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Whats up with TB and skimlinks?

Discussion in 'Forum Usage Help' started by JackANSI, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. JackANSI


    Sep 12, 2006
    Why pay up front to support it? Its obvious they will find a way to get revenue without me handing it to them once a year.. get it? :)

    Like I said before, I'm not against the admin making money, I'm against the fact that I gave money up front while still getting the same same garbage redirect crap non-supporters get. Its a pretty low move to pull on someone who is donating to you..

    Its kinda common sense from my point of view.. someone is donating to you, why do this kind of crap to get extra revenue from him when he has already given you what you asked for....
  2. rarbass


    Jul 3, 2008
    It's not charging you in any way, why is it such a big deal? How is it honestly affecting you?
  3. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    what exactly is being done to you/taken from you?
  4. paul

    paul Staff Member Founder Administrator

    Jul 20, 2000
    Sorry guys, I'm out of town, and managed to ruin my laptop with spilled baby formula, so I'm down to phone access. I'll post more when I'm back in town on Friday, but for now I will confirm that we do use Skimlinks. When a user clicks a link to amazon etc, we get a payout (a few cents) from amazon. I didn't think that tb users would be offended and I will definitely check into multiple redirects etc when I'm back in town. Prior to skimlinks we used a company called Driving Revenue. Its a great way to help bring in some money - and it is a lot less obtrusive than other means at our disposal - like having key words pop up ads when you mouse over them. like you'll see on msn.com etc. I find that annoying and though it'd bring in huge $$$, I'll never do that on TB.

    Sorry for rambling, like I said I'll check more into this on Fri!
  5. JackANSI


    Sep 12, 2006
    Not much except bandwidth, time, and depending on what third party ad reducing DNS servers I use, the ability to actually get to where the link is going (if the redirect domain doesn't resolve). Heck if the redirector's servers are not accessable for some network reason, no links will work.

    Not to mention the whole fact this is creepy as hell that you guys want to track where your users are going even deeper than normal.

    If your going to force me through redirects, how about throwing in the benefits of a supporting membership in return without having to pay up front? Seems fair, no?
  6. paul

    paul Staff Member Founder Administrator

    Jul 20, 2000
    Hi Jack,

    While it is true that if the redirect server went down links wouldn't work, it is not likely if the network is robust and redundant.

    If we do end up staying with SkimLinks, I will install a vbulletin plugin, that will result in only affiliate links being rewritten (amazon, ebay, etc), and all other outbound links on TB would remain untouched. I understand that having every single link routed through redirect is not the best plan, and this will not be the case for much longer.

    We were with a similar company called Driving Revenue for the past year - and have not had a single user complaint of redirect servers being down or anything. I firmly believe that using this type of service to get TB a small commission on the sales we send to 3rd party merchants is one of the best, least obtrusive means to generate revenue (considering the many many alternatives available, like expanding ads, page takeover ads, dynamic word links and all the other ad vehicles on other sites that drive you mad and actually affect user experience). All the major forums I go to (from Tomshardware to AVSForum) all use similar javascript code to monetize affiliate links.

    I have a call scheduled Fri morning with Skimlinks and will inquire about the "multiple redirects" you experienced.
  7. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Losing the ability to right click and copy shortcut is an incovenience when you use one browser to surf but use another browser that has flash installed for things like youtube. I modified my host file to correct this.

    I think the solution that they offered you isn't well thought out nor sophisticated enough to do just the links that you need modified leaving everything else alone.
  8. JackANSI


    Sep 12, 2006
    I must say, Paul, that I really, really, appreciate your time spent and openness with this. It is a rarity these days.

    The thread in question where I get the multiple redirects is: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?p=9570370 I recorded URL bar during the multiple redirect, if you want I can send you that .mov to see for yourself.

    The sequence is (shortened to just domains):
    then finally to where I wanted, www.parts-express.com

    I'd still prefer, as a supporting member, at least the option of turning it off. I know I'm pennies in the bucket of the quarter million or so a year this site brings in for you in subscriptions alone (if 10% of members are supporting, which I think is on the lower side), but I won't renew while I'm be redirected from links in a thread.

    Phil, I know what you mean.
  9. paul

    paul Staff Member Founder Administrator

    Jul 20, 2000
    An update: I have installed a vbulletin plugin that will take all affilate redirect action away from most links on TalkBass (in other words, if you copy a link to a TB thread, it will not be jumbled up anymore, Phil). Only links to affiliate merchants that pay TB (amazon, ebay, musiciansfriend, etc), will hop through a redirect so that TB gets a commission from any sales we send. Hopefully this will help make the impact of this even less significant.

    Regarding multiple redirects: The folks at Skimlinks, while assuring me that skimlinks only ever uses one redirect, did acknowledge the fact that depending on which affiliate network is utilized (commissionjunction, etc), there may be a few more hops. However, the hops happen in less than a second and should not ever be noticed. If this is ever not the case, be sure and let me know asap.

    Regarding if the redirect server 'goes down': There are 3 levels of redundancy (on two continents) that apparently will keep things up nearly all the time. If all the servers were to go down at once, they have a DNS failsafe that will simply route the links straight through if no contact from the servers.

    So, that's what I've found out. Let's see how things go with the VB plugin in place, and we'll evaluate from there :)
  10. JackANSI


    Sep 12, 2006
    It takes about 3 seconds to get through all 4 of the redirects from home (slow 1Mbps DSL) and 3G... The only time it takes less than a second is on a 24Mbps comcast cable connection... like I said I got a .mov capture of the URL bar, its through the 24Mbps connection. I notice it.

    Edit: If the VB plugin should be working right now and parts-express is not an "affiliate merchant that pay TB", then the VB plugin is not working.. I won't be able to look after this as I'm adding *.skimlinks.com back into my host file and don't plan on removing it this time..

    Re-edit: That is uber low, the simple hosts trick isn't doing it for me anymore... fixed: Had to add skimlinkscom.skimlinks.com to the hosts file as well..
  11. paul

    paul Staff Member Founder Administrator

    Jul 20, 2000
    Thanks for the info, Jack. Indeed it does take a couple seconds clicking the parts-express link. I'll continue to evaluate this issue.

    A quarter of a million? Holy cow! My wife could buy a lot of shoes with that! All subscriptions and ad revenue combined doesn't come CLOSE to that. Remember, not all of the total registered members are active. Only a fraction are. Lol.
  12. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    Could skimlinks be some how not allowing me to access TB right now?

    It's worse than dial right now.

    This is the only site that the threads won't load in a timely fashion.
  13. paul

    paul Staff Member Founder Administrator

    Jul 20, 2000
    I doubt it - no other reports have come in, so I think it's a local issue. See your other thread -
  14. paul

    paul Staff Member Founder Administrator

    Jul 20, 2000
    I've decided to go back to using Driving Revenue (now Viglink), using the same code we'd been using since March of 09. It's more 'lightweight' and seems to have less of an impact on tb user experience (urls can be copied just as they are, etc).
  15. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I don't care either way. Make some money Paul, make all you can. I'm going to pay my $20 every year regardless of how I get re-directed when I click a link to leave TB.

    I don't run my daily schedule so tight that a three second delay here and there is going to impact my workflow.

  16. rarbass


    Jul 3, 2008
    I've never seen any redirects to be quite honest.
    But I wouldn't be offended if there were (so long as it doesn't harm my computer and whatnot, which is obviously unlikely).

    I think it's a ridiculous thing to complain about. Paul's been very open about it, and I'm perfectly fine with him generating revenue in any way that he can.

    Looking forward to the next vB version that will allow compatibility with Tapatalk, Paul!

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