In a couple of posts I have commented on the silence that is sometimes too common in the affiliate industry. My opinion is that silence and lack of action is detrimental. Silence, whether due to apathy, fear of speaking/acting or simply a lack of a sense of urgency, the result is the same. Things will not improve and may, in all probability, get worse. A large part of the problem in dealing with the NY situation was the overall silence. Everyone was afraid to ask questions in public, many more were afraid to answer in public. That fear continues to this day as we still fight for answers or actions that some aren’t willing to give.
On Saturday, I was working on an article when the Twitter of a friend alerted me to an interesting blog post. The post, written by Chris Sanderson, is titled Crossing the Line and it appears on the AMWSO marketing blog. AMWSO is an outsourced affiliate program management company (this means they manage affiliate programs for multiple merchants). In his post Chris writes about the problems that arise when networks who are supposed to be a “neutral trusted third party” cross the line and become affiliates, especially when using a questionable toolbar. I urge everyone to read it, he touches on several excellent points.
His post on this issue is probably one of the most outspoken posts from a program manager that I have seen and I have to confess to being surprised. It is more common to hear silence. His post is the way it should be. He wrote without fear and gave his opinion.
I hope that his post is simply the first of many others and that other program managers, network representatives and affiliates step forward. We need people stepping forward and publicly asking questions and voicing opinions. It is from those questions and opinions that we will get answers and steer the industry in a positive direction. The industry needs to address many issues; for that to happen we must first acknowledge that there is a need.