Home :: About InfoWorld :: Advertise :: Subscribe :: Contact Us :: Awards :: Events
InfoWorld HomeNewsTest CenterOpinionsTechIndex

E-Business Secrets

Commission networks defend their code of conduct
Diverting commissions still continues

By  Brian Livingston January 21, 2003  

In last week's E-Business Secrets, I reported that three commission networks -- companies that process payments from e-commerce merchants to affiliate sites -- had agreed on a "code of conduct" governing software add-ons that divert such payments.


I also quoted the CEO of the largest network, LinkShare's Stephen Messer, saying that his company ended up not endorsing the code because it is "very vague" with "no definition of terms."

Following the publication of that story, I participated in a conference call set up by executives of the three networks that agree on the text of the code. In this week's installment, I report on their comments.

-- Jeff Pullen, the CEO and president of Commission Junction, said of Messer, "He's right that it doesn't have specificity, and there's a reason for that."

Pullen explains, "The best solution was to develop a code of conduct that was broad enough that we could apply standards as necessary. We consciously looked to develop a code of conduct so that each of us could develop our own practices."

-- Chris Henger, Performics' senior vice president for sales and marketing, said, "Performics is committed to changing its agreement to address this [problem]." He took issue with Messer's statement that the other networks hadn't actually changed their legal agreements, noting that the preamble to the code gives affected parties "sixty (60) days to bring their activities into compliance" with the new guidelines.

"Our current contract allows us to enforce these provisions, and we're in the process of tightening up this language right now," Henger added.

-- Neal Karasic, Be Free's director of new solutions, stated that his company had, in fact, made changes to its legal agreements that affect the most active segment of the affiliates who work with Be Free.

He said the rules for the Performance Partner Program, which is open to Be Free's most-active affiliates, had been amended in December to include the new code. "You must abide by our code of conduct, or you may not participate," Karasic said.

One thing LinkShare's Messer and the other network executives agreed on is that the very process of discussing the new code had compelled some plug-in makers to change their practices.

Unfortunately, some plug-in hosts are still diverting commissions from legitimate affiliates to themselves. For example, near the end of a series of postings at the affiliate discussion forum called ABestWeb.com, a member named Linda provides evidence of a continuing problem: http://abw.infopop.cc http://bri.li/4e7c

I encourage readers with direct experience on this subject to send it to me: mailto:Brian@SecretsPro.com

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


I remember when a 1.44MB floppy disk was the quickest way to sneaker-net files from one disconnected machine to another. Those days are SO over. Now there's the SanDisk Cruzer, a brilliant device that plugs into the USB port of any PC or Mac and allows you to save or transfer an unlimited amount of data.

The Cruzer accomplishes this by accepting industry-standard Secure Digital cards, such as those used in digital cameras and cell phones. If one card fills up, you simply insert another -- and you can use any manufacturer's SD cards, in capacities from 32MB to 256MB. The 3-inch device needs no cables, since it's powered right off the USB port. Search on "cruzer" at: http://www.computers4sure.com http://bri.li/758c

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


I wrote about Lynda Weinman's wildly popular book, "Creative HTML Design," back in the May 14, 2001, issue of E-Business Secrets. Now, there's an updated fourth edition of her companion volume on making online images, and it's the best yet.

Appropriately entitled "Designing Web Graphics.4," her illustrated guide reveals insider tricks far beyond the basics of GIF and JPEG images. Weinman delves deeply into the secrets of JavaScript rollovers, how browsers really implement styles (as opposed to the published standards), how to use Flash wisely, and much more. For a good look at the contents, see: http://www.amazon.com http://bri.li/0735710791

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


1. Keep your Web design budget under control with this strategy: http://www.startupjournal.com http://bri.li/444

2. How to use the Web -- does your company "get" the Internet yet? http://www.crmdaily.com http://bri.li/82c

3. Improve the conversion rate of your site's four kinds of visitors: http://www.clickz.com http://bri.li/c14

4. SBC uses patent to threaten sites that use menu links: http://www2.museumtour.com http://bri.li/ffc

5. New techniques enable spam to pass right through filters: http://www.computerworld.com http://bri.li/13e4

6. Five percent of text messages to cell phone users are never received: http://www.wired.com http://bri.li/17cc

7. Protect your site from name-snatchers by learning their trick: http://www.webmasterbase.com http://bri.li/1bb4

8. Here's a Flash game that's more addictive than it looks: http://www.titoonic.dk http://bri.li/1f9c

9. Another Flash must-see -- the Windows XP icons as battle bots: http://www.divstivs.plus.com http://bri.li/2384

10. Point-and-shoot design uses fly to improve user accuracy: http://maddog.weblogs.com http://bri.li/276c

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


With all the time you have on your hands, you can now get a social life and a few laughs by inviting your friends to a quick round of Burn Rate, a new game that exemplifies the dot-com mania.

Each player becomes the owner of a high-tech startup with venture capital backing. The object of the game is to force your opponents to execute bad business decisions so they run out of money before you do.

The product is based on cruel experience -- its motley crew of co-founders financed the first print run of the game using their unemployment and severance checks after being laid off. Get the hilarious details at: http://www.nwsource.com http://bri.li/c3ac

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

E-BUSINESS SECRETS: Our mission is to bring you such useful and thought-provoking information about the Web that you actually look forward to reading your e-mail.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: E-Business Secrets is written by InfoWorld contributing editor Brian Livingston: http://SecretsPro.com

Research director is Vickie Stevens. Brian has published 10 books, including:

Windows Me Secrets: http://www.amazon.com http://bri.li/0764534939

Windows 2000 Secrets: http://www.amazon.com http://bri.li/0764534130

You'll receive a gift certificate good for a book, CD, or DVD of your choice if you're the first to send Brian a Top Story or Wacky Web Week he prints. mailto:Brian@SecretsPro.com

Brian Livingston is publisher of BriansBuzz.com. Send tips to him at brian@briansbuzz.com.

  More Brian Livingston columns
  Join a discussion on Brian Livingston's columns

Verity Ultraseek - FREE CASE STUDY on The Johns Hopkins Institutions
- Nearly a thousand internal and external websites - Hundreds of different file formats - An extended education and healthcare system with a world-renowned university, hospitals and research centers Read the FREE case study on The Johns Hopkins Institutions and find out how Verity Ultraseek brought all this together.

enKoo - Web access your PC & servers. Scalable & failover appliance.
Xerox - Free Download. InfoWorld Special Report on Color Workgroup Printers
Cisco - Register Now: Annual Cisco User Conference
SAP - Get operational control now. Click here for free METAgroup ERP summary
Microsoft - See who's saving time with Microsoft Windows Server System

Mid-Market CRM Made Easy with Oncontact - Oncontact offers customer relationship management (CRM) systems for mid-market companies. Build stronger and more profitable relationships with your customers. Click here for more info.
Rackspace-The Managed Hosting Specialist - Rackspace offers Managed and Application Hosting with customizable and scalable solutions. 0% downtime and a hardware replacement guarantee.
Block E-Mail Spam at Server Level - Block all spam at e-mail server level with GFI MailEssentials. Also adds other tools to your mail server such as e-mail disclaimers, e-mail archiving, auto replies and more. DLD trial today.
Free unlimited online meetings for 14 days. - WebEx online meetings and web conferencing solutions: Meet colleagues online, host web events, train your staff, provide live support. Try us free for 14 days.
File replication and content synchronization - One-to-one, scheduled file replication and content synchronization for cross platform replication on Windows & UNIX.

 HOME  NEWS  TEST CENTER  OPINIONS  TECHINDEX   About InfoWorld :: Advertise :: Subscribe :: Contact Us :: Awards :: Events 

Copyright © 2004, Reprints, Permissions, Licensing