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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
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    Hello everyone!

    I run two sites that I use affiliate marketing with. I'm very frustrated with all parasitewares, and merchants and networks who do not take proper actions against them. Because at the end of day, it's only affilate whose commissions are stolen. Merhcants get the sales, networks make the money.

    So I propose we take strong actions against all the scumware and merchants they're affiliated with.

    Because we're the ones who actually sent to customer to merchant, so we do have the power. Unfortunately, I, by myself, do not have the time and resources to do it alone, so, I say, let's do it together.

    And, holidays are here, sales will dramatically increase, so I think we'll get a fast and positive response from merchants.

    1- Let's make two lists. A list of all the scumwares and a list of all the merchants whom they're affiliated with.

    Then bring together as many affiliates as we can to join our campaing. Then send a message to those merchants, that if they continue their partnership with scumware, we'll remove their links, permanently. If you run a shopping mall, and somewhat have a large number of merchants, just disable the links to those merchants, until they aggree with us. If not, just remove them.

    Also, contact the networks to let them know of the our campaign and try to get their help. If they don't they will be affected from this, as well.

    2- Let's try to develope a code, a script or somthing like that we can install in our website that could prevent scumwares hijacking our links.

    I think ABESTWEB would be good platform to start this, and we can also continue it other related websites, boards and networks to successfully finish the campaign before holiday shopping season so we can get on with our websites and earn the money we deserve.

    I haven't thought through everything yet, so all opinions and suggestions are appreciated.

    Some merchants, may not even know about these scumware, why some knowingly ignore it, because they think generate more sales (which is not true). So our job with this project would be inform the ones who don't know and pressure the ones who ignore.

    I've seen in many affiliate marketing related boards and sites, the scumware problem is the biggest problem now, and everyone is frustrated with, so we'll have good response from most affiliate, small or big. We can even get BizRate to join us.

    Sincerely,

    Sami Bayrakci

  2. #2
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Sami,

    Hi and Welcome to ABW!

    Hopefuly the industry standards meeting (NOV 7) that we helped to create will address all the issues, so that the parasites aren't anymore.

    Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli


  3. #3
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Welcome Sami ans you'll find here about 2000+ posts addressing all the issues you raised since early Springtime. Read over the actions ABWers have taken and join in the fight.

    WebMaster Mike

  4. #4
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    I'm with you but unfortunately, most affiliates around here are not willing to put any efforts towards doing anything but arguing and whining.

    Despite numorous request for help and to act as a group, those posts are generally never responded to. Do some reading and do the best you can in the interum. Check http://www1.ifccfbi.gov/index.asp, mail your merchants, send letters to the editors of large companies, send mail to Ceo's and let your frustrations with the networks be known, and put on a script to not allow the parasites on your site.

    Gradually more and more vendors are coming around but it is a big battlefield. Glad to see another affiliate ready to take some action.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
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    Haiko,

    Where will that meeting be held and by whom?
    All the networks and most of the merchants are aware of this problem, only very few of them has taken against them. I sure hope it'll help, but what I'm suggesting is to rise up against these as affiliates.

    Mike,

    Thanks.

    I've been reading the threads for while now. I've seen many people are disturbed by it, but could not find a strong, united solution against it.

    I'd like to see a list of merchants that we'll, all together, take down their links and let them know why.

    I've seen "ebates.com" mentioned as parasiteware. I haven't downloaded their program, and I don't know their practices. Is "eBates" a parasiteware.? Do they convert affiliate links to theirs?

    If yes,

    Why don't we do something?

    CJ is advertising them as one of their most succesful publisher. Why don't we drop all CJ merchants until CJ take action against it?

    Worse, I've seen CJ banners published at ABESTWEB, in the banner they quote "ebates" and again mention as a successful publisher. Haiko?

    These may be little details, but I think they're important. We should be working on our sites, to "make it best", not fighting these with thieves for our commissions.


    What I'm looking for is IMMEDIATE, STRONG, CONTINUED, AND UNITED action against these crooks, so we can get on with our business.

    Regards,

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
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    Happynoon

    Yes, unfortunately there are a lot of whining and complaining going on, but they should realize that if they don't do something now, that'll be all they doing why their commissions are gone.

    I've been doing some of what you've suggested. But, individual efforts are very time-consuming and a little effective, if any.

    At ABESTWEB, I've seen many very smart people. That's why I think this would be a good platform start a little network, grow it, and solve this problem.

    Regards,

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador
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    quote:
    I've seen "ebates.com" mentioned as parasiteware. I haven't downloaded their program, and I don't know their practices. Is "eBates" a parasiteware.? Do they convert affiliate links to theirs?



    Not only are they parasites, they are the most blatant and proud of their actions.

    How it works is that when someone signs up on ebates, they can have TopMoxie installed on their machine. With that installed, whenever a user goes to a participating merchant website, there is a redirect done thru ebates to the merchant homepage, thus replacing your affiliate code. It doesn;t matter how the person got to the merchant site in the first place.

    Say you have an interested buyer, you send them thru a direct product link. That is usually a high-converter. But ebates grabs ahold and redirects it thru to the homepage. That is bad for the affiliate and the merchant. Good for ebates.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
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    Jimbo,

    Then why in the hell CJ shows them their best publishers, and we still continue to use CJ?

    Worse, Why in the hell HAIKO publishes CJ banners with eBates on it?

    [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif[/img]

  9. #9
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    quote:
    I'm with you but unfortunately, most affiliates around here are not willing to put any efforts towards doing anything but arguing and whining.



    I dearly love that comment Happypoon, since you just posted today that you refuse to write an essay (or whatever the hell it is that Wayne wants to show support for the affiliate side), and that Elisabeth and Shawn could just use your post as your essay.

    Give me a f'ing break. You're part of the problem, and have been for some time! Just my opinion of course, but a damned pretty educated one.

    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

  10. #10
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    Rock on Donald.

    People who can't put forth effort to write a really simple essay don't care about the issue. Otherwise it is just all talk and whisky costs money.

    Let's make it practical for these people- after you write it you can post it on your page for spider bait.


    -w

    Wayne Porter
    V.P. Product Development
    AffTrack LLC.
    http://www.afftrack.com
    http://www.revtrends.com
    Advanced & Automated Data Analysis for Performance Marketers.

  11. #11
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    "Hopefuly the industry standards meeting (NOV 7) that we helped to create will address all the issues, so that the parasites _aren't_ anymore."

    I take it this is the same industry standards meeting that a CJ Represenative mentions in another thread, that will be reported on in a "few weeks" after Nov. 7/02, far to late to make a meaningful change for the great number of affiliates depending on the Christmas Season to make their labour worthwhile.

    Parasitewear is a misnomer, In this country and most other countries on the planet, theft is conversion of anothers property to the use of an entity who has no claim to the property.

    By changing the affiliate information in a link for the express purpose of hijacking any reward that might be owed to the owner of that link is theft.

    Legal eagles will rip this comment apart, and those who attempt to excuse the actions of Morpheus -Limewire -Kazaa and others as new technology, gone awry will again come to the defense of these crooks, but lets face it "if it walks like a duck and clucks like a duck, IT's A DUCK".

  12. #12
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    I resemble that duck remark ..and am willing to do tricks for bread crumbs.

    WebMaster Mike

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador
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    quote:

    Give me a f'ing break. You're part of the problem, and have been for some time! Just my opinion of course, but a damned pretty educated one.




    quote:

    People who can't put forth effort to write a really simple essay don't care about the issue. Otherwise it is just all talk and whisky costs money.



    I'm only part of the problem if you tend to be pro parasite and then yes, I am part of "their problem" as I've been exposing tactics that parasites and others use to negatively impact merchants and affiliates!

    If you want to say I don't care and I'm part of the problem because I will not bow down to the parasite gods and Linkshares and Waynes stacked deck against affiliates then by all means you're entitled to your opinion.

    But to say I don't care...... now come on, any "self professed educated man" could look through my posts and tell I care very deeply.

    I'm not going away because of some of your twisted comments, PI's visiting my house, my web site being targeted or anything else the parasites, networks or even merchants do to me.

    I'll write my opinions public just as you do and will not waste my time writting an essay that will be summarized or paraphrased and then not really looked at.

    Wayne's suggestion of writting position papers and his hidden intent was made very clear when he said

    quote:

    This is why I like the Opinion Papers format. These papers would be gathered from the affiliate community (and the merchant community) and then presented to executives of the major networks. I think their should be liasons for both communities to gather these opinions.

    With a call for opinions EVERYONE will have a voice. I am sure it would be noticed if executives were handed over a large number (1,000s) of papers from individuals who were affiliates. Of course if the best the community can muster is only 20 or 30 people who care enough to write 500 words on the subject then the impact will be small.




    He was already thinking how he could reduce our impact when he came up with this briliant idea on how to best represent affiliates - LOL. The networks are very aware of our opinions or they wouldn't even be having this meeting. I repeat my quote from earlier today:

    quote:

    I will not present a summary opinion of my view just for the networks and the parasites! My view is simply stated here for all to see and consider!


  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador
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    I agree with happymoon.

  15. #15
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    Why will so many parasites be present when we outnumber them? Why wont their be any merchants represented when they outnumber the parasites?

    Why wasn't it suggested that parasites present opinion papers. This meeting has been a stacked deck from the start and it's results will only confirm what we already know.

  16. #16
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    The networks are the most heavily represented group. They also have the most direct and easy way of notifying the affiliates and merchants. Why have they kept it a secret?

    The day the networks notify me and the merchants and bring their dirty little secret out in the open, that is when I will know something can be accomplished.

    ne of my first hints of trouble with the meeting was that it was originally conceived by an AM who seems to desperately want to work with the parasites. The heat got to be too much so he bailed and hand-picked a successor. Since then, there have been too many more red-flag events as the meeting plans have come together.

  17. #17
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    HappyPoon,

    quote:
    He was already thinking how he could reduce our impact when he came up with this briliant idea on how to best represent affiliates - LOL. The networks are very aware of our opinions or they wouldn't even be having this meeting. I repeat my quote from earlier today:



    It is hard to argue or debate with a pseudonym.

    quote:
    I will not present a summary opinion of my view just for the networks and the parasites! My view is simply stated here for all to see and consider!


    That is fine by me. Should I chalk that up to "happypoon" or are you a real person with a real business?

    You have every right to rant inside message boards as much as you like (as long as you honor the host's rules), so rant away.

    If you do not wish to present your opinion in the form of a professional paper as the majority of people are doing then that is your free choice and I respect that too.


    -Wayne

    Wayne Porter
    V.P. Product Development
    AffTrack LLC.
    http://www.afftrack.com
    http://www.revtrends.com
    Advanced & Automated Data Analysis for Performance Marketers.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador
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    quote:
    ne of my first hints of trouble with the meeting was that it was originally conceived by an AM who seems to desperately want to work with the parasites. The heat got to be too much so he bailed and hand-picked a successor. Since then, there have been too many more red-flag events as the meeting plans have come together.


    I am pretty pleased with how it is coming out. I have brought in some excellet speakers from both sides, techincal people, executives, and some merchant observers. There was limited space but we have to make do with what we have.

    Everyone has agreed to come forth and talk and discuss the issues professionaly and calmly. I respect all of these people who are willing to take time out of the schedules pay for travel and lodge and speak.

    Personally I am looking forward to an event where four solutuion providers sit down to try to reach agreements. Whether they are successful or not, there has been progress.

    regards,
    Wayne

    Wayne Porter
    V.P. Product Development
    AffTrack LLC.
    http://www.afftrack.com
    http://www.revtrends.com
    Advanced & Automated Data Analysis for Performance Marketers.

  19. #19
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    What bull hockey!

    First of all how many people have ever written an "opinion in the form of a professional paper?" Most people don't even have a clue what that form is. You know darned good and well that most people panic at a blank sheet of paper.

    Secondly, the whole point of having elected representatives is so that THEY can present the opinions of their constituency. Our representatives know full well what the issues are and what our opinions are. They have talked with us for months on end and heard our insights. And, they are well qualified to present them. That's why we elected them.

    This papers bullroar is a red herring. What Elizabeth and Shawn say goes for us.

    If you are trying to make a bogus case that without a fistfull of papers, there is no one who is very concerned about the issue, you better hope no one believes it. Because, you will find out, as will the networks, we are pretty fighting mad as it is. There had better be a change and a big one or we will fight back with our sites. They won't have anything left to steal. I already have one private merchant replacing a CJ merchant and I am getting another one next week.

    If there isn't some good from this meeting, my CJ links will be down next year.

    Yeah, I will wait until after the shopping season. There won't be another shopping season with them if something isn't done.

    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.

  20. #20
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    He was already thinking how he could reduce our impact when he came up with this briliant idea on how to best represent affiliates - LOL. The networks are very aware of our opinions or they wouldn't even be having this meeting. I repeat my quote from earlier today:

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    It is hard to argue or debate with a pseudonym.

    I have to say Wayne that was a pretty shallow reply. You have had no problem in the past arguing or debating with a pseudonym on numerous subjects. Is it a sign the statement is a little too close to home?

    I also agree in full with Ssanf's statement (below) this is one of the basic laws of a democratic society

    quote:
    Secondly, the whole point of having elected representatives is so that THEY can present the opinions of their constituency. Our representatives know full well what the issues are and what our opinions are. They have talked with us for months on end and heard our insights. And, they are well qualified to present them. That's why we elected them.


    Is there a valid reason why you did not ask the parasites and networks to provide papers?
    quote:
    These papers would be gathered from the affiliate community (and the merchant community) and then presented to executives of the major networks
    For further information my name is Gordon, this is not a pseudonym and a civil answer to these points would be apreciated.

    Travel safe
    Gordon
    YouTrek

  21. #21
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Another reason that the whole concept of position papers is stupid is how much is there to say, anyway?

    Here's my position.

    "Any activity what-so-ever that causes a diversion of commission from a site that has developed traffic and sent them to a merchants site to make a purchase is wrong and no commission should be paid to the affiliate diverting the sale from the originating site. The commission belongs to the originating site and should be paid to them."

    Now, how exactly do you propose that I expand that into a 500 word position paper, quote the Bible and a few other great works, perhaps?

    Honesty is not such a complex issue that you need 500 words to explain it.

    I refere you to the Wiccan Reed and the Golden Rule if you don't understand the concept. Both are very short position statments that won't take you long to read.



    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.

    [This message was edited by SSanf on October 27, 2002 at 08:40 AM.]

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador
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    The two big problems with the papers in my opinion are that:

    1. It is constraining. We can react to what the parasites are doing now, they can read it, and Shawn and Wayne and the networks can help the pwares make tiny adjustments to address those issues.

    They already know what is happening and what we want (we do not want our commissions stolen).

    2. The only merchant representation we know about is Shawn from Overstock. It seems there is no desire to notify the merchants. Why not let the VPs of marketing of (at the very least) the publicly traded companies know where the money is going? They need to know when it comes time for an audit.

    By not announcing the meeting or the problem, and by requiring papers that the pwares can examine, this gives me the impression that they are not genuine in their intentions to solve the problem.

  23. #23
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    Why write position papers on stealing??

    Sorry, I have no experience on theft.

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador
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    quote:
    Why will so many parasites be present when we outnumber them? Why wont their be any merchants represented when they outnumber the parasites?

    Why wasn't it suggested that parasites present opinion papers. This meeting has been a stacked deck from the start and it's results will only confirm what we already know.


    First of all, there is a merchant represented. You elected him to do so. Clubmom.com is indeed a longstanding (and frankly, a damned good one in my opinion) merchant that was up with BeFree for a long time before Shawn took the company private through the Kowabunga software.

    And yes, in my opinion this will indeed be a stacked deck against the affiliates. Stacked by the networks themselves in fact.

    Remember when I continued to harp about the fact that BeFree's "Code of Conduct" paper for the technology companies that had a propensity to steal was simply a straw-man without any teeth. Well, you can bet your lucky stars that this, or something like it, will be exactly what comes out of the meeting on November 7th.

    Hell, CJ's latest published report of 2001 verified sales driven by publishers was only $151,393,565.00. That's one-hundred fifty-one million and change for ALL their publishers, with an additional 24 million leads. Chicken-feed frankly if one were to look at the fact that they had over 1200 advertisers throughout the entire year. Now, do you think they are going to be a party to any agreement that will kick out their money-makers - the parasites? Sorry folks, not a chance...

    BeFree, well they wrote that piece of crap so we know where they stand on the issue.

    Performics - quiet as always, but the fact of the matter is that their entire model relies moreso on the parasitic types (the so-called super affiliates) than do any of the rest of the providers.

    LinkShare - We can only hope that Stephen Messer sticks to his guns. Unfortunately, he will only be able to do so until it starts hurting his company, then - this channel we are all discussing is history as we know it - period.

    I still say that the only way to make this work is with a legally binding agreement; one in which, if violated - the offending parasite will immediately be terminated from the network, then prosecuted (or sued at the very least).

    This is my opinion only - but a reasonable one, don't you think?

    Obstinatedon

    [edited by Obstinatedon because of the end of daylight savings time]

    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

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador
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    quote:
    They already know what is happening and what we want (we do not want our commissions stolen).



    And just who is "We" Jimbo? I have heard a multitude of views on how that is and or is not happening. Depending on who you ask!

    quote:
    1. It is constraining. We can react to what the parasites are doing now, they can read it, and


    Sorry you feel constrained, but if people aren't serious enough to sum up their thoughts in 500 words or less then they aren't serious. For the reasons of being practical we have to move on.


    quote:
    2. The only merchant representation we know about is Shawn from Overstock. It seems there is no desire to notify the merchants.



    Actually Shawn is attending only as an observer only and will not be speaking. Observers have no voice, they merely observe.


    Thanks,
    Wayne

    Wayne Porter
    V.P. Product Development
    AffTrack LLC.
    http://www.afftrack.com
    http://www.revtrends.com
    Advanced & Automated Data Analysis for Performance Marketers.

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