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trager

Question about undisclosed affiliate links (not a deal)

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Hi all. I’m still relatively new around here. Lurked on the old forum for a year or so, then came over here and thought I should start to contribute a bit. And I recognise that I haven’t contributed a huge amount, so I don’t mean to start throwing my weight around. But I’d like to ask about affiliate links, in particular undisclosed and hidden ones, i.e. affiliate links not acknowledged as such, and not visible until they are hovered over. I’m wondering if they are allowed, and if they are welcomed. I’ve noticed them appearing and I’m not sure whether there is anything irregular about that.

Hillmy recently posted links to a number of old deals from the VSTBuzz store area, and afterwards acknowledged that these had been affiliate links. Since then Reid Rosefelt has posted each new VSTBuzz offer using an undisclosed, hidden affiliate link. Without intending any disrespect, I must confess that these links have struck me as not in the spirit of the forum, although I suspect I have the wrong idea about this.

Is there a generally accepted policy? I think it would at least be courteous, when posting an affiliate link, to acknowledge upfront what it is. But perhaps the community has been thriving on the silent use of affiliate links all along, and if so, I gladly stand corrected.

Thanks.

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27 minutes ago, trager said:

Hi all. I’m still relatively new around here. Lurked on the old forum for a year or so, then came over here and thought I should start to contribute a bit. And I recognise that I haven’t contributed a huge amount, so I don’t mean to start throwing my weight around. But I’d like to ask about affiliate links, in particular undisclosed and hidden ones, i.e. affiliate links not acknowledged as such, and not visible until they are hovered over. I’m wondering if they are allowed, and if they are welcomed. I’ve noticed them appearing and I’m not sure whether there is anything irregular about that.

Hillmy recently posted links to a number of old deals from the VSTBuzz store area, and afterwards acknowledged that these had been affiliate links. Since then Reid Rosefelt has posted each new VSTBuzz offer using an undisclosed, hidden affiliate link. Without intending any disrespect, I must confess that these links have struck me as not in the spirit of the forum, although I suspect I have the wrong idea about this.

Is there a generally accepted policy? I think it would at least be courteous, when posting an affiliate link, to acknowledge upfront what it is. But perhaps the community has been thriving on the silent use of affiliate links all along, and if so, I gladly stand corrected.

Thanks.

I never use "affiliated" links...I'm not affiliated, nor do I intend to benefit in any way, from what I post,
but I also believe that if someone posts an affiliated link that there is no real problem with it.

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1 hour ago, cclarry said:

I never use "affiliated" links...I'm not affiliated, nor do I intend to benefit in any way, from what I post,
but I also believe that if someone posts an affiliated link that there is no real problem with it.

I think it would be nice if people said they were affiliated links - just in the spirit of transparency

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2 hours ago, cclarry said:

I also believe that if someone posts an affiliated link that there is no real problem with it.

I guess for me that depends on whether they are simply posting the link just to make people aware of it or actively encouraging people to buy without disclosing exactly who they are/what their motives are. Nothing wrong with promoting a product for pay, but one of the reasons I come here to look at stuff rather than the various vendor sites is to get the opinions and feedback of people who aren't trying to sell it to me.

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At first I didn't post affiliate links (which in my case were just referral links for 10% off coupons). But after my first VSTBuzz purchases I did because I learned that I can. Whenever I posted a VSTBuzz link here from the store area it was always for something I bought already or something I wanted to buy. Also because it seemed to me that people were not that aware of/or forgotten about the store area.

As much as I wanted many coupons I could get at the time, to buy all the stuff I wanted from there plus the new deals they had, I refrained from posting random links or duplicates because in my opinion to me it felt inauthentic. And I only wanted to post stuff from the store area that I thought was cool and wanted to get myself. Also at the time, I was new to all things music creation and was collecting VSTs for my own music creations. Hence all the VSTBuzz store links from me. I have since bought everything I wanted from the store area, and because of that have not posted stuff from there.

As far as the deals section, I only gave my own opinions or recommendations for stuff I bought myself or wanted to buy. For stuff I wasn't sure about or not interested in, I only posted the links for awareness of the products and just quoted the site directly with no opinions and comments of my own.

I never really thought I would get much from the referrals, but when I did I posted here on the forum about that to help people save more.

I feel that in context of this forum (the deals section); affiliate links from individuals are fine as long as they are being authentic and truthful about their posts (i.e. only giving opinions about a product they have used or have interest in buying themselves, otherwise post only for awareness). 

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4 hours ago, trager said:

Hillmy recently posted links to a number of old deals from the VSTBuzz store area, and afterwards acknowledged that these had been affiliate links. Since then Reid Rosefelt has posted each new VSTBuzz offer using an undisclosed, hidden affiliate link.

I noticed that too LOL! But I am unsure if it was because of me 😛

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I've been posting to this forum and Larry's previous site for many years.  Either people believe in what I say or they don't. But those of you who have followed my ideas and my advice know that it was always sincerely given and based on experience.  And I put tremendous time into my posts, trying to be helpful.

I promise I will never post any deal on this site ever again. So you all can rest easy.  There will be no affiliate links from me as there will be no links at all.  If I find out about a deal, I will keep it to myself.  Larry finds everything, anyway.  😀

I hope to keep commenting on other people's deal posts, if nobody has any objections.

For all my friends on this forum, if you ever have an issue with anything I do or say, I would appreciate it if you would message me directly, rather than trying to take me down in front of the whole community.  

For the record, I never had any affiliate relationships until a few weeks ago. If you don't believe me, you can check out my many years of posts.

It was also never my intention to make posting affiliate links on this forum a permanent thing. 

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So, I assume an "affiliate link" is one where the poster gets a kick-back or payment from the site he is posting about?  

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Reid Rosefelt said:

I've been posting to this forum and Larry's previous site for many years.  Either people believe in what I say or they don't. But those of you who have followed my ideas and my advice know that it was always sincerely given and based on experience.  And I put tremendous time into my posts, trying to be helpful.

I promise I will never post any deal on this site ever again. So you all can rest easy.  There will be no affiliate links from me as there will be no links at all.  If I find out about a deal, I will keep it to myself.  Larry finds everything, anyway.  😀

I hope to keep commenting on other people's deal posts, if nobody has any objections.

For all my friends on this forum, if you ever have an issue with anything I do or say, I would appreciate it if you would message me directly, rather than trying to take me down in front of the whole community.  

For the record, I never had any affiliate relationships until a few weeks ago. If you don't believe me, you can check out my many years of posts.

It was also never my intention to make posting affiliate links on this forum a permanent thing. 

You’re our man, TTF. Always were, always will be. Been here for us from way back when at the old site. Always given us sweet deals and great advice. 
Let nobody tell you otherwise. And please keep posting those links, affiliate or not. It’s your constant dedication that makes this site worthwhile. 
As I said, you’re our man. Been our man for all those years. You and Larry and a bunch of other guys work the magic. 

Edith: adds she wants to marry Reid. Beware!

Edited by Fleer
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Personally I have no problem with affiliate links. If the deal is good it's nothing to me to help out a fellow music maker, we both gain something. Sure being open about it would be best, but to me the idea that an affiliate link is worse than a regular link is just odd. 

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If someone takes the time out to post a deal here and he / she gets a little something out of it other than our gratitude I don't have a problem with that. I trust people here to have the good of the community at heart and anyone who didn't would soon be rumbled anyway. So , in other words Reid, please post away!

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I get what it's like to come in  if you're new to the forum. In this case, though, people have built up enough trust for it to not be an issue IMO.

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To be fair the OP said this:

'Is there a generally accepted policy? I think it would at least be courteous, when posting an affiliate link, to acknowledge upfront what it is. But perhaps the community has been thriving on the silent use of affiliate links all along, and if so, I gladly stand corrected.'

Assuming that wasn't meant to be sarcastic - and I assumed it wasn't when I read it - I don't think anyone should take too much umbrage?

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Reid Rosefelt said:

I promise I will never post any deal on this site ever again.

I don't think that's necessary. From my reading of it, the OP was asking about the etiquette of using affiliate links, and then offering their opinion that they preferred the idea of disclosing them, and why. That's just their opinion, and it opened the topic for discussion. Other opinions, some contrary,  followed.

My opinion: who cares, unless they're junk posts, which would be against the spirit of the forum. I suspect the forum would police itself in brutal fashion if someone started spewing junk posts.

It's a savvy bunch, and as the OP noted, the quality level in this forum is so high that it's intimidating. Even with a real gem, like the W.A, Production one I just posted, I'm careful to check back a couple of pages to make sure it's not a duplicate that someone (invariably you-know-who) has already posted. I'd say that as far as etiquette goes, trying to avoid dupes is the biggie. There's so much stuff here that bandwidth is limited and every duplicate is another deal that gets scrolled to page 2.

If I were to post anything where I got a perk if someone clicked on the link, I'd put a friendly "if you use this link, I get X benefit." But that's just me, and I have no problem with anyone who does otherwise (w/junk post caveat).

Edited by Starship Krupa
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Reid Rosefelt is such a helpful member here and at the VIC forums. I would like to thank him for all his efforts and advice. He is motivating and helps me get up the learning curve at a good clip.

I have read 100s of his posts and have never seen anything untoward, whatsoever. Thanks again RR.

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Hi Reid - please don't go.......as someone I am sure has said before - if you post something and give your usual opinion  as to whether good and bad, and then subsequently get a little something for it, great - its very difficult in the music world these days to get anything!! And you have been here a long time - I'm sure we all trust your views on these things

Nigel

 

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Reid, you go right on posting...

The Vendors come here and post, so I see no issue with using an "affiliate" link.
The important thing is that the deal get's posted.  If someone can benefit from
that, I'm all for it.

People get a little too sensitive about things...rather than being appreciative of 
the time spent making the post, and the deal...

Let's ALL try not to be so touchy....we're all a family...and unless it violates
the terms and conditions, we really should just, as the Beatles would say 
LET IT BE!

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Reid, please continue posting. If I get a deal on a great product that I didn't know about (either the deal or the product) I don't mind that the link I clicked on gives you (or anyone else in fact) a little something in return.

I've never seen anyone complain that someone is offering their Melda referrer codes (which give a bonus to both the owner and user of the code).

And for anyone who is against the idea, either don't use the link and go directly to the product page; or right click the link, copy it, paste it, and remove the referrer bit before using it in the browser.

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Posted (edited)

Okay, I'm finally back.   A big thank to all of you who have expressed support.  I think it's important to feel safe on a forum.  Otherwise it is not much fun.

But I never had any intention of going away.  Just not posting deals. 

I wasn't even tagged on this thread.  I only discovered by accident that people were discussing me.   That's the thing that got to me. 

If people have  an objection to affiliate links, but they should say so to me directly and allow me to answer.  And they should express what their objection is.  If you don't care, why mention it? 

If I understand the objection that people have to affiliate links, it's that they believe it puts the authenticity of the person into question.   It affects their credibility.  Do you think that by disclosing it, it would change the mind of anybody who thinks that?   Otherwise, who the hell cares?  It doesn't cost you one cent more to click on the link. 

Anyway, soon enough  it will become clear what I was up to, and you will all understand it wasn't about making money as a clandestine affiliate marketer.

Edited by Reid Rosefelt
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