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  1. #1
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    I run an affiliate site and have a question re: what is considered parasiteware.

    [I've deleted the body since it's giving people seizures - kwilson, please see my responses below]

    [This message was edited by enzo on March 17, 2004 at 04:55 PM.]

  2. #2
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    Are you kidding?

    How would you think going directly to the merchants address is any different than you jumping over an affiliate's page?

    I guarantee that the merchant would be extremely angered by that as many of them spend long hours ensuring that their site is optimized for organic results or spend large marketing dollars on brand awareness.

    If someone goes directly to the merchants domain, you are stealing directly from those that pay you.

  3. #3
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    First post from some sleezeball affiliate in Atlanta wondering if picking pockets at the airport is OK if the victims (merchants) don't know your doing it! What 3rd world programming wank are you teaming up with on this affiliate venture to get your own B-a-HO?
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  4. #4
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    A. No, I'm not kidding.
    B. Why are you treating someone this way when they are earnestly asking a question? If you are seriously interested in doing away with parasiteware, you'd educate when possible instead of insult.
    C. If I wanted to be sleazy, I'd certainly not be posting a question here. My skills would enable me to do it. I only lack intent and disposition.
    D. If I simply got paid by my retailers when their visitors didn't purchase, but would have if they knew about a particular discount or OTHERWISE HAD INCENTIVES like I offer my visitors, I could retire in a year.
    E. If you don't get the last statement, get this: It is actually possible to provide a service when re-directing to your site, in addition to discounts. Retailers don't care about traffic, they care about conversions.
    F. Who said I wasn't going to disclose this to my retailers? In fact, I posted here for starters to get general feedback without alarming my merchants because I know there's so much heat surrounding this issue. I *thought* merchants hung out here and I wanted their feedback.

    Maybe you should listen before speaking. You might keep your foot out of your mouth.

    It should be obvious which of the above statements is directed at the guy with the social problems. As for kwilson, I thank you for your honest input.

    [This message was edited by enzo on March 17, 2004 at 05:03 PM.]

  5. #5
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    BTW, kwilson, I never answered your question, which I can better do now.

    I actually have contacted a retailer with whom I have especially good rapport and was advised that there's no problem, as long as it doesn't usurp other affiliates and we're clear to our users what they'll experience.

    So, if it doesn't hurt the retailer (actually helps), it doesn't hurt other affiliates, and the user opted-in with understanding and gains value, who is being harmed? This retailer is smart and sees the value of what we offer and its potential to boost conversions for them.

    Again, I thank you for your input kwilson. Now that the door's opened I think I'll continue one-by-one with my retailers rather than looking for answers here. Time consuming, but worthwhile.

    Take care.

  6. #6
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    It's basically like any other shopping application/toolbar. Some merchants don't have a problem with it, some do. The problem affiliates have with it is the merchants that partner with affiliates that use these toolbars are basically making the other affiliates 0 day cookie affiliates. Meaning someone can come to my site, click a link to a merchant that has a 60 day cookie and maybe they don't buy on the first visit and go back at a later time within the 60 days. If that visitor has your toolbar installed and visits the merchant, you will pop up making that 60 cookie not really a 60 day cookie but a 0 day cookie.

    There wouldn't be any problems if the shopping ap/toolbar could somehow recognize that a user already has some other affiliates active cookie and not pop.

  7. #7
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    TrustNo1,

    Now that's good feedback. Maybe I'll hang out here a while after all to better understand the issues as originally planned.

    Ok, so let me ask this. If the user has knowingly installed the toolbar. And the user knows that he/she is receiving an incentive and must make the selection to do so at every turn, then is that user effectively asking to overwrite the cookie to receive that incentive? I know that won't be a popular question, but it's an honest one.

    I mean at what point does the user have say? If another affiliate (whose return cookie I'd presumably overwrite) is offering an incentive but the user elects my incentive, is it because the first incentive wasn't as compelling? If on the other hand, the first affiliate offers no incentive but relies on this return cookie (that the user probably knows nothing about), why is that more fair to me or the user who would prefer to receive the incentive?

    The one issue I could see is if my user would never have known about the retailer site to even return and see my popup, if it had not been for the other affiliate. But, that really shouldn't happen for reasons that I won't go into here. So other than that, is there an issue?

    Again, I'm here to understand and not to offend, steal or otherwise harm anyone else who has worked hard to build their sites. I KNOW what it takes to build a good site and would never do that to anyone else. I appreciate your feedback.

  8. #8
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    Sorry Enzo, didn't mean for it to appear so strong. I understand the reaction. I apologize.

    From my persepctive as a merchant, I would be very concerned with this tactic. However, for our program, we don't offer many different coupon, incentive type offers that wouldn't be on our front door. So the incremental benefit of your application to our program would just be redirecting funds to you for a user that we achieved on our own.

  9. #9
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    kwilson,

    Not a problem at all. No apology needed. My stronger words were not aimed at you at all.

    Given that a lot of "not-so-good" things have happened in this arena, I understand your reaction as well. More importantly, I respect your right to express your views as vigorously as you see fit. I only took exception to the unwarranted name-calling and disrespect, neither of which you demonstrated.

    You have provided me with valuable insight in both your initial reaction and your last post. I expect this to be a very individual matter with regard to our merchants. Thanks again for your thoughtful response.

  10. #10
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    "There wouldn't be any problems if the shopping ap/toolbar could somehow recognize that a user already has some other affiliates active cookie and not pop"

    I agree. If they didn't pop during the cookie duration and didn't otherwise 'cheat', there would not be a problem. Then your application won't really be a parasite, would it? Fist time for everything, I guess

  11. #11
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    ENZO you'll never ever be able to justify to this or any group that a shopping toolbar interloping at the point of sale is of any value to the pay-per-perfomance industry. The same industry who took steps like CJ did in 1999 to label and bann all incented traffic as worthless. CJ then required merchants(AM's) to sign off in writing the incent perps were allowed to receive commissions.

    Incent tricksters then were born again with a new tool (BHO) that was shoved up the butts of all affiliates without their knowledge in Y-2000. Common cop out you and they use was "users choice". You seek a way to set cookies outside your domain bound borders as you know your just another slave to your own ability to motivate shoppers without a crutch.

    My take is to say you can't clean up this industries stench by crapping on the good intentions of merchants by employing commission stealing tricks. Take your shopping tool bar incent program and shove it. That pig won't fly no matter how you spin it on it's nose.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  12. #12
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Jeeze I've perfected a way to end threads on a highly ethical note.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

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