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View Poll Results: SkimLinks: good idea or bad idea?
Good idea; you should keep them. 2 0.85%
Bad idea; please remove them. 223 94.49%
Personally, I'm not bothered either way. 11 4.66%
Voters: 236. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 13th Jan 2011, 17:51   #1
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Skimlinks adverts

Whilst they are annoying in the articles, they are just about bearable.
In the forums, a *massive* no. It is really difficult to tell what is a poster recommending/suggesting a product and ones that are just advertising.

So yes, any chance of not having them?

edit: I've been asked to clarify what they are.
"Founded in 2007, Skimlinks (www.skimlinks.com) is the London-based start-up behind an innovative service that helps online publishers make money from their editorial and user-generated content via affiliate marketing."

Basically, they are going through any text on the main site and the forums, scanning for certain words and automatically adding advertising links to them. These links look just like "normal" links until you hover over them, at which point you are told they are advertising.

See the image below as an example, the post has had 7 such links added:


Problems raised include:
  • Potential sponsorship issues with mods unwittingly advertising competitors
  • It being unclear what are recommendations and what are adverts - they are "stealth" adverts and reduce the trust people will have links in posts
  • Moderators accidentally banning people for spam links, and generally making their lives harder
  • Entirely irrelevant adverts being added, including generic searches on ebay/Amazon, including foreign sites
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by specofdust View Post
    Ok, coherent argument. You're advertising under my name. Not only do I consider that to be taking advantage of the reputation I've built up over the years and abusing the messages I make (for instance, in the case of my Misco has terrible service thread actually having skimlinks to Misco in it) - but also I consider it to be unfair on other posters who either might read advice given in good faith by me and then accidentally end up somewhere crap, or who might not know better and interpret my guidance as supporting the website lead to by one of those insidious links.
    And that originally had skimlinks ads pointing to Misco
  • We've been here before: http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=164152 http://forums.bit-tech.net/showpost....&postcount=146

Current bit-tech position when I updated this was:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizard View Post
Thanks for all your feedback and suggestions over the last few days. As I said in my post a couple of days ago we do care what you, the forum members think, but as a commerical entity (bit-tech does have bills to pay) decisions have to be balanced against the revenue that ad deals such as Skimlinks generate.

As Skimlinks has only been live on bit-tech for just under a month, we unfortunately don't have enough data to make the call on whether to keep, kill or modify Skimlinks on the main bit-tech site and forums, so for now it is going to remain live.

When we have more data, we'll then make a decision on the future of Skimlinks and let you guys know.

In the meantime, we the editorial team will keep a close eye on Skimlinks and will discuss with our commerical team some of the suggestions you have made.
Note that the decision is not made by the writers and the people that are around the forums, don't shoot the messengers. Much.

Current methods of dealing with them include NoScript, Adblock Plus and editing your hosts file/proxy settings. Please bear in mind if using ABP that you are getting bit-tech for free and we do want them to be able to eat occasionally

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoon View Post
Signature code:

{url="http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=201523"}{B}{COLOR="Red"}JOIN THE FIGHT! NO SKIMLINKS FOR BIT-TECH FORUMS!{/COLOR}{/B}{/URL}
Change the { to [ to make it work.

Sorry for such a long post, I think I got a bit carried away!

PM Me if you want anything else adding. Thanks to Nexxo for the poll.


Edit2: now that this is over, I see that this is two points off being the second most replied to thread in the feedback forum!
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Old 13th Jan 2011, 22:52   #2
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Yeah, I first noticed those a few weeks ago and they're starting to irritate me now, I'm finding I have to hover my mouse over something a lot of the time to see if it's an advert or a proper link.
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Old 13th Jan 2011, 23:51   #3
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The links I have seen directs to newegg.com, a store that only ships to the US. How can your readers outside the US benefit from this?
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Old 14th Jan 2011, 15:31   #4
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Just noticed a few in the minecraft thread, it's flagging 'skeleton' as an adword.

Unlike intellitext (which is also horrible,) Skimlinks doesn't change the link colour or double underline to let people know it's an advertising link.
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Old 15th Jan 2011, 12:26   #5
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I've just noticed this in one of my old posts today - made me do a double take. i don't want to be trying to sell every product i name in my posts!

I don't begrudge b-t getting a bit more money, but find another way please! As it is, you've no idea if a link is valid or just an advert, and if you made them different from normal links, the forum will look full of ads. Both horrible.
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Old 16th Jan 2011, 11:59   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gryphon View Post
I've just noticed this in one of my old posts today - made me do a double take. i don't want to be trying to sell every product i name in my posts!

I don't begrudge b-t getting a bit more money, but find another way please! As it is, you've no idea if a link is valid or just an advert, and if you made them different from normal links, the forum will look full of ads. Both horrible.
Agreed. While most folk here will know to ignore these, it's not very nice to have it looking like individual posters are recommending things. Also adverts like this are just utterly horrible.

Please to be killing these.
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Old 16th Jan 2011, 15:01   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigkingfun View Post
The links I have seen directs to newegg.com, a store that only ships to the US. How can your readers outside the US benefit from this?
It uses your IP Location to direct you to a relevant store - for me they point to play.com
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Old 16th Jan 2011, 15:07   #8
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They direct all over the place for me. I've had links to Play, Amazon and even eBay.
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Old 16th Jan 2011, 16:19   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gryphon View Post
It uses your IP Location to direct you to a relevant store - for me they point to play.com
Then the makers should have a slap on the face. How can they think a person browsing the internet from Denmark would be interested in buying from newegg?
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Old 17th Jan 2011, 08:11   #10
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Please get rid of this crap! Ads are fine, but clicking on link in people's posts and being taken to ads when you thought it was a link put there by the poster is unforgivable!

If there's one thing that pi$$es me off it's sneaky ad links that fool you into clicking them.


If these aren't removed, this seventh year as a bit-tech member will be my last. These are pervasive, annoying, and makes it look like the poster is recommending links.

I know you all have to dance to a tune played by Dennis Publishing now, but where's your spine? Get rid of the link ads... they are evil!


A distinct lack of "red" posts in this thread so far.
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Old 17th Jan 2011, 09:48   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookeyhead View Post
A distinct lack of "red" posts in this thread so far.
This!

Come on guys you can at least acknowledge our complaints.
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Old 17th Jan 2011, 10:12   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookeyhead View Post
If there's one thing that pi$$es me off it's sneaky ad links that fool you into clicking them.
Not having come across many Skimlinks ads in the forum, could you please give some specific examples with links?
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Old 17th Jan 2011, 10:22   #13
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I haven't seen any yet either.
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Old 17th Jan 2011, 10:26   #14
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The only one I can link to is the one I found this morning.

http://forums.bit-tech.net/showpost....0&postcount=66

There have been others over the past few days, but for the life of me I can't remember the threads now. They were in the General sub-forum, but beyond that I'd have to search, and I'm work at the moment.

What annoys me about these links, and why I think they shouldn't be there is that they are actually modifying the body of text posters write... and therefore, anything I write could have ads inserted as hyperlinks. I don't recall signing off on that when I signed up for the forum, and nor do I recall waiving my intellectual and moral rights to indicate anyone can mess with, edit (unless it voilates forum rules), or re-represent my opinions. If anyone is going edit what I write to have MY words endorse a product I have no wish to endorse they can damned well ask me first! It is probably not even legal... and if it is, it damned well shouldn't be!

Ads in the forum pages themselves are one thing.. and I'm cool with that, as you have to make money. I do not block them, and I even click on them if I see anything even vaguely interesting as it all adds to revenue. However, putting links in WHAT I WRITE is just the last straw. People could misunderstand this as something I put in there.


[edit]

When I view post from the link I inserted above, the skimlink ad is not there, but when I navigate to it normally, it is... just to let you know. You may have to navigate to the thread manually to see it.
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Old 17th Jan 2011, 10:31   #15
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One here (the word ipadslinks to pcworld

http://forums.bit-tech.net/showpost....6&postcount=11

EDIT/ the single post doesn't include the link but if you go to the original thread you should see them. I am with pookey on this, if they dont get removed I will
a) stop visiting as much as I do
b) I will run a full ad blocker on the whole bit-tech site (one of the few sites that I don't already useone on)
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Old 17th Jan 2011, 11:22   #16
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Check the first post in this thread. Two product links have appeared since I viewed it on Friday.
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Old 17th Jan 2011, 11:31   #17
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Came across these the other day when I was browsing around.
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Old 17th Jan 2011, 11:56   #18
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Misco is the linked keyword in this thread:
http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=201644

Skeleton linked keyword on page 130:
http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthrea...95752&page=130

Review full of adlinks here. Keywords; hard disk, USB Station, external hard disk, NAS boxes, external hard drive:
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/sto...ion-2-review/1
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Old 17th Jan 2011, 13:19   #19
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Quote:
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I haven't seen any yet either.
actually scratch that, just saw one in the "Just completed Mass Effect" thread in the gaming forum. Post #32 has a link pointing to ebay from the text Mass Effect 2.
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Old 17th Jan 2011, 13:55   #20
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Grr, you guys made me **** massive bricks I thought I had some serious malware problems when my text got changed to a link.
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