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  1. #1
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    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    I am moving closer to having an agenda established for this meeting (we have the place) and I will be touching base with all solution providers at the end of this week to finalize participation.

    I know that many folks are adamant that there be representation for the smaller affiliate. I can agree with this. It is important to weigh the needs for a fair meeting against pragmatic needs i.e. ensuring that this turns into a meeting with action and not endless debate.
    I refuse to facilitate a lengthy debate, heckling, name-calling, or any other non-productive activity. My goal is to facilitate a meeting that will produce some type of action and not words.


    There seems no viable way to solve the dilemma surrounding a good candidate that can speak for everyone. There are numerous people with slightly or radically differing views. This is apparent not only to me, but others who have read these threads.

    At this time I would charge this affiliate community to come up with one representative who will NOT speak on behalf of everyone but who will collect and deliver the opinion papers that I am going to ask concerned parties construct. I am charging this particular community because it was via the efforts of ABW that the issues have come into the public eye.

    This compromise will allow smaller affiliates to have a physical presence at this meeting and at the same time allow everyone to have their voices heard by decision makers.

    Your candidate should be professional, logical, a good communicator, intimately understand the issues and must be able to conduct themselves appropriately at a professional meeting.

    The candidate will also need to be able to collect and collate the papers that will come in from the affiliate population at large and be prepared to deliver these papers, in digital format, to the decision makers from the networks.

    This person does not have to come from this community, but anyone in the affiliate population at large that is capable of attending and accepting the weighty responsability of this charge.


    I am also currently seeking a delegate from the software applications interests to attend. This will effectively provide someone to represent the interests of software technologies as it applies to performance marketing. This will provide fair balance as diametrically opposed sides will have a voice.

    I prefer to have this information by next Monday October 14th and no later then the 18th. That is your charge.

    Please use this thread to discuss the possible candidate. Please refrain from name-calling, accusations, and other unprofessional posts while in this thread.

    I leave you to it.

    Thank you,

    Wayne

    Wayne Porter
    V.P. Product Development
    AffTrack LLC.
    http://www.afftrack.com
    http://www.revtrends.com
    Advanced & Automated Data Analysis for Performance Marketers.

  2. #2
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    Kenshin,

    I'll stick to you like glue if you keep ruining perfectly good posts like this....

    please read the following from above

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Please use this thread to discuss the possible candidate. Please refrain from name-calling, accusations, and other unprofessional posts while in this thread.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    [This message was edited by Heyder on October 09, 2002 at 01:23 AM.]

  3. #3
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    Wayne, thanks for your help but I feel it's unfortunate the approach you're taking with requesting written data which will not really serve as input nor representation and certainly wont be provided any myself.

    The only good news about this I see is that you and the networks will continue on an "as is" basis while we go on educating our merchants.

    The end result is a simple one - the networks will support the parasites, merchants will one by one abandon the networks (the big ones who are concerned with credibility first) and develop independent affiliate programs and affiliates will drop the networks and still thrive.

    This can serve as my statement for the networks at your meeting.

  4. #4
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    My vote is for Buckworks.com (Elisabeth)

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>The networks "are still trying to prove this is a good business model," she said. "When something like this happens and enough parties get upset about it, it makes affiliate marketing look suspect, and it's too early for these companies to allow that to happen."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

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


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli
    </font></p>

  5. #5
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    If she is willing to go, I would also vote for Elisabeth.

    Andy Williams

    Keyword DARTs - New search engine optimization software
    http://www.affiliate-masters.co.uk/k...timization.htm

  6. #6
    Content $ Queen Ebudae's Avatar
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    If the person we choose is only going to be able to present the papers and not be allowed to participate, what is the point of sending anyone?

    I am not trying to be contrary but this is my understanding.

    Will the person be allowed to participate in the discussions beyond a reading of the papers or a handing over of the papers, or not? Simple question.

    If not, why bother with the expense of sending someone. A certified letter would do just as well.

    All that being said, if I had to choose only one person, it would be Elizabeth.

    Vicki

    Happiness is a choice that requires effort at times.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador erninator's Avatar
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    I'll throw in my vote for Elisabeth, too. She keeps a cool head on her shoulders and says it like it is.

    Ernie

    It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

  8. #8
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    The delegate will need to be able to summarize the papers. Sorry HappyPoon but people are going to have to get their ideas down on paper so we don't have a mob mentality prevailing. If you choose not to write down your views then that is your choice.

    I personally think Elisabeth is a great choice. She has proven to be level-headed about the issues.

    regards,
    Wayne

  9. #9
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Elizabeth (Buckworks), Haiko or Shawn Collins get my vote.

    WebMaster Mike

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    If we can only have one representative, my vote also goes to Buckworks.

    She is level-headed, understands the situation well, and has great communication skills. She also tries to help others whenever possible.

    I think she would be an excellent person to represent the voice of the affiliates.

    Andy

    AFFILIATE MARKETING STANDARD: The site upon which the initial action to buy occurs is the site the commission is paid to. Period.

  11. #11
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    My vote is for Haiko.

    Somewhere, I am sure, the Gods of War are laughing.

  12. #12
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    Elisabeth gets my vote!

  13. #13
    Member mrmerchant's Avatar
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    Just a quick comment on an earlier post as I feel it's relevant to this entire process/discussion. My comment is in regards to:

    "The end result is a simple one - the networks will support the parasites, merchants will one by one abandon the networks (the big ones who are concerned with credibility first) and develop independent affiliate programs and affiliates will drop the networks and still thrive."

    Please keep in mind that the networks AND merchants will support money-makers - period. They are NOT in the position, nor will they be soon, to come rushing to the aid of mom-and-pop affiliate sites. Their view is simple and must be considered in this debate: the Internet is a very small place now vs. 3 years ago. People know where to find their favorite merchants and are less reliant (not un-reliant) on search. Consumer action is driven, today, primarily by two things: the desire to save (get a deal - coupon, cash back) or loyalty (fund their kid's college fund, their 401K or local school, etc.). How long does the affiliate community believe that Google and Overture will prop up this entire model? Examination of recent moves on their part indicate "not much longer." My point is simple - people go with the money and NY Times articles where people are quoted as getting all hot and bothered won't change a thing. The business world moves forward. These clever tools, that are being called parasiteware, are at varying degrees un-ethical; however, they are mostly problematic from the MERCHANT side (excuse me, CJ, advertiser) in that they result in cost where no cost would have otherwise been the case. They are not problematic to A) merchants or B) networks because they over-write affiliate links. They will never care, folks. Why? The allmighty dollar.

    The fact that they are agreeing to sit down and talk about this (spend time/money) is amazing. Wayne - nice job and good luck to you. What may end up resulting from this meeting are some new rules of play but please, please don't expect Morpheus to shut down any time soon - that is absurd. Expect them to change their software a bit.

    Again... a reminder: money = good. No money = bad. Also, keep in mind that merchants (big ones) are not rushing to abandon these affiliates. Buyersport.com: Gap, JCrew, LLBean, Spiegel, Adidas, Best Buy, Bose, Verizon, 1800Flowers, Avon, Walmart, HSN - nobody is jumping ship... they're clammering for more... more money.

    My unsolicited advice to this community: figure out new ways to adapt! Consider FatWallet's exploration - way to go Tim! His site is an excellent example of one that goes far, far beyond simple posting of deals (zzzzz...zzzz) and builds community. Even more exciting is his development of tools for his community members... tools that make it easy to get deals (a prime shopping motivator).

    A final note: merchants/advertisers are NOT "going direct" with affiliates. They are not jumping ship for solutions like MyAffiliateProgram and the like. They are, as they've always been, enjoying the benefits realized by networks. What's the benefit? Simplicity. They don't have to worry about anything - they just need to have a network that can hand out links and banners, cut checks and centralize (one way to track many relationships). So... don't plan on seeing the big players leaving the networks any time soon!

  14. #14
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Mrmerchant calls it as he see it. The big get to trample the small and loyality shopping sites with BHO helpers need them to remind incented/reward members to swapout affiliate ID#s. The only thing you forgot to mention is the downloaded BHO crapola ruins the members computers and the interupts at the point of sale requires constant monitoring through the dial up connection slowing them down to a crawl.

    Then add in the fact that a huge majority of these rewards -get paid to surf -rebate sites are run by con artists. Hundreds of them have gone belly up when it comes time to payoff their members. Morpheus/Buyersport, the largest offender mentioned here, hasn't put in writing what their members receive as a loyality reward -haven't officially registered their Lexy Foundation Charity with IRS -and promise to pay after the first year. ( in legalese this means sometime upto 23 months later)

    Fatwallet has 86 shopping bar members as per their site owner posting here. Huge success that one for the big greedy merchants!

    WebMaster Mike

  15. #15
    Member mrmerchant's Avatar
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    Mike - you bordering on libelous nutcase - you've missed the point re: FatWallet. Tim adapts to his environment... others (dare I mention names?) do not! Let's not be critical of his success but examine his motivations and vision!

  16. #16
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    Mrmerchant you're kind of missing some things. It's like i said in another thread, merchants in it for long term growth can't afford the association with parasites. I suggest you read the Out Of Focus thread. You mentioned some merchants still accociated with Morpheus but failed to mention merchants who have dropped them. You talk about big ones still there but forget to mention Amazon who dropped them. There was a merchant list posted in another thread and i just checked it with the buyersport site. Barnes and Noble was listed but then i went to the Buyersport site, and i don't see them anymore. Do you consider Amazon and B&N big? I do. Once they realize that they actually lose money associating with them, they will change. And once some of the big ones do (Amazon, B&N) not to mention a lot of merchants here, more will follow. A lot of them are just finding out how they lose money. Do some reading.

    If all the girls lived up in trees, what a good climber johnnie would be.

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    I agree with johnniebry. The word is just now getting out to the merchants. As more and more merchants realize this is a snake's den, they will do whatever it takes to get out.

    The merchants aren't making more money BECAUSE of the parasites. They are making money because of the sites the parasites are stealing from. In the end, they aren't actually growing their business, they're just shifting income from one source to another. They aren't making more because of the parasites, they are spending more to get the same sale.

    The parasites exist because of the affiliate sites; they have very little to offer on their own. If they did offer something unique to visitors (like content) they wouldn't have to depend on others for their traffic.

    Andy

    AFFILIATE MARKETING STANDARD: The site upon which the initial action to buy occurs is the site the commission is paid to. Period.

  18. #18
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    MrMerchant- While I value your feedback and unique insight I would ask you use another thread to discuss the your views of the market.

    Everyone else please continue to use this thread to discuss and choose a delegate that will carry and summarize affiliate opinions to the meeting in November.

    Thank you for staying on task.

    -Wayne

  19. #19
    Member mrmerchant's Avatar
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    Indeed, y'all... you're right on a few points here; however, let me add more details to my argument. BN and Amazon are among the few commodity-focused (books) merchants that have thousands of smaller affiliates that actually do produce a good deal of their revenue... hence, the sensitivity to this community's concerns (they pulled out).

    You read it here first: the other big brands will not follow suit. Why? Common sense. If one was to look inside a network (as some people on this board have) you would see that 98% of order volume is flowing thru these "parasites." What does this say to the affiliate community in terms of the meeting Wayne will be facilitating? It says that your voices may be heard, yes, but that they will pale in comparison to the noise being made by merchants shop carts being clicked. Why? Pure economics. I'm sure Steve Messer wants to have a vibrant affiliate industry - everyone does... but at what cost? Elimination of the prime revenue stream? Doubtful.

    As for this comment...
    "The parasites exist because of the affiliate sites; they have very little to offer on their own. If they did offer something unique to visitors (like content) they wouldn't have to depend on others for their traffic."

    I shouldn't even address it as it's rooted in fear and not fact. I suppose Morpheus has nothing to offer? I suppose all of the file sharing and rebate sites have nothing to offer? You're arguing with their BOAT LOADS of traffic, buddy...and that can't be argued with! Hell, even iWon has something to offer to the masses of dipsticks out there.

  20. #20
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    You still don't get it, like i said do some reading. All the traffic you say they are generating is traffic that was already happening. If someone goes to my site, clicks a link taking them to a merchant, i did my job of delivering a possible customer to the merchant. Do you get this? They are just taking over traffic already going to the merchant. If they disappeared today, the merchants still would get the traffic. Have you seen the buyersport site? There are no deals, coupons, notice of sales, anything of value. Just simple text and banner links. That site alone is no competition to most other sites out there, like one of the sites you mention. Merchants who accociate with parasites actually are losing money but they don't know this because they haven't been educated on this fact.

    If all the girls lived up in trees, what a good climber johnnie would be.

  21. #21
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Great troll there mrmerchant: "You're arguing with their BOAT LOADS of traffic, buddy...and that can't be argued with! Hell, even iWon has something to offer to the masses of dipsticks out there."

    When you steal the traffic of others you can treat that volume of shoppers as "dipsticks". This lack of concern for the shoppers is what caused the fall of KMart if you need a real world example. Trusting your brand, even for the crappy converting major e-tailers, to parasites is a real risk since they jointly promote your competitors on your own site. Some eTailers and portals actually had to pay an extortion fee to keep them off their URL.

    I don't worry about the influence of mrmerchant's 8 posts here. Next week he'll have a new icon and member ID.

    WebMaster Mike

  22. #22
    Member mrmerchant's Avatar
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    Jonniebry:
    I get it... completely. This is the only part of their model that is not only un-ethical (who cares?!) but hurtful to them in the long run. This is the part of their practice that MUST and will change before merchants catch on. They are changing this - as best they can (they can't force new software upgrades). News flash, tho: The affiliates will not force this, nor will the networks. Merchants will! Hence, the network "summit" that Wayne is building. Networks care because they know their merchants will reject these affiliates once they learn of it - leaving the networks w/o their main source of revenue. Oh... and just for the record and to keep this post on the mark - my vote is for someone sane (sorry, Mike) and level headed (sorry Haiko). Also, Mike... you can only vote for one, buddy. Why not call up Ted and ask him or is he pissed about that waltz with Jane?

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    Yeah, a former lurker turned troll. That does add a lot to the thread. And dispensing incorrect information, at that.

    If there were no content sites for the parasites to feed from, there would be no parasites. They exist BECAUSE of our traffic. That's where their BOAT LOAD of traffic comes from. They don't generate it on their own. They depend on us for the majority of their traffic.

    Yes, the parasites have Web sites. What they don't have is a reason to go there. There's no content. The parasites don't contribute anything to the Internet, they just take from it. The parasites are not the reason people use the Internet. Content sites are. And the file sharing based business plan is a dead fossil. Too many illegal activities going on there, and the "we didn't know" excuse won't work!

    When merchants realize the traffic from the big bucks parasites comes from the small affiliates, and not the parasites, who are they going to want to do business with?

    To get back on topic, has anyone heard from Elizabeth? Is she willing and able to represent us? Has anyone discussed donating to a fund to help pay expenses if she does go?

    Andy

    AFFILIATE MARKETING STANDARD: The site upon which the initial action to buy occurs is the site the commission is paid to. Period.

  24. #24
    Member mrmerchant's Avatar
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    Andy:
    Incorrect information = anything Andy dosen't understand or choose to agree with.

    Your so-called parasites (affiliates with better ideas than just listing off promo codes) include: eBates, FatWallet, iWon and others - not just the file sharing sites.

  25. #25
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    Andy and MrMerchant,

    Thank you for this digression. It is an interesting debate, but one I ask you to duke it out on another thread. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    I have not heard from Elisabeth, but so far she seems to shaping up as a good candidate that is level-headed, understands the issues, and professional.

    Has anyone heard from her on this topic? Elisabeth?

    best,
    Wayne

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