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  1. #1
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    If an end user of a rewards site downloads a program to "alert" them of awards and/or other services and they have to literally dig (3 levels deep)into the program to be notified of a reward notification because the default is set to no notification and no rewards, are they parasitic if they alert your visitor (who has basically "super" opted-in) of the possibility of buying through a small alert slider?

    When do we say that the end user actually is desirous of this "service"?

    Keep in mind that I don't want any company poping up or sliding on our affiliate links, but there has to be a definite line of demarcation drawn ...

    Thoughts?

    <font size="2" face="Verdana">Haiko


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  2. #2
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    "the default is set to no notification and no rewards, are they parasitic if they alert your visitor (who has basically "super" opted-in) of the possibility of buying through a small alert slider"

    It sounds like their intent is to only reward themselves, which sounds pretty parasitic to me.

    I've done a lot of rewards programs (recently quit my last one), but with it defaulted to no rewards thre's no way I'd go for that one. Even changing the options, I'd assume that they'd find a way of not paying me.

  3. #3
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    The line of demarcation, for me, is "who" initiates each (and every) action (not just the sign-up/opt-in).

    Or to put it this way, no third party EVER gets to INITIATE ADVERTISING in my store. Period. Does not matter if the customer thinks it's okay for my competitors to advertise in my store.

    If the customer keeps a pocketful of coupons and decides to pull them out and check them before purchasing, and that causes me to lose a sale, not much to be said. Nobody is advertising in my store in that scenario and you can't tell customers not to carry coupons around.

    But the CUSTOMER has to decide to stick their hand in their pocket and pull out the coupons before EACH sale.

    -------
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  4. #4
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Jaybat,

    With the default as "off" No-one would get the rewards.

    <font size="2" face="Verdana">Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli
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  5. #5
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Cedric,

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Or to put it this way, no third party EVER gets to INITIATE ADVERTISING in my store. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    In this scenario, there is no advertising just a slider that says you are not earning rewards, click here to. So no coupons, or ads at all.

    The end user has opted in and spefically configured their browser to empower such notifications, why shouldn't they COGNITIVELY also be allowed their "rewards"?

    <font size="2" face="Verdana">Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli
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  6. #6
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    And what happens when they click the "slider"?

    And not that it's all that important, but can you tell me what a "slider" is? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    -------
    Dawn is nature's way of telling you to go to bed.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    I agree with Cedric, I don't have a problem with a site visitor who sees a link to a merchant on my site, then consciously decides to click a link somewhere in their browser to see if they can get a reward for using another link.

    That's a conscious decision on the part of that visitor, and there's nothing I can do about it. However, if something automatically pops up, or the link is dynamically changed without any intervention by the visitor, I have a problem with that.

    Very few people take the time to read the TOS and user agreements when they download something. The print is small, the verbage is legalese which many don't understand, and it takes too long to read through everything. People are in a hurry, and just don't take the time. It's a big company, everything must be OK, right?

    The parasite programs know this, and while they may state up front that they are going to monitor activity, initiate downloads, dynamically change links, etc., very few people understand what this really means to them.

    The grey area is where unscrupulous companies take advantage of consumers by disclosing their terms in a way that they are buried and are not easily understood. If they have nothing to hide, the basic terms should be stated as bullet points, and provided to the consumer before any other legal language is offered.

    The publisher has created the site, optimized it, and the visitor has chosen to go to that site. If any purcshases are made, that site should get the credit. Anything else is theft. It's actually very simple. It's wrong.

    I understand the argument that the changes aren't actually occurring on the site itself, but within the browser of the user. Since the user opted to load the software, they WANT the changes to happen.

    The fact is, most users don't know or understand this. You can't possibly remember the individual TOS of every site or software program. It's impossible.

    These big companies are ruining the Internet for everyone. They made big promises and collected big bucks for advertising when the Internet was new. Then they couldn't stand behind their promises. Most of them are gone now, and they've left behind in their wake a sense of distrust in the industry, and pathetic ad rates.

    Now the parasite programs want it all for nothing. They don't want to build sites, they don't want to deal with customers, they don't want to be responsible for content. They just want to collect commissions from the work of others. Yes, they did create a software program and offer it for free download. Maybe they should charge a small one time fee instead. $1.00 per download x 80 million downloads is a pretty good return.

    Make no mistake about it: they are stealing from publishers. Period. They are the ones creating the grey area, and it is working to their advantage right now.

    And I've always thought it was against the TOS of merchants for publishers and the like to offer rewards and incentives for clicking links. How are these parasites able to get away with offering these things? They should be dropped by the merchant for violating the TOS, correct? Or am I missing something here?

    Andy

  8. #8
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Cedric,

    A slider is a box that slides up from the the tool bar (above the clock) and then disappears after x amount of time. A slider is NOT a popup! (Fastclicks' new invue ads have the feel of the sliders but)

    When the end user clicks the earn rewards notification then, the a new window opens (to invalidate the affiliate cookie) of merchant site and has the affiliate code of the reward company.

    <font size="2" face="Verdana">Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli
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  9. #9
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I don't have a problem with a site visitor who sees a link to a merchant on my site, then consciously decides to click a link somewhere in their browser to see if they can get a reward for using another link.

    That's a conscious decision on the part of that visitor, and there's nothing I can do about it. However, if something automatically pops up, or the link is dynamically changed without any intervention by the visitor, I have a problem with that.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Andy,

    In this scenario the end user had to dig three levels deep to turn this notification on, that to me is conscious, and clicking on the little slider, is also conscious ... NO?

    <font size="2" face="Verdana">Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli
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  10. #10
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    Haiko,

    It would be great if you could disclose your interest in this program (if any) publicly.

    From the content and tone of your replies, and reading between the lines, it sounds like a product that you are either going to be launching yourself and/or are actively going to be marketing/promoting in some major way, and that you're trying to get "public opinion" on your side before doing so.

    I apologise if this is not what you're intending - the limitations of a textual medium mean that it's very easy to read things into posts that aren't there!

    But if my guess is correct, please 'fess up now.

    Thanks!

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    Haiko wrote:

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> In this scenario the end user had to dig three levels deep to turn this notification on, that to me is conscious, and clicking on the little slider, is also conscious ... NO?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yes, I agree that that would be a conscious decision on the part of the user in both cases.

    However, my question is: does the slider only appear when the user is on a page that has links on it for merchants that there are rewards offered?

    If the slider appears when the browser is first loaded and then goes away, I don't consider that a big deal. If, however, it lies in wait in the background, monitoring browser activity, then appears only when a page with affiliate links on it is loaded, that might be a problem.

    Andy

  12. #12
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Edwin,

    You are 100% off base! I would Never market or be part of any program that could negatively affect my affiliate brothers and sisters traffic or income; I thought everyone knew that.

    The reason I ask, is for a model to go back to the networks as an "acceptable" resolution to parasites. If I can't keep them off ALL affiliate generated traffic.

    I guess I am asking how many hoops does the end user need to jump through and how cumbersome do the programs need to be before we "accept" their good will. I mean, crap like eBates just does NOT show any good will to me towards, the consumer, affiliates nor the net.

    <font size="2" face="Verdana">Haiko


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  13. #13
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Andy,

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>However, my question is: does the slider only appear when the user is on a page that has links on it for merchants that there are rewards offered?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Slider only appears on the specific merchant's site. It slides (from the clock) to it's height and then slides back down.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>If the slider appears when the browser is first loaded and then goes away, I don't consider that a big deal. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It does disappear, I think within 5 seconds.

    <font size="2" face="Verdana">Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli
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  14. #14
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    Haiko,
    From a both a merchant and affiliate standpoint, I agree with Cedric. Even if the user opted to view other offers, I don't want them on any of my sites. I'd like to see a way for us to 'opt-out' of having other offers displayed on our sites. Even if I have to do it in writing...in any other case, I may as well put PowWeb banners on my site and collect a commission.

    TH Media-Web Solutions For The Small Business
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  15. #15
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Tom,

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Even if the user opted to view other offers, I don't want them on any of my sites.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    There are only so many merchants, and If I, as an end user, joined reward program X and opted to get rewards, then when I get to your site and click on a merchant link, I would be notified of the availablity of a reward (as described above), I opted in to this, why shouldn't I see it?

    <font size="2" face="Verdana">Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli
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  16. #16
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    No one has ANY RIGHT no matter how deep the user has to go to "turn" it on." Anyone advertising on my site other than me is not welcome. I don't give a rat's butt how voluntary things would be, it is still intruding on my site and robbing from me at the door.

    Mike

    Don't Worry Mama, It Won't Get Freaky!

  17. #17
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Mike,

    The slider does not show until the end user is at the merchant site, so no "advertising" or more appropriately notification would occur on your site at all!

    <font size="2" face="Verdana">Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli
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  18. #18
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    Haiko,
    Trust me, I do see your argument..but whether the user opted in or not, it's my site...it's my traffic. I took the time to optimize the site to get traffic...I paid for the keywords in a PPC...I paid for the newspaper and radio ads...Not happy one bit about having that visitor snatched away, even if they opted for it. That is on my merchant site (TH Media)

    For my affiliate sites...The very LEAST I would expect from them if they are going to do it anyway is to give me a reasonable cut on the commission earned....that is only if they are going to do it as they already are.


    (sorry Haiko, we posted at the same time)

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  19. #19
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    I would say that any product that monitors the user's traffic and reacts to the user traffic is parasitc. Even if it isn't actively sucking the blood of the end user at the moment. If it is just a slider, or if it is just a search box on the browser...then it is not parasitic. The demarcation is if it actually monitors the user's traffic and tries to change the user's behavior based on what the user is doing.

    Missoula - Short Stories

  20. #20
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    Edwin, you silly goose, you've got to learn to read between the lines better than that. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    [edited to say -- posts came up while I was writing this one that change my response... but first I have to think about my response.]

    Haiko, slider-schmider, that's advertising. It may be layered advertising, but the only goal of the slider is to get the end-user to the AD -- it's the "teaser ad" put there to compel display of the full ad.

    &gt;&gt;I opted in to this, why shouldn't I see it?

    Because no matter what you opt in to, you don't have the say-so on who advertises in my store, particularly after I just spent an hour with you on the merits of the product. At decision time, you either buy or walk out -- there is no option where my competitor gets to "slide" in the door and haggle for your business. Not even if you say it's okay for him to be there and not even if you prefer for him to be there.

    If you want to know if you can get rewarded by shopping somewhere else, stick your hand in your pocket and pull out the coupons and see what you got there. Don't expect me to allow my competitors to follow you around MY store whispering "you've got a coupon in your pocket for that and if you leave here and use it at our store, you'll get a reward."

    -------
    Dawn is nature's way of telling you to go to bed.

  21. #21
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    Haiko this is getting to be a whole seperate matter.

    If the slider shows up when the visitor is on the merchants site we are no longer talking about parasites at all. Instead we are talking about merchant fraud. The agreement we have with merchants is we get paid for some sort of action and that involves sending a buying customer to the merchants site. Once we send them we have done our part and the merchant is supposed to pay us if for any actions taken.

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  22. #22
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    All,

    The Slider only pops up on the merchant site, not on any affiliate's site.

    --------------
    Heyder,

    Is it merchant fraud if the reward company got the "super-optin" end user to sign up with them? The merchant is only obligated to pay per action, the end user acted and clicked on the slider.


    So now where are we?

    <font size="2" face="Verdana">Haiko


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  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador John Kruger's Avatar
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    I design sites to have a certain appearance and function. Anything that takes away from that is not acceptable and violates my intent and the copyright of the site.

    Would it be acceptable for a TV network to display a competitors logo over a commercial it is running? Will this be the next big thing for the networks to handle?

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  24. #24
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    Haiko,
    I understand the slider...but where is MY reward for getting the visitor and sending them to the merchant site....then not getting anything for it?

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  25. #25
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    &gt;&gt;The Slider only pops up on the merchant site, not on any affiliate's site.&lt;&lt;

    Yeah, I got that now. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] But I was writing my last message when you were posting that info the first time.

    Do I think it's still parasitic? Absolutely. I'M responsible for the customer being in the store, not the slider.

    As to further arguments, I'm going to have to ponder this a while. This is a different situation and I'm not clear how I feel about it (beyond it being parasitic).

    -------
    Dawn is nature's way of telling you to go to bed.

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