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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    Suggestion for Todd and CJ
    Todd,

    Since i like many on this forum am somewhat new to the affilate space, I thought I would note down a couple thoughts...You see we (the affiliates) have only one real method of evaluating are campaigns/sites, etc...that is by analyzing data for which we all really NEED and appreciate quick and accurate reporting. Being new, I for one am willing to accept for now that perhaps February is a bad month in general...However, I think you would agree that keeping the affiliates informed fully is in CJ's best interest too.

    A couple suggestions:

    Please understand that most on this forum are not representing the "big fish" and likely don't have any one-on-one reps at CJ...that is why we all get anxious quickly...

    Suggestion # 1: Could we get a sense from you or someone at CJ as to what is the actual system or technical problem that is causing this? You see it has now been a week and all we hear from CJ is that "yes, there's a reporting delay and we're working on it..." If you leave your car at the shop or your building can't get elevators fixed...people are patient for the first 24/48 hours...but i'm certain you'll agree that when that becomes days and weeks, patience wears thin and people want answers. Botton line: The affiliates would appreciate a more detailed response...

    Suggestion #2: Is the problem so complex that there is no estimated worst case completion date? Can we expect this to resolve in a couple days? March 1st? Could it go on for weeks? Months?

    Suggestion #3: Can CJ suggest to merchants to send out emails to their affiliates assuring them that purchases are being trackedif that is indeed the case...what do you all do to test that links and tracking is working properly? Surely CJ must have a system of checks in place...?

    I don't know what your specific role is and if maybe you have the difficult job of being the "spokesperson" on CJ's behalf. I would encourage you to pass on our thoughts (or atleast most of them) to CJ management. At the end of the day it is "constructive criticism". If the affiliate community has a trusting and fruitful relationship with CJ, we all benefit...

    Thanks,

    affnewbie

  2. #2
    Member Chocolate_Chicken's Avatar
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    If the affiliate community has a trusting and fruitful relationship with CJ, we all benefit
    And if not, the affiliate attrition rate grows to the point where CJ itself will have to be the "affiliate" and find a way to drive traffic on their own.

  3. #3
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by affnewbie

    A couple suggestions:

    Suggestion # 1: Could we get a sense from you or someone at CJ as to what is the actual system or technical problem that is causing this?

    Suggestion #2: Is the problem so complex that there is no estimated worst case completion date?

    Suggestion #3: Can CJ suggest to merchants to send out emails to their affiliates assuring them that purchases are being trackedif that is indeed the case...what do you all do to test that links and tracking is working properly?
    Thank you for the suggestions.

    #1 - Specifics are not going to make things get resloved any sooner. The problem is txns are delayed. If we knew specifically what the problem was, we would fix it.

    #2 - There is no estimated completion date- the problem will get fixed as soon as possible.

    #3 - We have stated in the members area that tracking is still working correctly and everything is being tracked. It is unnecessary for advertisers to also communicate this.

    The reason we know tracking is working correctly is because we can compare across the network the volume and the response of the tracking servers. This is a separate system, not related to reporting. This week's txn volume is slightly higher (virtually identical) compared to last week's, another indicator that tracking is working correctly.

    I understand your concerns and frustration. We too are frustrated that reporting is delayed. We are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
    Todd Crawford
    Co-Founder, Impact Radius

    Give me a minute before I post again

  4. #4
    Member Chocolate_Chicken's Avatar
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    Well then perhaps it is a reporting, not a tracking, issue.

    What assurance can their be that commissions are being distributed to the proper, umm, "partners"?

  5. #5
    Full Member TLE's Avatar
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    Hi Todd,

    I had introduced myself to you at CJU2004, last afternoon outside the conference rooms. As then, I would like to say that I am appreciative of your candid and open postings on ABW.

    Regarding CJ's tracking system:
    "This is a separate system, not related to reporting."

    I believe that they are related. Specifically both systems rely on the same two name servers, ns2.cj.com and ns3.cj.com.

    If this is a common point with these two systems then an aggravating issue is that Register.com has ns2.cj.com as the only name server for cj.com, effectively creating a single point of failure (bottleneck) for the cj.com domain.

    CJ's other domains, besides cj.com, are with Network Solutions and NetSol is propogating ns2 & ns3. The issue with Register.com may be related to the reverse ip setup for ns3.

    In the past, when ns2 is off-line for maintenance, users have had difficulties resolving to www.cj.com.

    Since the tracking system depends on ns2 & ns3, if ns2 is off-line (or under abnormal stress), ns3 (by itself) will be the single point of failure (bottleneck) for the tracking system.

    I sincerely hope that there's something incorrect in the above. It's difficult for me to accept that all this business is dependent on two servers which are required & expected but not effectively load-balancing each other.

    BTW, even if all the above is true, I do not believe it is related to the current delay in processing transactions issue.

    Thank You

    Tuan

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    The Bottomline is - This has been going on WAY TO LONG
    And as soon as they get this BUG FIXED there will be another BUG and we will start all over again! I just hope that the MERCHANTS are paying attention and hopefully they are looking at any other place to go besides CJ! The merchants must be getting tired of getting e-mails and phone calls from their affiliates because of CJ's incompetence. They must be getting tired of doing CJ's job for them - IE - looking up sales and hand entering them to make their affiliates happy, at this point I'll bet a lot of them are saying "" WHAT ARE WE PAYING CJ FOR? ""

    YOU SEE -- WE as affiliates don't really matter - all CJ cares about is their relationship with the merchants - who pay the bills. SO the best way to deal with this issue is to TALK to each of your merchants - COMPLAIN and or ASK to get a breakdown of your information - ask them to do some work for us in order to prove that we are not losing sales and that tracking IS NOT AFFECTED. If enough merchants are being questioned than these merchants will have no choice but to question CJ and that is the only thing that will make CJ take notice. So go bug your merchants and get them to take notice of the situation at CJ, make them question their own relationship with CJ and this MAY MAKE A DIFFERENCE.. Talking to CJ doesn't help at all - we all know that they could give a rats butt what we think and they know that WE cannot REALLY do anything - BUT without MERCHANTS CJ IS OUT OF BUSINESS..!! So take it up with all your merchants and this alone will help get CJ on the ball.

    Personally any problem they have that lasts THIS LONG and causes this much uproar will affect them in the long run - if the merchants get as tired of dealing with this kind of thing as we are.. So start talking to them and get them questioning the CJ mess!!

    MAKE THEM ASK THE QUESTION TO THEMSELVES -- " WHAT ARE WE PAYING CJ FOR ANYWAY..?? "

  7. #7
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    SuZe,

    I am sorry you are so upset and feel the way you do. Although advertisers pay the bills, affiliates are the ones the generate the txn volume - so they are just as important as advertisers. The primary problem is delayed reporting. I can't imagine that a 5 hour delay in reporting is causing you to get this upset. All I can say is we are working to correct the issue as quickly as possible. We appreciate your patience and understanding.
    Todd Crawford
    Co-Founder, Impact Radius

    Give me a minute before I post again

  8. #8
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    Tuan,

    You are clearly more technical than I am and need a little more time to respond to your post.
    Todd Crawford
    Co-Founder, Impact Radius

    Give me a minute before I post again

  9. #9
    Member Chocolate_Chicken's Avatar
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    I still insist that the problem is INTERMITTENT reporting, not just DELAYED reporting.

    I couldn't care less if reporting was delayed for a month. I'm concerned about the huge gaps in activity. There seems to be about a 4 hour window of opportunity each day for sales to be recorded.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    I think it is becoming clear this really only is a reporting problem, not a tracking issue, so the concern here is really not of lost sales but of delays in seeing them show up.

    Those of us who have been doing this for several years know that this happens from time to time with most big networks. It must be growing pains or something.

    Not always the optimist, I would like to point out that it has been a very long time since we have seen this kind of thing at CJ. Thier track record has even impressed a long standing critic like myself. I actually think CJ really has made an effort over the last year to improve things and communicate better.

    Now, with that said, DON'T do any major updates to your system or pages at CJ. That's when we usually see delays that go on for weeks and I'm so glad those have not occured for a long, long time.

    What I do like about all this is waking up in the morning and finding out I have double the sales/commissions in my reports than I thought I did when I went to bed. LOL
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  11. #11
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Ditto what Ron said.

    I checked my 30-day Conversion Ratio chart and everything looks consistent. There are delays, but it doesn't look like anything is missing.

    Real-time reporting merchant transactions appear to be delayed about three hours. Batch reporting merchant transactions appear to be delayed about 48 hours right now.

    Even with the delays, reporting is still more up to date than Linkshare.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
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  12. #12
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    I've just done some cross checks on my own stats program and from what I am seeing most if not all clicks are being tracked, like the others say it is just a delay in the reporting of them.

    Todd just click my sales switch will you please?
    One day parasites and their ilk will be made illegal, I bet a few Lawyers will be pissed off when the day comes.
    Mr. Spitzer is fetching it nearer

    YouTrek

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7-days
    I think it is becoming clear this really only is a reporting problem, not a tracking issue, so the concern here is really not of lost sales but of delays in seeing them show up.
    I'm not so sure about this. After reading accounts of user experiences on 4 different forums, a lot of people seem to have measurable sales losses this past week.

    Couldn't it be possible that some of the problem involves a handful of merchants, not all of them? Since not everyone is seeing sales cuts, I would think this would be an explanation.

  14. #14
    15 years and counting
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    Ron - I would like to point out that it has been a very long time since we have seen this kind of thing at CJ.
    I agree 100%. I've been impressed this last year but I was worried at the same time. Adding new merchants like crazy, merging with BeFree, promoting more and more "technology" affiliates, starting an European network... all with the same infrastruture... They have created a monster. They were able to build it but they can't fix it anymore.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Todd - It's not just the delay - it's the consistent problems - the every three week hassle of having to worry about it. I know it's not YOUR FAULT and I know that you are probably doing the best you can. Like I said I have only been with CJ for about six months - in that six month period CJ has had three issues that have hendered reporting (and or) was completly down.

    In your DEFENSE my stats are showing correctly now - BUT - mine was not a five hour delay it was a 48 hour delay. This may have to do with the BATCH PROCESSING someone was talking about earlier. I have sold over $15,000 in merchandise consistently for over four months with CJ and I have sales every single day. So to see 48 hours with the same amount of traffic with no sales reported FREAKS people out. I hope you can understand my point especially if your ONLY income comes from the web.

    I don't want to see anything happen to CJ because I think a lot of people depend on it as I do to make a living. I just want to be able to build and not worry about IF tracking / reporting is going to be affected.

  16. #16
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    Todd Crawford
    Co-Founder, Impact Radius

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  17. #17
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Batch Processing is starting to come through now.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Thanks Todd
    Looking forward to Mondays Update!

  19. #19
    Full Member TLE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToddCrawford
    Tuan,
    Quote Originally Posted by ToddCrawford

    You are clearly more technical than I am and need a little more time to respond to your post.

    Hi Todd,

    I just noticed that (for cj.com) Register.com has both ns2 & ns3 listed & propagating now, thanks for looking into this.

    Regards,
    Tuan

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