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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Need help w/ website devoted to educating merchants re:parasiteware & norton issues
    I'm posting this is the cafe as it is the most actively visited forum (per haiko) and since the topic isn't specific just to parasiteware, but also to all of the commissions (sales for merchants) lost due to Norton's practices of stripping out affiliate links.

    There have been many threads in which people have urged everyone to contact their affiliate managers, and where people have asked them for templates of what to say, etc.

    I propose the creation of a website similar in functionality to that of moveon.org, which has been extraordinarily effective in grassroots campaigns to make huge changes for our country. The beauty of moveon.org is that they make it so easy for people to get involved and be heard without much effort on each individual's part.

    What I envision is a website in which an affiliate can go to and choose the merchant(s) they wish to contact, as well as a selection of templates they can choose from for their letter (can be focused on a particular parasite, issues at large, norton, etc), and then they sign their name digitally (type it in) and provide their affiliate ID info, and click a button so the letter gets automatically sent. And we can have an opt-in email list to notify affiliates of new parasites as they are discovered coupled with a button they can click to take them to a letter they can then shoot off to whichever affiliate managers they want to educating them about the latest parasite on the block.

    The point of it is to make it is simple as possible to get a large number of affiliates to take action. Affiliate Managers who are on the fence (or worse) regarding partering with ebates, 180solutions, claria, etc need to be bombarded with letters from their affiliates educating them to their thieving ways. There can be a variety of letters to choose from for each person's preference, ranging in tone from 'I wish you would drop this affiliate because they are stealing commissions' to "I am dropping you as a merchant because you work with parasites."

    I'm willing to do the work and put together the info and host the site - but I don't have the necessary programming skills to emulate moveon.org's functionality. Know anyone who does? (And I'd obviously welcome anyone's help in putting together information for the site as well as templates for letter writing campaigns)

    I've spoken with some affiliate managers, and while I point them to threads on abestweb, there are too many threads and finding the information they need while cutting through the chatter is more work then many AM's are willing to do. A single site with clear examples of how Norton, as well as each individual parasite, hurts both affiliate marketing and the merchants themselves, not to mention the internet as a whole and the end user's experience could do wonders.

    Anyone care to help? What are folks ideas on this?

    I am looking for people with the programming skills to create a site that emulates the usability of moveon.org so that affiliates can easily spread the word to as many affiliate managers as possible about the negative impacts of both parasiteware and Norton's ad-blocking with as little effort as possible.

    moveon.org has been incredibly successful in their viral grassroots campaigns to make a difference. If we could create such a site with push-button publishing of letters to AM's, far more affiliates would be likely to get involved and try to collectively try to shut down the parasites (as well as to get merchants involved in leaning on norton to not strip out affiliate links).

    Thanks in advance for everyone's help with what I hope will be a successful project!
    Last edited by topaffiliate; May 26th, 2005 at 06:29 PM.

  2. #2
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Sounds great - good luck

  3. #3
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    I am willing to help in ways that make sense given my abilities and inclinations. Perhaps some of my existing articles could be useful, or I would consider writing something new in a pinch. http://www.benedelman.org/affiliates may be on point too.

  4. #4
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    I think that would be great. I am pretty new to this forum and have been dabbling in affiliate marketing on a small scale so I don't really even understand some of the terms you affiliate gurus use. I was doing a search on the word "parasite" so I could try to gain some understanding of the term as relates to affiliate marketing. Still trying to understand it all -- anyone have a clear definition with an example of a parasite you could pass along?

    Thanks
    Linda

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
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    Sounds like a great idea - thanks for putting this together!

  6. #6
    Affiliate Network Rep
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    Hi

    After going through a lot of this in the UK I am interested as to what the US position is on these issues.

    1. Are all the networks sypware free? if not who isnt?

    2. Are some affiliate links still blocked by the new version of norton?

    Thanks

    Mal

  7. #7
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Mal,

    1. No (they still have adware publishers in the Networks)
    2. Yes (and not just Nortons)

    I saw in another thread you will be at AffiliateSummit. You'll have the chance to talk with some of the adware publishers if you like, many will be there also. In fact, a couple of presenting on one of the panels.

  8. #8
    Affiliate Network Rep
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    Hi

    Thanks Kellie for explaining . I have never seen a panel like that :-) Ill be very interested to see whats said.

    Spyware was rife in the UK in the not too distant past but it sharp got sorted out to the levels of today once merchants had full information on the value of such partnerships.

    I think the main clearout of the time was merchants who saw their own domain name ( brand ) traffic being tagged on the way to their sites.

    We all know that brand bidding on ppc is a hot topic but the interception of a user already on their way was taken even worse and merchants were very quick to respond once this cat was out of the bag.

    I would love to let one of our technical guys sit down with some of the merchants who still work with companies who employ such tactics and help them analyse the impact and return of such partnerships.

    $10 million of sales sounds great but not if you were going to get it anyway :-)

    The norton issue is an interesting one to me - why block root domains of affiliate networks? Well if your tasked with making a product that is designed to protect and improve the users internet experience then disabling spyware would be a good start.

    Makes sense to cut off the income source as you see it and if you know that a lot of the funding comes through networks then what better way to start than to block root domains.

    Just a thoery but seems logical to me.

    Im glad to say its not something which we have to worry about at our network.

    Thanks for the info Kellie

    Mal

  9. #9
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    The situation is definitely better in the UK than in the US. While I will admit I don't follow the UK as closely as the US, I do look at all that is coming through when I test. Sometimes I get the sense that folks in the UK feel the situation is better with UK Networks/Merchants than it really is. The UK certainly isn't free and clear of the problem. But maybe my perception of how the problem is perceived over there since I don't follow the UK community as closely.

    You are very correct with regards to merchant traffic interception. However, there are many US Merchant's who are very aware of that fact yet continue their partnerships. There are several reasons for that. The history, dynamics and politics of these issues seem to be somewhat different in the US and UK. If you are expanding into the US marketplace an understanding of them will probably be helpful to you. I will be at the Summit, and if you want to sit down and talk about such I'd be more than happy to.

    You are probably correct with theory on Nortons although there are other reasons for it also.

  10. #10
    Affiliate Network Rep
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    Hi

    Thanks for the reply Kellie interesting stuff , it will be good to catch some time with you to expand on it over a coffee.

    Although my time in Aff marketing has been intensive , In actual time I am a newbie compared to some people in the US where the industry has been flourishing for many years and so I hope to gain some extra knowledge from the trip.

    I have said before in other threads I believe we would have something to add but were definately not closed off to learning a thing or two as well.

    My trip is all about fact finding and hopefully putting a few faces to names so it will be great to get the chance to meet one of the moderators of ABW :-)

    See you there

    Mal

  11. #11
    Member phantomcat's Avatar
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    Question Souinds great!
    I'm sorry that I don't posess the advanced programming skills that you seek.
    I do have a concern, although and perhaps someone with knowledge of parasites can help me.

    I was concerned with a page featuring collectibles. It had kind of dropped off the map regarding click-throughs so I decided to clean the page up a bit. As I was tightening up the code, within the body, as to leave no empty lines, I suddenly was unable to move the html up the page to fill a blank line. I then highlighted the empty line and, while I still could see no text there, it did highlight as though there was text. When I clicked on the page url some address code was added at the end of my page url but it seemed to lead me directly to my page. I went back and again highlighted the empty line and deleted it. I now could move my html text up to fill that vacant line. I again clicked on my url and now was sent to my page with no additional address existing after my own url address.
    I am unaware of "invisable" text but am concerned that some sort of parasite had been inserted there to redirect my clicks.
    Does anyone have any knowledge of this?

    Terrie
    Terrie
    Moonbeam Mega Mall

  12. #12
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Nope. Never heard of that happening.

    View the source code - cut and paste the troubled section's code here under Site Review - and let others take a look.

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