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Old 09-27-2011, 07:54 PM   #166
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Originally Posted by ATDrake View Post
Since when are mods not also users? IIRC, a good number of our current mods are simply regular users who've been elevated to modhood for having been exceptionally helpful to others, rather than having some more direct connection to the site like the owners do. And they still participate and post in a lot of discussions without ever donning their mod hats. One day, it may even happen to one of you.

Mind you, I'm glad they've put up further explanation for the motivations behind this move, although given how people generally react to changes on MR I see the cycle of complaints continuing as people continue to complain about the original complaints and then complain about the new complaints*.

Anyway, if the mods think it'll make their unpaid job easier (or just cut down on one vector of frustration while possibly opening up another), they can change whatever they like with my approval, even if they decide to arbitrarily close access to the Deals forum in a rotating manner so that only posters with usernames starting D-G can see what's inside from 3-5 PM PST on every 2nd Wednesday and the rest of us A-C|H-Z peons will have to wait until teatime is over.

Personally, if the affiliate links/not-links are going to cause such kerfuffle, I'm almost tempted to propose that the forum software be changed so that ALL attempted Amazon affiliate links no matter when or where will automatically be altered to provide a referrer-link for ?tag=mobileread-20 instead so that if anyone tries to sneak one in where they think the mods won't see, that 4 cents on the dollar goes directly to supporting MR instead.

Non-affiliate links would still be left as-is.

But that would make extra work for the developers.

* Myself, I am already complaining about all the complaints and expect someone else to shortly complain about my complaint.
By "users", I meant non-mods, but I'm sure you knew that

I understand and respect where the mods are coming from; I just think this all would've gone down better if they'd just come out and said what WTSharpe said here instead of "We have received a number of complaints about the fact that ...". I acknowledge that mods are users also, but I naturally (or maybe unnaturally ) assumed the complaints were from users who are not moderators.

To be clear, this is not a complaint about your complaint (or whatever - I'm kinda confused at this point ). The mods have done what they think is best for their forum - my complaining or lack thereof won't change jack - now I simply have to do what I think is best for my user experience.
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:26 PM   #167
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Originally Posted by Loosheesh View Post
I understand and respect where the mods are coming from; I just think this all would've gone down better if they'd just come out and said what WTSharpe said here instead of "We have received a number of complaints about the fact that ...". I acknowledge that mods are users also, but I naturally (or maybe unnaturally ) assumed the complaints were from users who are not moderators.
It seems ironic to me that the initial announcement purported to be about full disclosure, yet the moderators did not provide full disclosure about the reason for the change.
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:48 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by Loosheesh View Post
By "users", I meant non-mods, but I'm sure you knew that
Well, actually I'd gotten the impression from some of the assorted comments upthread that posters seemed to be considering the mods to be like unto alien entities hailing from some ethereal plane, appointed to watch over us by Alex from on high.

They were kind of speaking as though the mods were so detached from earthly concerns that since they weren't regular Deals-goers like the rest of us mortals that they couldn't understand how terribly inconvenient the new system would be, not being acquainted with how comfortable the old way was.

Which would be a false assumption, if indeed it was being made, since Dr. Drib who's one of the regular Deals mods is also a regular freebie/bargain-getter and frequently thanks the OP who finds the books he's interested in.

Anyway, your sentence just happened to look like the most convenient semi-representative quotable bit which I could hang my own comment off of.

Sorry about that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loosheesh View Post
I understand and respect where the mods are coming from; I just think this all would've gone down better if they'd just come out and said what WTSharpe said here instead of "We have received a number of complaints about the fact that ...".
Eh, given human nature I'm not so sure that the reception would have been any better had the mods indeed started out with what would have amounted to a blunt declaration of "We're sick and tired of cleaning up the messes caused when anyone tries to make money off of our not-for-money-making forum. Here are some new ground rules for you to follow if you happen to want to make money off of our not-for-money-making forum. Now shape up or ship out." instead of the semi-diplomatic if rather vague way they tried to announce things*.

Mind you, it certainly would have been more straightforward and left less room for argument (although MR-goers will complain about anything, from observation) and I'd actually encourage the mods to just put that out there for the lulz to see how people respond.

But then I tend to be one to reach for the when people go all .

* Myself, I'd have just gone and forbidden affiliate links outright and set phasers on BANNINATE for any repeat offenders. And then deleted the Deals forum if people kept complaining, to give them something to really complain about.

Because when you think about it, this is really a device-usage/format-help/shopping-advice site for the main part and the Deals forum simply a perk for regular visitors.

Page-view #s for the average freebie/deal thread is in the low to mid-hundreds. Random help-with-Calibre requests have roughly the same, and there's enough of those to fill up an entire sub-forum and 8 more sub-sub.
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:15 PM   #169
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WT Sharpe View Post
We moderators are the main ones who wanted the change because, quite frankly, we're fed up with the daily requests for thread and post deletions in the ever-escalating War of the Affiliate Links. We're being worked to death for free on behalf of people who are earning money from our efforts. The only alternate we can see is to let duplicate threads and posts clutter the forum. Is that what you really want?
Most of the duplicates I've seen are not posted by the affiliates but by people who refuse to use the search function before posting.
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Old 09-28-2011, 01:38 AM   #170
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Having skimmed everyone's posts, I am now slightly more confused than ever. I must be stupid as I was not aware of affiliate links before until I just happened to glance up at the URL. I'm a little scared of posting my thoughts here now because I'm afraid to get pounced on and chewed up.

This isn't a democracy, and I don't want mob rule either

EDIT: I do prefer maybe just limiting the posts in the deals/freebies forum to whatever can't be posted in the sub-forums below (kindle, sony, etc etc).
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Old 09-28-2011, 03:47 AM   #171
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotbob View Post
I'm really confused, first you say you liked looking in a single thread for the Kindle freebees...
How about eliminating the Deals Forum altogether and placing deals in a sub-forum inside the appropriate device forum: Kindle, Kobo, Nook, Sony, etc? That would make it much easier to find specific deals.
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:24 AM   #172
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Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
Yes. Anything you'd purchase during the visit that began from the initial link, the affiliate gets the commission, which is 4 percent.

It's not like the purchaser pays anything extra; it's just that the referrer earns a little bit from Amazon.
Well ultimately, the consumer does pay extra. All costs associated with selling a product are factored into the price.
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:27 AM   #173
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Originally Posted by wyndslash View Post
Having skimmed everyone's posts, I am now slightly more confused than ever. I must be stupid as I was not aware of affiliate links before until I just happened to glance up at the URL. I'm a little scared of posting my thoughts here now because I'm afraid to get pounced on and chewed up.

This isn't a democracy, and I don't want mob rule either
I didn't know they existed either until this topic came up.

Quote:
EDIT: I do prefer maybe just limiting the posts in the deals/freebies forum to whatever can't be posted in the sub-forums below (kindle, sony, etc etc).
I like that idea.
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Old 09-28-2011, 05:24 AM   #174
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Originally Posted by tubemonkey View Post
How about eliminating the Deals Forum altogether and placing deals in a sub-forum inside the appropriate device forum: Kindle, Kobo, Nook, Sony, etc? That would make it much easier to find specific deals.
I don't understand how it is easier going in and out of 4 subforums instead of having them all in the one Deals Forum it makes no sense to me. If anything all freebies and deals should be eliminated from sub forums and only appear in the one Deals and Freebies area.
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Old 09-28-2011, 06:07 AM   #175
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I don't understand how it is easier going in and out of 4 subforums instead of having them all in the one Deals Forum it makes no sense to me. If anything all freebies and deals should be eliminated from sub forums and only appear in the one Deals and Freebies area.
It's just as easy as dealing with 4 forums for devices (Kindle, Kobo, Nook, Sony). Why not lump them together in one forum?

If I'm looking for Sony books, I don't want to have to wade through all of the Kindle and Nook deals to find them.
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:26 AM   #176
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Where I find value is when someone helps me find good books that are bargains/free.
The problem with this is that your good may be my bad. For example, any book published by a Christian publisher would not fall on my good list; I see it as an attempt to proselytize -- bad enough they ring my doorbell. That someone else liked it, recommends it, or was paid to give it a 5-star rating seems insufficient to make it "good."
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:29 AM   #177
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Well, I don't know if this is going good for anybody, but I think it's going to be bad for people like me, who follow the freebies. Anyway, I don't understand the problem. Is bad to get some money through a link that doesn't cost anything to me, if that person has given me an information I find useful?
plus good question.
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:41 AM   #178
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I respectfully disagree. If this site works like others I have been to in the past, the moderators don't set policies, they only enforce them. Even if they do set the policies, they tend to do what they do because they think it will make things better. Being a forum moderator is a busy, time-consuming, and often thankless job. The few who remain moderators once the initial glamor wears off are the ones who genuinely care and want to help the community.

Whatever the reason for the change, the site admin or moderators who made the decision did it because they thought it was the best thing to do. I would still have preferred to force disclosure in unique threads, and would very much prefer some more openness and disclosure. But let's not start harping on the moderators as if they deliberately wanted to make things worse.

Blame the ones who ran to mommy and cried, if you have to blame someone. The moderators are just doing their job. And as much as we'd like to think otherwise, they don't owe us any answers or explanations. It would be nice to get them anyway, but let's not try to pretend this is a democracy. Or that we have the same rights as paying subscribers would.
100% correct. Wish I could give you more karma today but the system won't let me. Whether I agree or disagree with the decision, I always feel assured that the moderators are not acting out of vindictiveness. They deserve our support and thanks.
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:50 AM   #179
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I didn't know that there were affiliate links (I'm actually surprised they were allowed) and have no problem with the new policy (as long as the affiliate threads aren't stickied).
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:53 AM   #180
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Originally Posted by tubemonkey View Post
Well ultimately, the consumer does pay extra. All costs associated with selling a product are factored into the price.
Meaningless in this case though. By that statement, if you work for an electric company that sells some Amazon facility it's power, you'd better disclose your financial interest in any referral, because Amazon's prices reflect it's utilities costs which in part pay your salary.
For all practical purposes, Amazon gives a little of it's profit away for the sake of generating more sales and making the profit up in volume.
Some places do really lousy things with their affiliates/referral programs, programs, like give better deals to customers who DON'T use a referral link, or prevent referred users from taking advantage of other discounts and offers. I hate that. Amazon doesn't seem to do that.

By the way, I've seen mention of the affiliate links generating cookies which give the affiliate credit for all Amazon purchases made in 24 hours (assuming no other affiliate link is clicked, I guess). Does anyone have any proof of this?
I do not believe it works this way. As far as I can tell, the affiliate link is only good for the one browser session, which typically only survives about 20 minutes if the session is inactive, and would not survive, say, fully exiting and reopening your browser, or rebooting your computer.

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