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Thread: Two Apologies

  1. #1
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Unhappy Two Apologies
    Folks,

    I feel like I owe all members of this forum two apologies:

    One - for this thread where I put on an affiliate hat on too boldly and scolded a decent affiliate program for not reacting too promptly to my affiliate initiatives. It has never been my intention to bring them down or sound any negatively towards ShareASale or their ThinkTanks (which are worth the highest praise).

    Two - becoming an active affiliate for two affiliate programs (both well-known here at ABW) and over the past 3 days 4 hours and 50 minutes spending $50.65 on paid search and sending them $510.69 in sales (earning a total of $18.89 of net profit in the process). I have never thought of making my affiliate "endeavors" a secret. Hence, posted about them in the open (right here at ABestWeb). Let me also emphasize that never in the process have I taken advantage of any information received from affiliates of the programs I manage currently or have managed in the past. But since my above-quoted actions have given rise to thoughts culminating in such threads as this one (and a few other posts and e-mails I have received over the past 40 hours), I feel I owe many of you all an apology.

    Needless to say that I tweaked with it not to make a living (5-6 hours of work a week won't make one a super affiliate these days), but I'm not gonna get down to excuses. I've just quit my affiliate campaigns. Given the obvious conflict of interests in this cross-channel area of affiliate marketing, it is simply not worth my reputation.

    My sincere apologies to all of you for the above two situations.


    Sincerely yours,

    Geno

  2. #2
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    Kudos. My respect for you has gone up tremendously. Not that I have ever doubted your sincerity and openness about your affiliate hat ..

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador bettylou's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, I think we should all think about this from a different perspective. I really don't think that Geno was being anything but honest about his affiliate work. That's why he talked openly about it here. He's a good guy. He's not going out at night kicking puppies and knocking down old ladies! I think he is quite sincere in his efforts to help us succeed.

    Does it bother me that he does affiliate work? Maybe. Does it concern me that he has access to sensitive information? Nope. Just like Andy Rodriquez said in the other thread -- at the end of the day, it all comes down to trust.

  4. #4
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bettylou
    Just like Andy Rodriquez said in the other thread -- at the end of the day, it all comes down to trust.
    And I trust Geno as I trust Andy. I believe Geno is a Class Act.
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  5. #5
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Thank you, R., Betty, and B.

    Never meant to offend anyone. But never will seek anyone's "liking" back, as no accusations posted were deserved.

    Apologies again to CelebrateExpress, ShareASale and any affiliates that may have thought otherwise...

    Sincerely,

    Geno

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador bettylou's Avatar
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    as no accusations posted were deserved

  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bettylou
    He's a good guy. He's not going out at night kicking puppies and knocking down old ladies!
    You are obviously pretty new here! I can't count the number of old ladies I've had to help back to their feet courtesy of a Geno round-house right to the nose! They never knew what hit em. That's why he's known through AARP as the "Russian Hurricane"

    Now, kidding aside, Geno has indeed been open about his affiliate pursuits. I don't know that there is anything inappropriate with what he was doing, but he has made no secret of it. His decision to end his affiliate activity is his to make. However, I personally see nothing wrong with an OPM who manages a candy program being an affiliate in a clothing program. Apples and oranges make for two parts of a good fruit salad, but they are totally different fruits.
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  8. #8
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Hamilton
    ...I personally see nothing wrong with an OPM who manages a candy program being an affiliate in a clothing program. Apples and oranges make for two parts of a good fruit salad, but they are totally different fruits.
    That was my initial thinking too, A. But the farther I went in an e-mail, IM, and post-to-post debate with affiliates, and reading what Haiko, Greg Rice and others had to say, the more I realized that it was not worth it. Why give anyone any reason to doubt you when your purpose of doing this is not to find a new source of paying your mortgage, or quit your *day job*, or to become the best darn PPC affiliate in the world (after Donuts of course :-))?! The decision was simple for me (whose family does not depend on him being an affiliate). It may not be simple for others... I've made my call. My "day job" (of an outsourced affiliate progam manager) and my reputation are much more imporant to me. All life long we need to make choices. This one is mine for this situation.

    G.

  9. #9
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Hamilton
    I personally see nothing wrong with an OPM who manages a candy program being an affiliate in a clothing program. Apples and oranges make for two parts of a good fruit salad, but they are totally different fruits.
    How about a clothing AM/OPM who has a candy/party affiliate on the side?

    I have an undeveloped domain name perfect for furniture. I've signed with a couple of furniture AMs/OPMs who represent such companies in this forum. I'd like to try furniture and home decorating.

    I affiliate with candy/party programs and also I am an affiliate with clothing, costume, jewelry, home decor, and gifts.

    Why is an AM/OPM fooling around with affiliate sites and how does she/he use my information or does he/she use my information? The situation itself raises red flags. The potential conflicts of interests render an awkward situation.
    Last edited by Rhia7; November 8th, 2007 at 06:41 PM.
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  10. #10
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    I don't see any conflict as long as you are not promoting your own affiliate programs with affiliate links.

  11. #11
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostdeviant
    I don't see any conflict as long as you are not promoting your own affiliate programs with affiliate links.
    How would you feel if you signed up with an AM/OPM who sells/promotes something you'd like to try as an affiliate and then that AM/OPM decided to become an affiliate of something you specialize in?

    Do you feel the heat?
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  12. #12
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    If you are your own AM of your own merchant site is it considered competing with your affiliates by doing inhouse marketing? (adwords, niche sites, seo, etc...). Without using the same links as your own affiliate program of course.

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    And an OPM or merchant who knows both sides of the track is a more knowledgable / more valuable OPM who can better assist affiliates at every level. If I play football for a coach, I want a coach who has played the game.

    If I join forcess with a sales manager or marketing director, I want a SM or M.D. who has come up through the sales and marketing ranks.

    If an OPM has affiliate experience, s/he is better equipped to understand both sides and in turn help affiliates maximize revenues - which is ultimately the goal of a good OPM, and his/her affiliates.

    As far as conflict of interest, use common sense and it's easy enough to determine the path to follow.
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  14. #14
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Geno,

    Either way, your personal decisions are yours to make. I appreciate your openness about the subject and whether I personally think it was necessary for you to take the path you chose, I respect your your right to decide. ;-)
    No more comment from me on this thread.
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  15. #15
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7
    How would you feel if you signed up with an AM/OPM who sells/promotes something you'd like to try as an affiliate and then that AM/OPM decided to become an affiliate of something you specialize in?
    Rhia, this* was not my situation, and I do not want other people to get impression that it was.

    Geno

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    *If you imply that affiliate manager acquiring some "knowledge", "keywords", "future plans" and "ideas" in friendly conversations and then turning around and taking advantage of you. For numerous times I spoke with affiliates like Michael Coley, Snib, Judi (jmoore61103), beachcom, visitourmall ...the list is endless... and was entrusted with their ideas, which I would never share with anyone else, nor even think of bringing them to life by myself as an affiliate.

  16. #16
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    I can related to both sides of the fence...

    Being an affiliate (though not much of one anymore these days) has made me a better AM by far. The posts I see in this forum about "clueless AMs" are the AM's that most likely never been an affiliate before and really are clueless. They don't realize things like affiliates having multiple sites and just because their main site isn't a match doesn't mean the affiliate doesn't have alternate sites to use or even create new sites around their program... and alot of other affiliate marketing related issues.

    But then again, there have been AM's in here in the past that have been banned for copying affiliate sites... so I can understand the conflict of interest thing too.

  17. #17
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7
    How would you feel if you signed up with an AM/OPM who sells/promotes something you'd like to try as an affiliate and then that AM/OPM decided to become an affiliate of something you specialize in?

    Do you feel the heat?
    I really don't see it that way. I'd rather they'd continue in a very limited fashion say um ... on Sundays so they don't forget what it is like being an affiliate.
    If a Sporting goods affiliate decides to market wedding presents in his or her free time, it is none of my business even if I am interested in marketing wedding gifts.

    It is just a second job like a language teacher giving private classes on the side (as long as those private students aren't working for a current client)

    I have no idea how much an AM or OPM makes it could be a lot or as little as I make.

    Perhaps he or she needs the income to pay their rent or medical bills.

  18. #18
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Lostdeviant,

    I said something "you specialize in."

    You don't specialize in any of the above mentioned topics. I know what you specialize in because I checked out your site when you were asking for help/advice.
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  19. #19
    Pimp Duck popdawg's Avatar
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    Should the debate not continue in the other thread just to keep it all together?

    (just a suggestion ... I get easily distracted when topics are spread around multiple threads )
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  20. #20
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7
    Lostdeviant,

    I said something "you specialize in."

    You don't specialize in any of the above mentioned topics. I know what you specialize in because I checked out your site when you were asking for help/advice.
    ok, well actually I'm not specializing in Web hosting that was/is a test although I will be adding more software reviews to that site in the future. :-)

    I have been marketing pretty heavily the 'printable games' and have made several commissions. So lets say that an OPM or AM decides to start his own site for printable games, but he or she manages Sporting goods.
    I'm not going to worry about it. I'll just keep working. I would expect that their affiliate activities don't interfere with their OPM or AM tasks.

    In reality I feel more pressure from the merchants themselves. They do PPC and marketing. The merchants and the large online retailers are the real competition IMHO.

    Rhia, perhaps we'll have to agree to disagree on this one.

  21. #21
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by popdawg
    Should the debate not continue in the other thread just to keep it all together?

    (just a suggestion ... I get easily distracted when topics are spread around multiple threads )
    Yes it should Pop. This thread was derailed and needs to get back on topic. Geno's good faith apology is the topic, and as far as I can see, the matter is resolved. Thanks Pop. ;-)
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  22. #22
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    Alan, you are correct...it was derailed a while ago. There is another thread if you want to combat the correctness or this or that. Geno didn't derail the main discussion thread for his apology, he created it here instead.

    click here to ***** and moan some more

    Anyway, Geno... I appreciate your honesty and I am glad to have you as one of the best to look up to here at ABW.

    -sfcom

  23. #23
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geno
    I've just quit my affiliate campaigns. Given the obvious conflict of interests in this cross-channel area of affiliate marketing, it is simply not worth my reputation.
    Your reputation was never damaged in my eyes. The affiliate community has many cats out of the bag, and quality people like Geno are not the problem.

    Having said that you probably made the right decision just for the reasons you gave.


  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geno Prussakov

    But the farther I went in an e-mail, IM, and post-to-post debate with affiliates, and reading what Haiko, Greg Rice and others had to say, the more I realized that it was not worth it... I've made my call. My "day job" (of an outsourced affiliate progam manager) and my reputation are much more imporant to me. All life long we need to make choices. This one is mine for this situation.

    G.
    Geno, I think you are doing the right thing. Frankly, I didn't know you were "one of us(affiliates)" until after reading this thread. You could keep silence on this matter but I do admire your guts to stand yourself out and make the clear statement.

    You've earned your credit from me, as always.

  25. #25
    Pimp Duck popdawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bumpaw
    Your reputation was never damaged in my eyes. The affiliate community has many cats out of the bag, and quality people like Geno are not the problem.

    Having said that you probably made the right decision just for the reasons you gave.
    ================================================================
    Been away, now I'm back. Not as much, but I'm back & starting from scratch. Where I was, was fantastic. Where I am now, less so. Things have changed, become harder. So have I. Game ON!!!
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