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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager frankodelic's Avatar
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    Brian,

    I LOVE, that's capital L-O-V-E, that a merchant can now see their premier affiliates ABW username alongside their account info with SAS. That makes a lot of sense and I'm very happy to see you've added that info.



    Frank
    UrbanScooters.com
    UrbanScooters.com Affiliate Program

  2. #2
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Brian's the Man!

    Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli


  3. #3
    affiliate emeritus missdonna's Avatar
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    For some reason that makes me feel uneasy. I guess because everyone's so careful to stay anonymous here.

  4. #4
    Full Member
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    "For some reason that makes me feel uneasy"
    Same here, that's the only reason I won't sign up.

    "It's your foot, you can shoot it if you want to." ~ Me

  5. #5
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    ... a network can't track ROI of being on a particular baord?

    Privacy policies are in place to protect identities and accounts ... I'm

    Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli


  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador
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    I think some people might be uneasy because a few merchants don't always follow their own privacy policies.

    "Nothing focuses the mind better than the constant sight of a competitor who wants to wipe you off the map."
    --Wayne Calloway

  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager frankodelic's Avatar
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    Those who wish to remain anonymous still can. Only memebers signed to Premier status with SAS display their ABW username. Whether those with Premier status can select their ABW username not be displayed... we'll have to check with Brian on that.

    Personally, I prefer to have more than an anonymous relationship with the affiliates I do business with. This feature allows for more of a relationship and I think it's great. My time here on this board has made me aware of the privacy concerns of affiliates. UrbanScooters.com will be extra careful to honor the privacy of all affiliates.

    Frank
    UrbanScooters.com
    UrbanScooters.com Affiliate Program

  8. #8
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Well, I think the merchants are supposed to be screened and demonstrate a certain amount of integrity before being allowed Premier status with SAS. So, I would hope they are trustworthy. Isn't that what Premier status is about?

    The Wolf Credo: Respect the elders. Teach the young. Cooperate with the pack. Play when you can. Hunt when you must. Rest in between. Share your affections. Voice your feelings. Leave your mark.

  9. #9
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    "Personally, I prefer to have more than an anonymous relationship with the affiliates I do business with."

    There are other ways to get know me without having to have my user name, like e-mail, phone, regular mail...etc

    Besides what is the reason for abw user name requirements to get Premier status?

    "It's your foot, you can shoot it if you want to." ~ Me

  10. #10
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    quote:
    Besides what is the reason for abw user name requirements to get Premier status?



    Brian talked about it here:
    http://abw.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x?a=tpc&...9&m=8146008413 a thread that is stickied to the top of the SAS forum. Since it is part of the requiredment of requesting Premier status, I don't see why anyone would be surprised that merchants can access the info. It's not required for regular registration at SAS, just that particular program. I suppose if you don't want merchants to be able to connect you with your ABW screen name, then you don't have to participate in that program. It's just something that SAS has added to facilitate more productive and profitable relationships between affs and merchants. My hats off to Brian for implementing it and to the merchants who are participating.

    It's Your Money. You earned it. What are you going to do to make sure you get to keep it?

  11. #11
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I don't like it either. Bluntly, I don't want to have to worry that MerchantX may not like what I have posted! I want my performance as an affiliate to be considered seperately from my postings.

    AMs who normally seem very reasonable can show themselves to be rash hotheads when their programs are posted against. Personally I'm not willing to trust someone else's judgement in who gets to see which account is behind the screen name. I remember one merchant in particular--American BLIND--where the AM came here in full flames...and reportedly was acting VERY DIFFERENT from the way he would in other places/forums! If a judgement was made prior to that incident, he probably would have been described as a "level-headed guy"...yet with what was fairly slight provocation (compared to some of the flames directed at other merchants by ABW), he proceeded to flame and divulge private info about a member.

    I don't want MY account in the way of someone ELSE'S possible misjudgements about the stability/reasonability of a merchant or their AM! Nothing against Brian but he is NOT GOD and as a mortal there is no way he can *guarantee* that there aren't any jerks in that program.

    My second objection is the general privacy matter. I say things here that I wouldn't say if I thought most merchants knew which account was mine. Things like how sales have been, which categories are stinkers, and which program is about to get canned. And I don't want other merchants, who may not agree with my reasons for ripping the links of MerchantX, are in the unsaleable category, or are just nosy as to how sales are overall, to be matching up that info.

    ~Revenue is King

  12. #12
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    If CJ or any of the other networks had tried this, I would absolutely raise the roof. Now, I'm not secretive at all about my identity, and I still pretty much post what I want when I want.

    Because this is Brian, and because it is limited to the premier program, I'll study it before commenting in depth, other than to say that, SAS already provides contact info, so when I want to email my affiliates and develop a relationship, I can do so already.

    I just don't get the intrinsic value, other than to track identities.

    Heh, if the other networks tried this, though, I think postings would decrease at ABW by a fairly large factor.

    "Nothing like a nice piece of hickory."
    -Preacher, Pale Rider

  13. #13
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    quote:
    ! I want my performance as an affiliate to be considered seperately from my postings.



    Well, that's true, too.

    The Wolf Credo: Respect the elders. Teach the young. Cooperate with the pack. Play when you can. Hunt when you must. Rest in between. Share your affections. Voice your feelings. Leave your mark.

  14. #14
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    Very interesting... Is there a partnership between abw and sas?




  15. #15
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    very interesting conversation - to be quite honest, i wasn't expecting such a discussion on this one.

    i don't have time right now to go into all the reasons why it is there, but i would like to hear some more opinions from you all - remember this applies to the PPS only - which means there are a total of 2 merchants so far, and 100 or so affiliates who are affected - not the mass of the SAS network....but please do keep the opinions coming, obviously nothing is ever set in stone...

    Thanks,

    -Brian Littleton
    -Owner/Operator Shareasale.com
    brian@shareasale.com

  16. #16
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    I'd like to add that no username/identity/URL has ever been, or will be ever be supplied by ABW to any merchant or network.

    Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli


  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador
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    I think merchant/affiliate relationships sometimes suffer the same after effects of some personal relationships. Some people get cheated on or trust has been broken and they carry that on to the next relationship. Same with merchant/affiliate relationships. Some merchants have violated affiliate privacy in the past and that just makes the affiliate very wary. Usually people here at ABW would like to remain anonymous so they can be a little more open with their posts without fear of retribution. Of course i love SAS since they are parasite free, and this is totally voluntarily to get premier status. But if the Permier status was started to facilitate more productive and profitable relationships between affs and merchants then i would suggest an alternate way then ABW usernames. I think you would have more participation from affiliates of if wasn't linked to an ABW username, maybe a phone call(not that much likely either), email correspondance etc.

    "Nothing focuses the mind better than the constant sight of a competitor who wants to wipe you off the map."
    --Wayne Calloway

  18. #18
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    On re-thinking, I would rather not have my ABW name known. I think it could really undermine communication. You may be able to tell a merchant something that they truly need to know but might take offense at here anonymously without fear of retribution. But, if they know who you are, you could hesitate and no one would be the winner.

    Also, what if they just have strong feelings about your politics or religion or some other thing that has nothing to do with business? We all hope to keep that separate from business but AMs are just human, you know.

    I think SAS should just verify that, yes, this is an ABW member and let it go at that.

    The Wolf Credo: Respect the elders. Teach the young. Cooperate with the pack. Play when you can. Hunt when you must. Rest in between. Share your affections. Voice your feelings. Leave your mark.

  19. #19
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    I do think there would be an interesting stat that could end up being developed, that is, what % of sales is generated at a site by ABW members, and what level of sales do ABW members generate versus non ABW members.

    If, for example, you could see that ABW members were XX% more effective at selling than other affiliates, that would be a nice selling point for advertising on ABW, and for merchants to promote ABW themselves.

    "Nothing like a nice piece of hickory."
    -Preacher, Pale Rider

  20. #20
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Well, that would be nice for Haiko and all but it probably wouldn't put any more money in our pockets. I am in favor of Haiko getting nicely rich but I don't know that this is a good way to go. There could be serrious problems down the line. BTW I don't think Haiko was involved in this at all.

    The Wolf Credo: Respect the elders. Teach the young. Cooperate with the pack. Play when you can. Hunt when you must. Rest in between. Share your affections. Voice your feelings. Leave your mark.

  21. #21
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    SSanf, ... Involved in what? This was an application that Premier members filled out and physically typed in the information. - this has nothing to do with Haiko.

    I have a bunch of points to make.

    It is not necessarily your ABW username that is being displayed - it is the username that you told us, along with the board that you told us (there were 4 choices) was your preferred board.

    You all have asked for and applauded when merchants have come to ABW to participate in conversation - often times it is the whole reason that a particular program is as successful as it is. We are trying to create an environment where merchants MUST participate in conversation - they must be accessible and accountable in a public forum.

    When a merchant sees yours username - it gives you - a great benefit: That relationship instantly has a level of credibility / and importance with that merchant that wasn't there before...that is your benefit. Prior to knowing your username - a merchant may (and i emphasize MAY) not have held that relationship with as much importance ESPECIALLY if you hadn't yet started promoting their program and your performance hadn't yet had a chance to speak for itself.... Think of it this way - now he/she HAS to be nice to you... By that I mean - as an example - any reversal had better come with at least a good reason, if not an explanation. Why? because now they know that if they don't - it will likely end up here on a post asking why. Why then is it better to know who you are and not just that you are a member of ABW? because it goes the other way too. What if you are doing something fishy....i know it is a stretch for a lot of you to think about ... but lets put the merchant and affiliate in a position where the merchant suspects "illegal" activity by the affiliate. is it helpful to them to know that you are just a generic ABW member? no. for one, if you are a well respected member of a community such as ABW, they are likely to treat the situation with more care - possibly opening up a dialog on a PMessage or something to discuss - basically opening a channel of communication which would not be available to them otherwise.

    Affiliates need to be accountable for their actions just the same as merchants and networks. I am here all the time to listen to all of you, and communicate the problems, benefits, changes, etc... of shareasale.com

    In order to be in the PPS - merchants must:

    1. be involved on a board - as mentioned
    2. no software apps/parasites/etc/
    3. track offline sales with phone calls, etc...
    4. maintain higher balance levels to lower the number of "temp offline" possibilities.

    That is a lot of work. I realize it isn't an unreasonable expectation of a merchant - but most merchants don't meet those requirments yet - ....we are asking them to do a lot - and I think they should get a lot in return. The merchants that will be joining the PPS are highly screened and professionals. They will be here to communicate with you about their programs...why should they not be able to communicate with you?

    I am open to this discussion - but I need to hear valid points - a lot of you have had very valid points and arguments - and I do respect those opinions very much - ... just try and stay a little bit open minded about the whole thing as a whole - it is something we are trying to create with very high standards and expectations - and it is of course voluntary.

    One thing before i go ...

    Leader,

    quote:
    My second objection is the general privacy matter. I say things here that I wouldn't say if I thought most merchants knew which account was mine. Things like how sales have been, which categories are stinkers, and which program is about to get canned. And I don't want other merchants, who may not agree with my reasons for ripping the links of MerchantX, are in the unsaleable category, or are just nosy as to how sales are overall, to be matching up that info.



    A good point...thats what I am talking about - it helps me when people see things from a different angle, and put it in words for me to see. Obviously, those merchants should not be matching info (and your username is only displayed to the merchants for which you have a premier relationship) - but like you said - I can't guarantee that.

    Thanks,

    -Brian Littleton
    -Owner/Operator Shareasale.com
    brian@shareasale.com

  22. #22
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Does anyone else have any comments or complaints about this issue - It is hard to make policy decisions without input - i've heard good and bad - i need more....otherwise its just going to stay as is...

    Thanks,

    -Brian Littleton
    -Owner/Operator Shareasale.com
    brian@shareasale.com

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador
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    I don't see a problem with the way it is set up.
    Hey if I can get more merchants to get some product links all the better. With my user name, e mail address and more it was pretty simple to figure out who I was anyway I believe.
    Them knowing who I am on the boards is no different than any other networks or merchants who can figure out who I may be.
    I figure if I keep things as close to a normal sane person on the boards there isn't anything to be alarmed with. Obviously with a new intro such as this some changes may need to be addressed in the future but so far I don't have anything setting off alarm bells.

    But of course they could just hit that reject button and kick my ass out of the premier program before I get a chance to screw it up
    ...............
    WW

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  24. #24
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Hi All

    I gotta throw my 2 cents in here.

    Now it seems to me that Affiliates want to be treated as Marketing Partners, not just as "free traffic generators" and so they should, yes you want good and proper communication with your merchants, you want to be given good support and be treated as a Merchant would treat MSN, Yahoo or any other marketing channel, and I agree, the Affiliate Marketing Channel is a huge player in all the programs I am invovled with, usually the biggest.

    BUT... if you want to be treated as partners then don't you think you owe the merchants you work with the same courtesy?

    At the end of the day SAS and LS and BF all provide Merchants with your home address and email, is it such a huge thing to ask that your Partners also be able to identify who you are on the forums that they willingly participate on to develop this channel.

    At the end of the day, for me at least, I can tag 95% of you to a Board ID anyway but it's still nice to find out who that last 5% are, especially when I'm trying to pay bonuses based on ABW IDs, one day I might guess wrong

    I like the tool, it's cool. I can see which partners aren't on ABW and invite them, I can see who are the newbies on ABW and my program and send them a PM hi, make them feel welcome and special. If I wanted to run a program where I didn't know and didn't care I'd not be here.

    Cheers

    Chris

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