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  1. #1
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    BHO Suggestions for 2008
    I have two:

    If we can post suggestions - any suggestions - on what to do with them, perhaps a year from now we can have a consolidated list of actions, proposals... and we can come together as a community and approah networks and merchants with some clout.

    I've noticed that any merchant that comes here who is on e b a t e s is immediately subjected to personal attacks.

    I think it's important that all merchants feel comfortable coming here - we can't educate if there's no conversation...

    so if at all possible, if we can keep the "you suk because you allow eb" posts ONLY in the parasite forum... and let these merchants post "normally" (without venom) in the other forums... my feeling is as long as they're already here (rather then avoiding us), they may browse ...and learn

  2. #2
    Newbie Rolet's Avatar
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    I have to agree with Billy on this - if we can educate without calling names or being hostile, they are more likely to listen....

  3. #3
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Absolutely. The fact that a merchant or AM is here tells me that they care about their relationship with their affiliates. Bashing them on every post that they make does absolutely no good at all and will likely end their participation.

    Actually I don't agree with the "you suck" posts even though I admit that I have been party to them in the past (I'm trying to clean up my act. OK?). I don't see any reason that we can't address the issue in a professional manner without the attacks. And hopefully the merchant will respond in the same manner.

    As long as we have their ear, there's a chance that we can persuade them to re-evaluate their programs, as soon as they stop listening we've lost the battle.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  4. #4
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I agree. With almost anything, a well reasoned argument is much more productive than name-calling. We'll never get a merchant to drop parasites by calling them stupid, but we can get many to do so if we show them how the parasites negatively affect the merchant, other affiliates, and the industry as a whole.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  5. #5
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    re: sux

    what I mean is... inside the parasite forum we have a thread called BlairSux... and on that thread we can yell at Chris all we want... but if he posts a coupon in the coupon forum, we treat him normally

    re: a year from now....

    I mean a one page bullited list of all the reasons a merchant should not be associated with bhos. Compelling reasons. Documented reasons. personal reasons. (Not "Search around ABW, and you'll find out why" - but an actuall page)

  6. #6
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    I mean a one page bullited list of all the reasons a merchant should not be associated with bhos. Compelling reasons. Documented reasons. personal reasons. (Not "Search around ABW, and you'll find out why" - but an actuall page)
    That makes a lot more sense than repeating the the same arguments over and over again. It should also include links to KellieB's videos and AFP.

    So BK, are you volunteering to lead the charge???

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  7. #7
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    There's ONE person at ABW that writes like a professional... just don't tell MichaelColey until we have an actual list that he was volunteered

  8. #8
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    There's ONE person at ABW that writes like a professional... just don't tell MichaelColey until we have an actual list that he was volunteered
    Great idea!!!

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  9. #9
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I'm not the only one. There are thousands here who are true professionals. That's what makes ABW so awesome.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    Definitely agree. Would like to see the personal attacks stopped, too. Think it's driven some people away from this forum and if they're not here, there's not much chance of being able to engage them in any conversations and also think if people have a genuine respect for each other they may be more prone to value the other's opinion. By continually bashing somebody they're probably not gonna like that too much lol and aren't gonna want to hear anything the other guy's saying. So, if the purpose is to talk to these guys and try to change any opinions, doubt that the personal attacks are very productive.

    Michael - ummmm think you've been volunteered. lol

  11. #11
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    Why not put a tag next to the user name to indicate that AM supports the use of BHOs? That way the discussion does not need to keep coming up, but they don't get to skate on the fact many people won't visit the parasite forum? And that way it isn't a subjective personal attack, just a clarification of who is speaking.

  12. #12
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    I have two:

    If we can post suggestions - any suggestions - on what to do with them, perhaps a year from now we can have a consolidated list of actions, proposals... and we can come together as a community and approah networks and merchants with some clout.
    Billy,

    You make me post about a (HBO dirty movie.) or BHO again!


    Sorry Charlie! (starkist tuna) [Star-Kist Don't Want Tuna With Good Taste, Star-Kist wants Tuna That Taste Good!] That means: Sorry Billy, we want merchants that are good to us, not merchants that think they look, just good because they see big numbers on their you know what.
    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    I've noticed that any merchant that comes here who is on e b a t e s is immediately subjected to personal attacks.

    I think it's important that all merchants feel comfortable coming here - we can't educate if there's no conversation...
    Billy,

    I agree with the "is immediately subjected to personal attacks." part, and to me, that's the part that really sucks, because maybe that new (New merchant visiting ABW.) merchant doesn't know how the whole BHO deal works, because they are just seeing all that money coming in, but they might not know yet, how are they are losing money on things they don't have to.
    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    so if at all possible, if we can keep the "you suk because you allow eb" posts ONLY in the parasite forum... and let these merchants post "normally" (without venom) in the other forums... my feeling is as long as they're already here (rather then avoiding us), they may browse ...and learn
    Billy,

    100% with that, because at least then we can tell those merchants what we know and think, and also we can then know who to safetly work with at the end.

    -------------------------


    Quote Originally Posted by chetf
    Why not put a tag next to the user name to indicate that AM supports the use of BHOs? That way the discussion does not need to keep coming up, but they don't get to skate on the fact many people won't visit the parasite forum? And that way it isn't a subjective personal attack, just a clarification of who is speaking.
    What a hell of a good Idea!

    chetf,

    You might have a good idea there, just like any other title that can be added to the name of any ABW member here, like newbie, veteran, merchant, opm, etc, ect.....

    Why not something like this:

    MerchantName - BHO User
    New Affiliate Manager










    But, something like that might work!





    ...

  13. #13
    web dev with whiskers tn-morgen's Avatar
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    I wonder if the Managers are just doing what the company wants? Some of the attacks seem to the person when the company behind the person is where the behavior is originating. That is not to say that some persons don't deserve it, but I don't know - and can only be turned off by the attitude.

    I would like to see less personal attacks. It keeps me away, and I like coming here most of the time except for those. I learn a lot and as my understanding increases, my mistakes decrease.

  14. #14
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    One of the more compelling arguments you can make to a merchant (which may or may not make it past the AM) is that most BHOs are, or were originally designed to steal their money.

    The earliest BHOs were drive-by installs or bundled with some other software, perhaps a key to free website or a pack of smileys. They were designed to sneak in and hide on the host machine and be nearly impossible to uninstall. The simplest would pop ads or affiliate URLs, just enough to not prompt an aggressive uninstall effort, but some of the more complex parasites would monitor the web browser until a site was visited that could be bounced through an affiliate link, re-load the browser and steal a commission on any transaction that took place.

    It was only after huge industry pressure that the big networks started taking a stand, and only then when any of the software guys bothered to build actual apps around their parasitic crap.

    If most merchants knew that by working with today's BHOs they were supporting an industry founded on stealing from merchants, I think most would drop 'em pretty dang quick.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  15. #15
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eathan
    If most merchants knew that by working with today's BHOs they were supporting an industry founded on stealing from merchants, I think most would drop 'em pretty dang quick.
    The main purpose of BHO's hasn't changed, they've just become more subtle and cloak themselves as "loyalty sites". The fact that they've been outed and now have to share a percentage of their stolen commissions with users doesn't change what they are and what they're intended to do.

    I firmly believe that most merchants understand their history as well as they're current mission. Unfortunately with the number of merchants that are willing or eager to have them in their programs it seems that there is really no stopping them in the short term. I would challenge ANY merchant that has been online longer than a year that says that they weren't aware that BHO's usurp commissions from legitimate affiliates. They are aware, and just don't care as long as they THINK that BHOs add to their bottom line. Frankly these merchants are no better than the BHOs that they support.

    I wonder how many users would care if they knew that for every dollar that they were adding to their kids educational fund that several dollars were being stolen from someone that legitimately earned a commission for their purchase. Unfortunately I think it would be far too few to make a difference. We seem to live a society where disservice to others is fine as long as we benefit. </rant>

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  16. #16
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chetf
    Why not put a tag next to the user name to indicate that AM supports the use of BHOs? That way the discussion does not need to keep coming up, but they don't get to skate on the fact many people won't visit the parasite forum? And that way it isn't a subjective personal attack, just a clarification of who is speaking.
    I don't know, the tag might make the member feel as if he or she is wearing a dunce cap -- it's not exactly a badge of honor.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  17. #17
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    rematt, I hope you don't think I was defending the merchants or saying modern parasites were any less thieves for their new, more fancy facades.

    The point I was trying to make was that the merchant's own bottom line may be the fastest way to get the point across that BHOs are, were and will always be parasites.

    I agree with you that most program managers know the history and the rest, but that doesn't always trickle up to their employers, especially the part about BHOs stealing from their employers... The affiliate manager can be an advocate for affiliates, a liaison with a merchant and many other things, but they can also be self-serving when it comes to inflating their channel and image within the company.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  18. #18
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eathan
    rematt, I hope you don't think I was defending the merchants or saying modern parasites were any less thieves for their new, more fancy facades.
    Absolutely not. I was actually agreeing with you in my convoluted fashion.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  19. #19
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7
    I don't know, the tag might make the member feel as if he or she is wearing a dunce cap -- it's not exactly a badge of honor.
    Maybe the reverse would be better. a tag that shows that an AM or merchant runs a "clean" program free of parasites.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  20. #20
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Can't be done Rematt. My programs aren't parasite free everyday.

    It would have to be more along the lines of "Parasite Prohibitive".

    We kill them when we find them, but they are getting tougher and tougher to find all the time.
    Kevin Webster
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  21. #21
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noth
    Can't be done Rematt. My programs aren't parasite free everyday.

    It would have to be more along the lines of "Parasite Prohibitive".

    We kill them when we find them, but they are getting tougher and tougher to find all the time.
    But you are looking for them and booting them when you find them so maybe this one may be more appropriate:

    .

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7
    I don't know, the tag might make the member feel as if he or she is wearing a dunce cap -- it's not exactly a badge of honor.
    Umm... that would be the point. When someone like the "He is a great guy, I had a drink with" person ,the reason for this thread, posts - why shouldn't members know how full of BS he is? Or I guess affiliates can continue being in abusive relationships acting like they have no power and being happy for the scraps fed them.

    But what do I know? Because these poor merchants just need educatin'. If chris hasn't figured out ebates yet and is still feeding the same tired excuses 5 or so years later... maybe it is just that sixth year that will be the breakthrough year?!!?!

    Yeah.

    Chet

  23. #23
    http and a telephoto
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    Sometimes when I take on a program it has parasites, but then the education starts and MOST of the time the merchant boots them. But since they were there when I started managing it, does that mean I get the label? I would hope not. I will be announcing one program shortly that has already authorized me to clean them up as soon as the transition is complete, and had talks with upper management in another company that I am not managing, but am consulting for that will also be looking at removing those relationships.

    But do I get a parasite infested tag for the couple of weeks (or months in some cases) it takes to clean them up? Do I get a gold star once the programs are clean? Do I need to announce the merchants that I am not managing but that I have helped clean up in order to keep my star? If I have 8 squeaky clean programs and one that I am working on, do I get the charcoal?

    It isn't quite as easy as it looks to put labels on managers, especially those that manage multiple programs.
    Deborah Carney
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  24. #24
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    Sometimes when I take on a program it has parasites, but then the education starts and MOST of the time the merchant boots them. But since they were there when I started managing it, does that mean I get the label? I would hope not.
    You say that MOST of the time the merchant boots them, so what happens the other times when the merchant decides to keep them?

    I don't see nothing that bad if you get a merchant that is loaded with parasites, and try to clean the merchant with education or other evidences like video proves, etc.

    But if after a while the merchant decides to keep the parasites, and you decide to stay working with that merchant, just because the parasites were there before you, then I believe the answer should be obvious.

    But do I get a parasite infested tag for the couple of weeks (or months in some cases) it takes to clean them up?
    Well, maybe not a standard "parasite infested - tag", maybe just a "1 Temp parasite infested merchant in rehabilitation - tag" ; -)

    If I have 8 squeaky clean programs and one that I am working on, do I get the charcoal?
    I will answer that question with a question.

    If If you have one affiliate that is on your 8 squeaky clean programs, and it's a very productive affiliate on all those programs you have, and so far you see that, that affiliate is not doing anything unethical, illegal or immoral, on any of your programs, but you find out that the same affiliate is overwriting cookies, or TM poaching, or doing something else unethical, illegal or immoral, with another merchant program.......

    Then what do you call that top affiliate of yours?

    Even if you have 1000 programs, and that affiliate is the best one you have, and have no problem with that affiliate. If you discover that, that same affiliate is up to no good in just one other merchant program.........

    Then you tell me what tag that affiliate should get......

    An "ethical affiliate" - tag? or, just the regular "money talks affiliate" -tag?

    It isn't quite as easy as it looks to put labels on managers, especially those that manage multiple programs.
    I agree that "It isn't quite as easy as it looks" but, if we can't put labels on managers and especially those that manage multiple programs, then with what face, we can put labels on affiliates, especially those that work with thousand's of merchants all over the net?

    I believe you just have said what many people say: "It isn't quite as easy as it looks"

    So, who am I to disagree? ... Btw, I think this song says it all: Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This. :-)


    Everybody is looking for something!
    Some of them want to use you,
    some of them want to get use by you,
    some of them want to abuse you,
    some of them want be abused.

    Sweet deams are made of this,
    who am I to disagree?
    Last edited by Mr. Sal; January 12th, 2008 at 12:53 PM.

  25. #25
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Frankly I don't like labels, negative labels seem to stick even when the circumstances change or are beyond the individuals control. We all know who the advocates are for clean programs here. There are so many posts that out a parasite and then we see program after program drop them that it's not real difficult to spot the good guys (and gals Lox). I also understand that it's sometimes beyond the AMs control as to whether there are parasites in their programs or not, however I'm pretty confident that the good guys don't stop fighting for a clean program.

    I would be very surprised if there weren't more than a very small handful of AMs represented here that actually condone parasites. Maybe I'm being naive, but I tend to trust the AMs that are here everyday listening and contributing. To me that says that they care about more than just the bottom line and that they are genuinely interested if not passionate about the success of their affiliates as business partners and individuals.

    The bigger problem isn't going to be found here at ABW. As long as there are networks that condone and encourage parasites and thousands of merchants that aren't represented here that feel that they add value to their programs it's going to be an uphill climb.

    In some case maybe merchants really don't have a clue about the affect parasites have on their legitimate affiliates, in others they just don't care. Either way, the battle starts with you guys that are trying to educate your merchants on the proper way to run a program. If there has to be a label, a picture of Don Quixote may be the most appropriate.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

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