts ..drained the bank account of spammer Monsterhut and is fixing to hurt the big Duper e-mail marketers too. They mean to carve a name for themselves over the plague the internet con-men, spammers and Advertising industry's approach to hijacking the tax paying consumers systems.

    John Soat -Informationweek
    http://www.informationweek.com/story/IWK20020830S0038

    "DoubleClick, the embattled Web marketer, last week settled the last major legal action against it, a 30-month investigation by 10 states, led by the New York Attorney General's Office. DoubleClick promised to give consumers more information about how and where it collects and shares online data and agreed to pay the states $450,000 to cover investigative costs and consumer education. The agreement "will not change the services DoubleClick performs for its clients," the company said in a statement. DoubleClick (which has a business relationship with InformationWeek) had already agreed to disclosure rules and paid $1.8 million in May to settle a similar Federal Trade Commission lawsuit. "DoubleClick is to be commended for its cooperation in setting an industry standard for promoting consumer privacy in the data collection and tracking taking place across networked Web sites," New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said. Still, privacy advocates weren't satisfied. Jason Catlett, president of Junkbusters, says the settlement includes significant concessions from DoubleClick in the area of disclosure but comes up short in addressing how the marketer collects data."


    Remember that name ..Elliot Spitzer ..before he's done the networks -merchants and BHO "Affiliate Application" providers will know they can't circumvent existing laws just because the thievery and fraud happens online in the Wild Wild West. AOL -Earthlink and MSN have heard the footsteps load and clear and are immediately closing down all gorrila Ad-nausium tactics from Pop-ups to shopping bars.

    WebMaster Mike

  19. #19
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    YES!!!

    the feds always jump in when the big money boys start in-fighting.

    remember microsoft vs. sun, netscape, intel, etc?

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