Wednesday, January 25, 2006

MyBigRiver and Amazon Referral ID's

Some users have noticed that the HTML links generated by MyBigRiver.com contain what is known as an Amazon Referral ID. What this means is that when someone purchases something from Amazon via this link, MyBigRiver.com receives a small portion of the purchase price as an incentive. Nothing about Amazon.com behaves differently when users arrive via this type of URL - Amazon is just providing a reward for the traffic.

Now, you may think it's unfair that a URL you are putting on your site generates revenue for us instead of you, and that's actually a perfectly reasonable thing to think! If you want to make revenue via links generated via MyBigRiver.com, sign up as an Amazon.com associate, and replace "mybigriver-20" in generated URL's with your own associates ID.

Of course, the referral links are how we make money. And money keeps the site up and running, and inspires further development. We're pretty sure there are enough users with no interest in setting up Amazon Associate ID's that we'll still make a decent profit, even if there are a good amount of URL-changers.

What we don't want happening is people without Associate ID's just being nasty and striping our ID off without adding their own. If you're inclined to do this, just remember that all you're doing is taking money out of the pockets of a small independent web site and putting it back in the pockets of a giant multinational corporation.

For those who feel we should publicize the Associate ID situation even more openly, the reason we're not inclined to do this is to avoid encouraging the type of behavior we just mentioned. Anyone who uses Amazon referral ID's is likely to know what's going on with the URL, and how to change it to suit their needs. Anyone who doesn't use Amazon referral ID's really does not need to be concerned with our referral ID because it doesn't affect their usage of generated links in any way whatsoever.

We're totally understanding about people wanting to modify links to put money in their pockets, but we're kind of reluctant to openly advertise how people can take money out of ours, for no good reason.

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