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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Proposed solution to parasite problem
    Mind if we move this thread to the proper forum..??
    It's really not specifically about Bare Neccesities anymore..
    ----------------

    Continued from:::
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...0&page=3&pp=25


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ecomcity


    - We take one DUPER merchant middleman using theftware to task at a time. Raise a real stink here at ABW with plenty of noise.





    And exactly what has this accomplished so far.. I see threads going back years about eβates... and they are still active and going strong..
    So now the focus is switched to the SAHS parasite application..???

    I am beginning to feel like this is a broken record no matter who the focus is on..

    And I am starting to think that hiring a programmer to build a parasitic application for me would be a better use of my time.. seeing as the parasites are like the energizer bunny.. they keep going and going..



  2. #2
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    I personaly would not even contemplate becoming a thief even if it would put millions of dollars into my pocket every month.

    I thank my mother for giving me my sense of good morals and ethics and I am proud that I have been able to keep to them.
    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

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon
    I personaly would not even contemplate becoming a thief even if it would put millions of dollars into my pocket every month.

    I thank my mother for giving me my sense of good morals and ethics and I am proud that I have been able to keep to them.
    Yea I know -- it's hard for honest folks like us.. it was only a joke..
    But when seeing how long this has been going on and there has been no "step forward" it seems that ANYTHING would be a better use of time..

    This is kind of like trying to get someone honest "Elected" it just won't happen...

    Not with the Networks ignoring their own rules and actually promoting these dirtbags..
    If the Networks won't do anything about it then there is simply nothing we can do by ranting about it over and over again.. I am game for anything that anyone wants to do to stop this BS.. but there doesn't seem to be enough people interestd in coming up with an actual solution to make a good go of it..

    SO we are just stuck with stolen commissions.. every single month!

  4. #4
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    Yes I know exactly what you mean addhandler, I have been so close to packing affiliate marketing all in so many times this last few months.

    I do realise that nowadays honesty does not pay but I cannot change my ways so I guess I'm doomed never to be rich. LOL
    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

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Now that I think about it -- "Playing The Devils Advocate Here::::"

    It's really not stealing..
    They are just more technically advanced than we are.. The networks seem to favor "Software Applications" -- Both LinkShare And CJ have it Right in their sign-up process..

    LinkShare = Adware/Browser Plug-in
    CJ = Software

    These are actually options you can check on sign-up at both networks..
    So they don't consider this stealing they consider it technology..

    Everyone does it.. even the ALMIGHTY GOOGLE collects info from surfers.. and does all kinds of crap with their Google Toolbar.. they could wipe us all out in a minute if they added a couple more things to it.. and CJ and LinkShare would be more than happy to take their cut and push them...

    So what exactly is it that we are ranting about..?
    There is simply NOTHING we can do by simply venting our frustrations every week or so..

    What we need is an actual "Proposed solution to parasite problem"

    In general I think it would be impossible to get ten webmasters to agree on anything.. but maybe this is the one time we can agree.. let's find a way to stop this BS.. there has got to be SOMETHING we can do..

  6. #6
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Adhandler I have an Award to prove mouthing off and pressuring the networks by OUTING their insider perps does eventually bring them to the action point. My cry this month is to OUT the Belarco/ ShopatHomeNetwork Golden Retriever BHO. Then yell into the rafters about how the banned WhenU group can display those so-called TRUSTED merchants at www.pricebandit.com

    Heck I'll call on my buddy Gordo to put my words into a politically correct version on these 2 perps. Whacking and spotlighting one BHO and Adwhore group at a time works.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Ecomcity - don't misunderstand me.. I am all for outing the parasites.. but what is the proper way to "MOUTH OFF"..??

    Here is what I do now and you tell me what I SHOULD be doing that will help..

    1. I check eβates and others for merchants before I even sign-up or put a link up..
    2. If it is some merchant that I really need or want and they are listed I send them an e-mail telling them why I will have nothing to do with them.. I include all kinds of information including Ben Edelmans Site and any searches that include the parasite they are involved with.
    3. If I get a PENDING OFFER or any other OFFER to join a program I check the same sites.. if they are in any kind of relationship with a parasite I send them the same info as the others..

    Sometimes I get a good response.. BUT Not ONE has actually removed themselves from the parasitic relationship based on "my recommendation".. so basically it is me in the end that suffers.. I refuse to do business with parasites and I will have nothing to do with any merchant that allows these dirtbags into the fold..

    So what is it that I COULD do to get the point across? One person doing this does not make a very big impact.. not to say that there are NOT people doing this but everytime I do it the merchant acts like it's the first they have heard of any such programs.. they give me the excuse it's be sent to a higher level and then poof it's gone.. So give us all the "How To's" of mouthing off properly..

  8. #8
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    I understand the frustration that you feel AddHandler but...

    there has been no "step forward"
    I would disagree with that assessment. I have found for myself when dealing with the type of frustration you are feeling (and I've had more moments more than once), that looking at the 'steps forward' that have happened is helpful for me.

  9. #9
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Ben said:
    I've long been contemplating an article on my site specifically about SAHS.
    I was looking at their software last night. They've "ditched" the Golden Retriever software for what they now call Select CashBack software.

    All I'm going to say about it at the moment is bad SAHS...bad bad bad SAHS. Although so far it seems like they are sticking it to Merchants more than affs, there are some serious red flags I'm seeing with what they are doing now.

    I'm heading out tomorrow to go down to Andy's certification course, but it looks like I'll be calling Marc when I get back after the weekend. Along with all my Network Compliance connections. Several folks can be expecting phone calls at the beginning of the week.

    And you've made it into my presentation along with videos for Andy's course Marc.

  10. #10
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Cool
    Well We did a job on 180Solutions rather then sit back and be victims of a Super Affiliate and their hord of pissant theft train affiliate riders doing the nasty to us. The real problem is the same one we are having with the War On Terrorism, as one side looks at the Jehai murderers of innocents as freedom fighting martyrs to the cause. In this anology the cause is to capture and control the entire affiliate marketing commission pool. On the other side of the Cookie Terrorist War are those who are the innocent victims (shoppers and affiliates) blown to digital bits by the cookie bombers seeking to push democracy -ethics -morals and a honest way of life on those harboring and monitizing the cookie Jehadis.

    So Ben is hearing our pleas to shine a spotlight on the Belarco/SAHS group of commission thieves. Maybe Ms.B could focus in on how the banned WhenU cookie bombers get back into the game with www.pricebandit.com Who at CJ and Linkshare allowed them silently to slip back in reaming merchants for millions while swapping or merchants cookies.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon
    Yes I know exactly what you mean addhandler, I have been so close to packing affiliate marketing all in so many times this last few months.

    I do realise that nowadays honesty does not pay but I cannot change my ways so I guess I'm doomed never to be rich. LOL
    That kind of defeatist attitude won't get you anywhere. You can be successful without compromising your principles. Hang in there!
    Michael Coley
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  12. #12
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    The worse would be to give up. The only way to defeat the parasites is to be more successful than them without compromising our ethics. We can do it by selecting our merchants, our networks, our partners. I'm surprised to still discover gems after all these years. What's important is to be informed of what's going on behind our back. It's hard with all these crooks but ABW is a big help.

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Everyone missed my point or question..

    If I get contacted by a merchant and I see that they are involved with parasites..

    What would be the most effective way to tell them about it..??
    What do you ALL do that is considered the "proper way to MOUTH OFF" about these programs..???

    I hope you all understand that I am willing to do anything to help out.. but I am in the same boat as some of the other people that are here... I am not informed enough or am not knowledgeable enough - and frankly some of the crap they do I don't understand enough to explain to merchants.. Simply sending the merchants links to other sites - I feel doesn't work as well..

    I think an appropriate approach.. would be for us all to speak with ONE VOICE...
    One communication that they receive from all the honest affiliates they approach to join their program..

    My suggestion is this:: Ms B, Ben Edelman and others put together a knowledgeable and concise form letter about the parasitic applications.. POST it here so that we can all send that to our merchants when we are contacted..

    Or we can start another thread specifically about this "FORM LETTER" and put it together in that thread with feedback from everyone.. this way some of us might get a little education along with working towards getting the form letter created..

    In My opinion -- most of us are against parasites - but we need a common goal and a way to reach that goal together.. right now there is no set way to "MOUTH OFF" and we are all sending different messages to our AMs.. we are all running in different directions with this parasite infestation.. that's like one soldier storming the castle alone.. we need to ALL storm the castle as a group.. all of us speaking in one big voice would probably be more affective than each of us ranting on about parasites..

    Does that make sense..?? One form letter that we all send to merchants who are in bed with parasites that contact us with “Offers to Join” their program? I think this would be more affective if an AM received twenty of these a day when seeking out new affiliates.. Twenty of the exact same informative message about parasites from twenty webmasters that they "hoped" would join…

    I think that would make a bigger impact than each of us stating our own opinions about the types of affiliates they let into their program...

    To me this makes more sense than each of us running in our own direction..

    One of the problems I see is that our "TRUSTED THIRD PARTY" pushes these parasites on the merchants and each of us alone ranting to our merchants about another affiliate seems more like pure jealousy than anything else..

    I think that is the way some merchants look at it.. but if we all had one thing to say and that was in an informative letter.. it might help get some AM's attention a little faster..

  14. #14
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    I think some folks posted some letters or parts of letters for such a purpose in the thread Haiko has linked in his sig. UncleScooter started the thread. You may want to check that thread.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Kellie,
    That is a GOOD thread >> http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=53957

    I'll read the entire thing now..
    and get back with you..

  16. #16
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    The Mouthing off part is to call group attention to some sleezy BHO enities who are being hidden from our radar by their protectors. We mouthed in unison to spotlight 180Solutions getting them booted by LS and then CJ was forced to follow suit. I say we target www.pricebandit.com, who's parent WhenU.com has already been banned from the Linkshare network. Explore what's the tie in to Aluria and Opt-in Realbig and who's furnishing WhenU with affiliate commission ID#s.

    Then Lobby Linkshare to explain how SAHS is allowed as both a BHO theftware affiliate and LS merchant. Seems they're robbing both sides of the equation without any spotlight on their ethics or forced cookie practices. Ms.B and Ben can turn up the heat as we dig up some dirt hoping some networks and SAHS /Pricebandit principles can no longer keep a lid on
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    EcomCity - "The Mouthing off part is to call group attention to some sleezy BHO enities who are being hidden from our radar by their protectors. "

    The Parasites that I am looking at are already called to group attention and they are still as active as they were two years ago..
    So what Now..??

    EcomCity - "Then Lobby Linkshare to explain how SAHS is allowed as both a BHO theftware affiliate and LS merchant."

    This is my point.. How would I LOBBY LS..?? How Would I do this and get a valid point across that makes someone sit up and take notice..

    Help Me Help You.. that is all I am asking here..
    What would a newbie do to help..?? It seems that you would want every single one of us on the same team.. so recruit us with knowledge of what to do when approached by a merchant that is in fact in a parasitic relationship.

    I have sent a lot of e-mails to merchants the last couple of weeks
    but it's not helping me gain more income/merchants.. it's not helping to rid the infestation.. as far as I can see.. Not One Merchant has dropped a parasite based on my opinion.. one e-mail from an affiliate once a month does not set off any alarms with them.. they just think I am jealous of the BHO..


  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Here is what I see as the problem..
    The parasites generate a lot of income more than people probably realize. It doesn’t matter “how” they do it they just do. That is what is keeping the merchants attention. When a merchant gets an e-mail from me ( a mediocre affiliate ) and I am telling him/her that the parasite they are affiliated with is not of my liking for one reason or another, and “I” will not join their program as long as they are affiliated with them and so on.. They look at my stats and then the parasite. The one with the most money generated wins, for the most part. They look at the parasite stats and then say “there is no way we are dropping XXX affiliate for this guy.

    So what can I do? I keep contacting merchants and telling them about it, and it does nothing but decrease my merchant pool. It leaves one less affiliate in competition with the parasitic thieves – which is their goal - to wipe us all out or at least our cookies. So, I really feel like I am not only hurting myself but “helping them” by just NOT being affiliated with any and all merchants that have a parasitic relationship of any kind.

    I personally do not know the ends and outs of the parasitic programs and my communication to the merchant is a feeble attempt at best, to get the urgency of the matter across. They are losing money to, but I don’t know what goes on with these things from a merchant standpoint. I can’t communicate that to them with any experience/knowledge..

    So that is why I feel like I am alone when I am talking with a merchant and I seriously do not generate enough revenue for any merchant to give me a second glance when it comes to a comparison with a parasite. They seem to shrug it off as if it means nothing because I alone do not mean that much to them. I have heard others say the same thing or similar when it comes to talking with merchants about this situation.

    The only way that we can do something about it is to actually do it as a whole so to speak. This is nothing new.. I have heard it on the board before – talk about affiliate unions and grouping together to get something accomplished. But that seems to go away to. People seem to shrug it off and then either try to do it on their own or do nothing. The Fact is from what I have read here and elsewhere this has been going on for a LONG time, years and years. So whatever we have all done or not done it is NOT working at all or, should I say it’s not working fast enough and it’s not complete.

    Possible solution to the problem..
    I really do not know what the solution is but I really feel like we need one voice of some kind. We need the merchants to see how much they will lose as a whole if they keep the parasitic relationship. Not just one single person.

    Although I liked the letter UncleScooter put together in this post > http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=53957 I think it needs everyone who is actively apposed to parasites signature. I think it needs a list of affiliates that are apposed to doing business with them. Affiliates, that either will not link to a merchant that has parasites, or will drop the program if action is not taken. And actually do it and stand behind it. It needs information that will hit home with them. They also need to know the "side affects" of allowing a parasite into their affiliate program. They need to know how it affects their MONEY..

    The problem with that is no one will want to have their name attached to some e-mail someone else is sending to who knows who and when, or what else they have added to it. But there is a solution to that if we work together here on ABW. Here is my suggestion:

    Haiko” could set up a section here on ABW so we can sign-up for the ability to send that e-mail to merchants. Just like the ones the merchants use on the networks to communicate with us. And we already give this board our info so that shouldn’t be an issue.

    Send some kind of personalized form letter to them like the one UncleScooter put together. Include information that would better explain the impact these programs have from the merchants side. Show them that they are hurting themselves in a way that they will undertsand. This would have more of an impact on them I would think and it would be coming from a group instead of a single person. You could list the number of “members” in the affiliate union and maybe they would take notice.

    This would give everyone the ability to send an informed updated letter to the merchants as a group. Then invite them to come in here and send them to a forum set up specifically for them and the “real experts” from both ends merchants and affiliates that can maybe give them information that I couldn’t. All I do know is that I want to at least “feel” like I am doing something about it.. when I see Haiko posting ::

    “It amazes me the complacency of some affiliates because they can still convert 1/100 when the non parasitic numbers have been proven to be 1/30!

    I guess some people don't deserve a pay raise ... simply because they never asked for it!”

    I want to ask for a raise but I want to ask with valid information that they will see value in from their standpoint not just me whining about someone overwriting my cookie. And it does seem to me that coming at them head on and in full force would be more affective. I am sure that there would be some legal issues to consider. But at least it would be something along the lines of a solution. For us as well as them when I see UncleScooter Posting:

    “To my amazement, as I was sending e-mails to affiliate managers telling them why I am ceasing their program, I was told by more than one that they had no idea that the affiliate in question was a parasite.”

    I have personally sent ten e-mails this week to different merchants, some of the merchants I have talked to have said the same. So, maybe set it up so that each merchant would have an e-mail count. Rate the merchants as well and hold them accountable for knowing full well they are powering the parasites. But then again - I am sure that there would be some legal issues to consider.

  19. #19
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    I still maintain we need to bypass most affiliate managers in these programs and contact the overall marketing manager and/or board of directors.
    Most AMs get paid on affiliate sales, so they are all over the idea of a parasite cannibalizing the organic traffic of the web site and turning it in to affiliate traffic because it makes them money even if it is bad for the overall operation.

    At least make an effort to go over the AMs head if they have either told you that they are not going to change or have disregarded your efforts. Believe me...someone in that company will be concerned that they are paying unneccesay commissions, even if the AM is not.


  20. #20
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Nice post Addhandler. Here's where we go wrong in our approach to influence merchant's choice of partnering with sleazy BHO affiliates. We assume were addressing the merchant by sending a e-mail or making a phone call the the merchant's AM. That's a completely false assumption. This isn't the army where we follow chain of command protocals. The AM we are trying to influence, in all cases, is the puppet master pulling the strings on those theftware operators, while blowing smoke and using stats mirrors to hide the facts from the REAL merchant management.

    Complaint or refusals to someone pimping for the BHO Adwhores are worthless. That rant goes in the circular basket. Haiko could publish the real merchants sales management contact information and we can bust the "Chain of Command" barriers. Bypass AM's with the real issues and some corporate light bulbs will go off and when the theft and double dipping facts are told to the victimized real merchant ....heads will roll as they demand Network explainations!
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecomcity
    Bypass AM's with the real issues and some corporate light bulbs will go off and when the theft and double dipping facts are told to the victimized real merchant ....heads will roll as they demand Network explainations!
    Spot on Mike!


  22. #22
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    "When a merchant gets an e-mail from me"

    Basically what UncleScooter already said. The affiliate managers are getting your email. Letting these parasites into their program and the affiliate program are getting sales credited to them that normally they wouldn't. Most merchants have a newsletter they send out to customers. Allowing parasites into the program and now that parasite is popping up after customers click thru from the newsletter. Also pop off free traffic, bookmark traffic etc. So removing the parasites from the program after they let them in and the sales via the affiliate program will take a big drop. And when the merchant who hired the AM sees this drop, doesn't look to good for the AM's job security. So a lot of those emails you are sending are falling on deaf ears. Not all but mostly i would guess. You have to go higher up.

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    You see that is what I am saying there are all kinds of things to consider. I have been sending AM's emails and it's probably been falling on deaf ears.. or they think I am just whining about someone else making more money than me.

    If we consolidated our efforts we could reach the right people, make the right points and that will get the attention of the people that can do something about it.. and maybe heads WILL start rolling..

    For the last two weeks or so.. actually longer than that - but it goes in spurts, you have to "w*rk" sometimes.. I have been doing what EcomCity say's is worthless:

    "Complaint or refusals to someone pimping for the BHO Adwhores are worthless. That rant goes in the circular basket. "

    If some of the AMs are "pimping" then I am truly wasting my time.

    So you see this would give everyone a venue to "do the right thing" and reach the people that make the decisions. EcomCity Also said:

    Haiko could publish the real merchants sales management contact information and we can bust the "Chain of Command" barriers.

    That’s what I am talking about! Not only breaking down some barriers but doing it as a whole. This makes more sense than one single affiliate sending an AM an e-mail ranting on about overwritten cookies and barely getting the point across how urgent the situation is.

    IMHO – the way it is now – we are storming the castle one by one with days or weeks in between. We need to do it as a whole and all at one time…

    Ben Edelman has an entire informative site about the situation. Kellie A.K.A. MS “B” does all her good deeds as well, Haiko is against it and does his part here on ABW. But we need the kind of knowledge that they can provide included with each and every single one of our e-mails that we send. We need the ability to raise some eyebrows to the situation. We need the ability for someone who is just walking in the door and knows nothing about the parasite situation to be able to send an informative e-mail or communicate to the proper entities exactly what the situation boils down to from the merchants standpoint just like some of you “old timers” do..

    At least we could all feel better about it.. we wouldn’t feel alone in doing it.. Our e-mails would contain valuable information regarding this issue from a merchants standpoint and ours... and maybe our merchant pools would GROW instead of decrease..

    Not only that but when we “LOBBY LS or CJ or any other network” we could do it as a group with knowledgeable informed “spokes people” from here at ABW behind us.. This would at least let them know that we mean business. Especially if it was coming from a couple hundred people or more..

    We could recruit people into our "affiliate union" just like the networks do with the merchants fueling the parasites. Everyone will agree NOT to advertise for a merchant with a parasitic relationship and stand behind it. Who knows after a year or so we might have a couple thousand members and that would mean big money so that they would have to take notice. Since we all know it's not ethics or morals that these guys run on.. it always boils down to MONEY.. I don't generate enough alone to make an impact if I do not advertise for them.. BUT all of us together might be able to.

    This just seems a better use of time to me..

  24. #24
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    "Everyone will agree NOT to advertise for a merchant with a parasitic relationship and stand behind it."

    That's just not going to happen. There was a merchant boycott before and we still have problems today. The solution is very simple, getting there is hard. What i've said many times before is where this will eventually be won. Clean computers. Most people could care less about affiliate marketing's problems but they don't like adware. So help them get it off their computers which will help us.

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Trustno1 - But there is a HUGE problem with that..
    Most people that I talk to feel that it's the ADWARE who is pushing the software to remove it with. They think that the reason for the adware to begin with is only to sell the removal tools and programs.. and in some cases it is true. The "dirty" computer is not the source of the problem.. cleaning everyones PC will not last long.. the ROOT of the problem is where we need to focus. The root of the problem is not even the parasites -- it's the merchants that allow them to make money off of them..

    If the parasites had no affiliations to make money on - then the only thing they could sell is the removal tools.. let them sell those if they want..

    And maybe the "Everyone will agree NOT to advertise for a merchant with a parasitic relationship and stand behind it." is not the way to go about it.. maybe we can still advertise for them but also inform them that what they are doing is hurting them and us.. in some cases seeing that information coming from an affiliate who makes good money alone in the program might even carry more weight.. so maybe a total BOYCOTT is not the way to go about it..

    But working towards a common goal is where it is going to have to end up at one point or another. Seeing as each individual fighting this fight alone has NOT, and will NOT ever work..

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