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Lisa Barone: How do you feel about affiliate links in blog and Twitter posts? Do you want full disclosure that the link-dropper is getting something out of it or is your trust in the person enough?

My thoughts? If you don’t trust me, then you can unfollow me and unsubscribe right now. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

If you don’t trust me not to throw BS in your face, then what are we doing? I don’t want you clicking on my link. Whether it’s clean or affiliate, it doesn’t matter. I value real relationships and if you’re questioning my intentions then we’ve already failed as a couple. Stop wasting your time on me and go find someone you do trust. Because that’s the point of this whole “social” thing.
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from pbarnhart 1972 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Excluding twitter for the moment, why not use an existing paradigm to deal with affiliate links - semantically as microformats? Something as simple as rel="affiliate" might be sufficient.  A more complex microformat might identify the advertiser or network (a la rel="license" microformat").This way, the small percentage of people who may be concerned can download the inevitable plugin if needed, management and links to privacy and disclosure pages automated, etc.  Of course, the real drivers of this may need to the actual affiliate programs - if CJ for example put this in their auto code generation tool.  As for Twitter, the major URL shorteners like BudURL could simply set up a complementary domain for affiliate/sponsored links and maintain the disclosure on their site via a link preview function.  Again, it would help if Twitter then autotagged the URL.A modest proposal, at least.  And requires no one else’s permission to start!

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