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"Link added by VigLink"


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#1 NeuralClone

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 04:41 PM

I've clearly missed something as it seems links are now being added to my posts automatically when I mention certain products (for example: Xbox 360, Wii). Is this a new feature that's been intentionally added or is it something that can be disabled? It isn't a huge deal but it's a little irritating to write out something only to have it filled with links when it's posted.
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#2 Orpheus

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 06:17 PM

Yeah, it was announced a couple of months ago.

We're not wedded to it. We're mostly just seeing how much revenue it would generate. It's easy for us to turn off that part and go back to our former model.

To date, I've heard three complaints.

#3 NeuralClone

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 07:26 PM

Ah, ok. Thanks, Oprh. :) I don't frequent AQG very often so I must have missed it. This was just the first time I had noticed it and wondered what was up. It doesn't seem to trigger very often so it isn't a huge deal.
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#4 Orpheus

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 08:56 PM

View PostNeuralClone, on 13 January 2012 - 07:26 PM, said:

Ah, ok. Thanks, Oprh. :) I don't frequent AQG very often so I must have missed it. This was just the first time I had noticed it and wondered what was up. It doesn't seem to trigger very often so it isn't a huge deal.

Yeah, it's new to VigLink, so they, too, are constantly fiddling with it. In the past week or two, it's become much more noticeable in the forums I frequent, too. I assume they'll reach a happier, more selective medium.

I certainly wouldn't want it, if it pockmarks EI indiscriminately, as I've seen older affiliate tech do on other sites. It may turn out to be not particularly worth it, even if it is selective. There's no way to know except to try it.

#5 D.Rabbit

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 10:18 PM

So I may assume that when anyone on the board clicks a link, there is revenue for the board generated, or do we have to buy something first?
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#6 Orpheus

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 11:15 PM

If you click a link for a product, we generally get a percentage of the price if you buy that item (Viglink will convert any product link to an affiliate product link), and probably a penny or less if you just click. Some affiliates may give us a %age if you buy within a certain # of days (provided you don't clear their cookies); it varies by retailer.

If you click a link to a *site* that happens to be affiliated with Viglink (they have 10,000s of affiliates, including some newspapers, mags, etc. as well as retailers), we get a penny or less, just for the click.

If you use the eBay search box, we get some tidbit for your use of it (but I think we only get credit for 1-2 clicks per computer per day), beyond that I don't know *what* they pay if you buy. I think it varies by product type, what promotions are being offered by eBay and/or used by the seller, etc. If you click a direct link to a specific eBay auction, we may get a small percentage.

Just adding an Amazon link to whatever book, DVD, music, etc. you're discussing in a thread would be a big help. You don't have to do it all the time -- the first mention in the thread would plenty. (That's the link most people are likely to use, anyway.) Most other retailers work too. Amazon seems to be our best revenue producer by a wide margin, probably just because it is definitely the most commonly linked. Ebay is #2, probably for the same reason. Lurkers and drive-by visitors may click these links years later and generate commissions. In fact, last week's top commission generator happened to be Bill Moyer's "A Living Conversation" Season 1 -- he's been mentioned many times since 2003, but that DVD hasn't been mentioned on EI since 2009!

Edited by Orpheus, 14 January 2012 - 12:15 AM.


#7 NexusNine

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 01:30 AM

Make that four complaints.  I don't really like it, Orph.  It makes me feel like I'm endorsing stuff that I'm not.  In a way, it feels like my intent is altered to some extent.  I get the reasoning behind it, but I really don't like it when I don't have control over the things I type.  This is something I can't control, meaning what I write is endorsing something whether I want it to or not.  Is there a way you can let individual members turn the feature off or on themselves, or is this something that's fully integrated into the forum's code and is an all or nothing kind of thing?  Because I would rather have it off.  I'd rather see ads on the forum than this.

Edited by NexusNine, 15 January 2012 - 01:31 AM.

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#8 Nonny

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 08:37 AM

Nordstrom  :lol:

It took me by surprise a few minutes ago.     :rolleyes:
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#9 Tricia

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 09:32 AM

^^^^LOL


It's a little startling to see that link pop up in my own post or other people's post but I don't have a problem with it and don't feel that I personally am endorsing any product anymore than I am by simply mentioning that company or product in what I was posting about.

But YMMV :shrug:

To me it is pretty obvious to me whether it is a Viglink or on purpose by the poster ....just allow the cursor to hover over the link.  It will either say 'link added by VigLink' or just simply 'external link'.

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#10 Orpheus

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 08:02 PM

Though I am curious about the evolution of their system, we can easily drop this if members regularly provide links to media/products under discussion. Those generate far greater commissions. For example: when I directly link a book I'm reading, it can generate a buck or so in 7-10 days, plus more sporadic hits from guests over time. This adds up.

As we re-grow our community with new active members (as I hope we will do), and this just becomes "community culture" on EI, I can see our community becoming financially self-sustaining

#11 Balderdash

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 12:15 PM

Ok, that's cool and all but I think I have a complaint too.  I typed the words Banana/Republic but
with a space instead of the slash and created a link to a clothing store which I did not want to do.
I like the store and all but it seemed weird to be there.  Just saying...

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#12 Orpheus

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 12:56 PM

It is weird, and like almost all automated replacements, there age going to be false hits. I've actually seen much worse on other sites when AdWords were first popular: Wonder Woman as an Amazon, Gateway drugs (as opposed to Dell drugs, perhaps better known as "the pharma in the Dell"), the latest Intel on the middle east, a site admin named Wendy, and any mention of any kind of Target -- all yielded sometimes amusing results.

I must admit that half the reason I'm continuing this experiment is to see how the matching strategies evolve.

#13 foborg

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 07:33 AM

I've seen other sites mark the automatically generated link in some way that doesn't look like normal links. Like using a dashed underline, or something like that. It's a more subtle look that doesn't give the same confusion as all the links looking the same does.
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#14 NexusNine

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 12:31 PM

View PostOrpheus, on 19 January 2012 - 12:56 PM, said:


I must admit that half the reason I'm continuing this experiment is to see how the matching strategies evolve.
  

Please, Orph, can you give members a choice to shut it off if they want to?  If not, can you shut it off.  It's really starting to annoy me a lot, and, yes, it IS factoring into my decisions whether or not I want to post at any given time.  Plus I don't want people skipping over any legitimate links I do post because it looks identical to a VigLink.  Look: Wii (VigLink) Nintendo (legit link I actually posted).  I don't like it at all.  And I think enough people have stated that it's jarring enough that we should consider another solution to generate revenue.  We're trying to attract more membership, not annoy the membership we already do have away.  Please, Orph, give me a way to shut this thing off.

Edited by NexusNine, 21 January 2012 - 12:35 PM.

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#15 Anna

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 02:02 PM

View Postfoborg, on 21 January 2012 - 07:33 AM, said:

I've seen other sites mark the automatically generated link in some way that doesn't look like normal links. Like using a dashed underline, or something like that. It's a more subtle look that doesn't give the same confusion as all the links looking the same does.
The auto-linking doesn't bother me, but I like this idea if it's feasible.
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#16 Orpheus

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 02:29 PM

Their script handles that, not ours. At present I don't see a way to set our skins to mark autolinks differently from user links, but I haven't looked very hard. They'd only need to give their auto-links a name so we can format them separately in our skins -- and they may be quite willing to do that, since they don't know every skin on every site.

Actually, I think I'll just turn autolinking off based  on the results I've gathered on its current implementation. But please don't get too confused if I turn it on from time to time in the future to monitor its progress/efficacy.

#17 Nonny

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 12:01 PM

I want to make this clear: while it took me by surprise, it by no means upset or annoyed me.  Do not count me with the naysayers please.
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The once and future Nonny

"One man's vulgarity is another's lyric."  Justice John Marshall Harlan, 1971

"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.  

If the Dems are "job killers" then the GOP are job abortionists.  

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

Tea Party organizers may want to run away from the facts, but they're not that fast, and the American people are not that slow.  Charles M. Blow

GOP holding up health care, your money or your life.  

All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot

Continue to say nothing if you agree. House

If corporations are people, NBC was my first wife!  P J O'Rourke

#18 Orpheus

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 01:37 PM

My decision is entirely pragmatic: at present autolinking is not generating enough revenue to make it worth the hassle to even a small number of the membership, and while I'm personally curious about the evolution of this new Viglink mode, I see no reason for the membership to suffer through its teething pains. We make MUCH more on member-links

I'll try them out periodically to see if they substantially improve the revenue stream and/or take my suggestion to make it possible to distinguish the two types of links, but right now it's just not worth it.

#19 Mark

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 10:37 PM

View PostOrpheus, on 22 January 2012 - 01:37 PM, said:

My decision is entirely pragmatic: at present autolinking is not generating enough revenue to make it worth the hassle to even a small number of the membership, and while I'm personally curious about the evolution of this new Viglink mode, I see no reason for the membership to suffer through its teething pains. We make MUCH more on member-links

I'll try them out periodically to see if they substantially improve the revenue stream and/or take my suggestion to make it possible to distinguish the two types of links, but right now it's just not worth it.

Mark: I've told you this before...I don't mind the links in normal posts too much, but when they invade my PM's, that's another matter entirely. I hated that aspect! Invading personal messages with advertizing is going overboard. However, since you aren't too keen on keeping it going right now, I guess it doesn't matter.

Edited by Mark, 23 January 2012 - 10:38 PM.

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#20 QueenTiye

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 11:11 PM

Can we have a little more detail on links provided by members - how it helps Ex Isle?

Is there a special way we should link to make thay work?


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