Chris Brogan has a post about marketers "evolving" ... and with a link to Third Tribe. I've commented in there and mentioned ol' Griz. Let's see if it passes moderation
Lots of great stuff in this thread. I'm going to add my 2 cents:
I joined Third Tribe back when I was launching BetterParenting.com -- I got in for $27 or $37 per month. I don't really recall. I ended up bailing shortly after joining -- I was only interested in the networking, and I got all I could out of it quickly. I actually posted in the 3T forums that I thought the program was crap... that I didn't really get what the difference was between the other "tribes"; that it all sounded like a bunch of marketing mumb-jumbo.
That said, I was able to extract a fair amount of value during my short stay there -- I got several guest posters and joined a blog network that provided some solid links, plus found a bunch of people willing to stumble my posts. If they had a "networking only" level, I may have stayed for that. Being able to associate and share tips with people who really care about their sites has value. The information portion was basically these guys all virtually fellating each other.
As for affiliate links in posts / endorsements, I have no problem with it as long as the endorsement or review is legit. The problem you run into is the slippery slope. Guys do an affiliate link for a product and make a bunch of money. Over time, earnings start to drop off as their faithful followers have all already purchased the product. So there's a need to promote something else. Eventually, the love of money corrupts and they start "endorsing" stuff regardless of quality. You'll have guys pitching an inferior $97 product over a superior $27 one because they'll earn more. Instead of teaching how to do keyword research for free (like I do in this article - http://www.flipwebsites.com/marketin...earch-traffic/), you only hear about WordTracker or some other paid app. They become shills.
Don't get me wrong - sometimes the paid app is better, but does that mean we shouldn't teach the free alternative at all?
I know that my reputation is on the line when I recommend a product. It's not the presence of an affiliate link that will hurt my rep -- it's recommending crap that's damaging. So I don't recommend crap... and I use affiliate links whenever possible. But I won't go out of my way to promote something just to turn a buck.
Ouch! That couldn't have gone down well. What did they have to say to that? People like these seem not to like any feedback except rabid praise (they seem to have declined my comment ). They work assiduously to cultivate an army of delirious fans - deluded single-brain-cell lemmings who think the culture of celebrity worship will make them rich - and seem to do quite okay out of it.I actually posted in the 3T forums that I thought the program was crap... that I didn't really get what the difference was between the other "tribes"; that it all sounded like a bunch of marketing mumb-jumbo.
If some of their members are here then you are obviously the exception when it comes to brain cell count
It didn't go down well. A lot of the existing membership rose up to the leadership's defense and made an attempt to 'enlighten' me. I realized shortly thereafter that this wasn't a place that would tolerate open discussion. Unquestioning loyalty to leadership is apparently a 3T prerequisite... I didn't get the memo before signing up. That's not really my deal.
I knew going into it that I wasn't going to get much out of the information side of things, though. Really, what can any of these guys tell me that's not already somewhere on their blog?
As noted though, I did pull some positives from the group (a few decent relationships that helped on a site I was launching). There were a few other folks in the group who were able to leverage their membership into guest posts on ProBlogger and the other sites, which gave them a nice influx of traffic (though they may have been able to get the guest posting opportunities without even being 3T members).
As for the networking -- I was definitely disappointed in the overall caliber of other members. There were a few gems in the group, but very few I would really want to partner up with in any fashion.
This is an old thread, but seemed the best place to post this new discovery of mine: What shoppers don't realise about Amazon reviews.
There's a perverse incentive at Amazon for regular reviewers to leave positive reviews as they benefit from freebies from publishers. Amazon leaves it to the reviewers themselves to disclose if they're in bed with the people making money from sales of the book!
Ethical, non-ethical or middle ground?
I guess it would be impossible for Amazon to insist that publishers pass out the free books through them, so the declaration cannot be policed. I had already found that 'editorial' reviews were bland, akin to abstracts rather than criticisms, so this news doesn't surprise me very much. Maybe there's a niche for an independent affiliate site that publishes reviews.
Amazon also close seller accounts if their ratings drop below their acceptable minimum, so sellers with lots of negative reviews disappear, making Amazons remaining sellers as a whole look nigh on perfect.
Chabrenas (February 14th, 2012)
Salty Droid's done a piece on Chris Brogan today (Warning: Strong language)
Originally Posted by Salty
There's nothing wrong with using affiliate links so as long as you're not bombarding people with them every time you turn around and write something in an e-mail, blog post, or even a forum post. In the case of email, I ahve seen affiliate links being used to excess. It seams that many marketers just give you an affiliate link without giving any real content in the message.
As an Internet marketer myself, I strongly believe in giving a solid message that isn't filled with a bunch of links inside an email message. I leave all of the links till last. That way, the subscriber can get all the information that they need right away without having to wade through affiliate link after affiliate link just to get to the main body of the message. You can easily recognize an affiliate link by all of the strange letters and code that is associated with it. Most of the time, these links are very long and they look ugly not to say the least.
There is a right and a wrong way to use these types of links, and the right way is to add them at the bottom of your email message, add them inside an e-book, special report, or at the bottom of an article. Never ever sprinkle them throughout the body of the message. That's just not good business practice.
TheodoreK (June 2nd, 2012)