March 6th, 2010

andrew potter

Gay Commercial: Hyundai

Commercials for cars aimed to the LGBT community seem to be pretty common, and they are usual quite good. But they are always for pretty and small cars, I think it will be interesting to see when the cars will become bigger and stronger, family cars... it will mark not only a change in the automotive market.

This post is part of a series of lifestyle scenarios called Smart is in, created by former agency Bensimon Byrne. In the series there are hetero date, family date and also this one, a lesbian date (or possible one) (thank to janedavitt for the tip):



But Hyundai is not new to the gay commercial world, this is a french commercial:


andrew potter

LiveJournal and Amazon Referral Links

Would you like to see how you can piss me off a lot? And my friends list knows that I'm not easy to be pissed off, I don't like all the drama wank feast in various blog.

More or less at the beginning of Febraury I noticed something strange in my Amazon Referrals Program, the referrals links report was drastically low compared to the previous month, and above all, it seemed that no books were sold thanks to that links. Notice that, to determine this I had to wait some days, since I have a daily report from Amazon, available the day after the actual day, and obviously you can notice the difference only after few days. So on Febraury 5 I wrote both to LiveJournal than Amazon, and since, wrongly, I was more lean to accuse Amazon of the problem, my support request to LiveJournal was almost kind:

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No answer at all, for almost two weeks I continued to see the Referral Fees going down, better I DIDN'T SEE ANY Referral Fees at all. Two week later, LiveJournal gave me a very clever answer:

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Since I'm a good person, and I can also believe to someone from the Support Center who answered me, at first I even downloaded one of that programs to fine spyware in your computer, but after few minutes I realized that it was a STUPID answer, so I wrote back:

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I was still almost kind, I was still believing that it was not something that LiveJournal willingly did to steal my Referral Fees. But LiveJournal did a very wrong thing, they stopped to answer me.

On Febraury 22 I decided to post about it (http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/964023.html) and to add the answer Amazon gave me for LiveJournal to read:

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I was still in an helpful mood, I even tried to give to LiveJournal all the info they needed to identify the issue, but I was also starting to believe that it was really strange that someone else was gaining from my Referral Fees, and that Associate ID was real, since there is a searching engine on Amazon Associate Program where you can choose Associate ID and it tells you if one is in use, and that one was.

On March 1 Amazon, as it promised, answered me again and I promptly posted the reply for LiveJournal to read:

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Obviously LiveJournal DID NOT ANSWERED ME, but probably or Amazon contacted the stealing Associated ID owner, or someone more techy than me read my Support Request to LiveJournal, in a way or the other on March 4 the bubble exploded and all over LiveJournal they were posting on how LiveJournal was hijacking not only Amazon Associate Links but the links from 150 other Associate Program website. I didn't know, but mine was the FIRST Support Request to LiveJournal about this, other after me were answered, but mine is still there, tagged "answered (yeah, the spyware suggestion) but still needs help". So on March 5 I wrote AGAIN to LiveJournal:

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I was really in a bad mood, I was sarcastic and I was no more in the mood to help them. Do you think they answered me? NO. I was really sure that this morning, I would have find an answer from LiveJournal, maybe not a monetary compensation, but at least an apology. But nothing at all, and so this morning I posted this last comment, with the answer Amazon gave to another Associate Program participant:

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Wanna bet how many time it will take to LiveJournal to NOT ANSWER even this last comment and pissing me off even more so much that I will do something else?

If you want to see the full thread, here is my support request: http://www.livejournal.com/support/see_request.bml?id=1046745

If you are wondering what I do with all those Referral Fees (! I spent 100 dollars with 25 of Referral Fees so Amazon is still gaining from me and not viceversa...), you can not believe me, but this are my last orders:

The Magic in Your Touch by Sara Bell (indie pubs)
Magebound by Katica Locke (indie pubs)
Frontiers by Michael Jensen
Someone Like You by Timothy James Beck (out of stock)
I'm Your Man by Timothy James Beck (out of stock)
The Love Thing by Chris Delyani (newbie author, indie pubs)
Ockham's Razor: a novel by Alan Michael Williams (newbie author, indie pubs)
All Lost Things by Josh Aterovis (indie pubs)
Strings Attached by Nick Nolan (indie pubs)
Is Harvey Dunne?: A Novel by K. L. Romo (newbie author, indie pubs)

Notice a trend? I buy books from Indie Publishers and New Authors for the majority of the cases. I use that money to have the chance to read and review books from new authors that probably have not so many chances to be read and review. I buy books that would be too much expensive for me, living in Italy and having to pay high shipping costs... So what LiveJournal did, not only hurt me, but hurt also some new authors that probably I will not buy, or at least I will not buy now.

I went out and back home. Many of you repost and comment and surprise, an answer from LiveJournal for me:

March 6: "I apologize greatly that you've had to wait so long for an answer. I also apologize that this incident happened in the first place.
At this time, we're waiting for a report that we're hoping to obtain which will help us identify and contact anyone who has lost revenue, and we will then be able to offer you our apologies as well as amends that we can make.
Unfortunately, this report isn't in our hands and we will need to wait until we receive it, which may be early next week.
I will leave this request open and update you here as soon as I know more."

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The answer is in the support request, so you can all see it. As you can see mine. Actually marta was the only from LiveJournal that somewhere else tried to give reasonable answer, only she or LJ did not to me or my request before.  I really am not angry with the Support Center, or people like marta, now I'd only like that, burned by this experience, LJ will not try anything like this again.

On March 7 also Amazon replied to me (the final answer from Amazon I posted was not to me but to another participant to the Amazon Associate Program):
Hello, Thank you for writing to us. I apologize for this situation.
We are aware of this situation and working on a full resolution.
We will be contacting you within the next 3-5 business days with more information regarding your account and advertising fees.
Thank you for your patience and participation in Amazon.com Associates.

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On March 12, I haven't yet still from LiveJournal about the famous "report", but on their weekly news they posted something:

March 12: "Last week, we became aware that a recently-implemented script was overwriting affiliate referral fees for some of our users. Once we confirmed this, our Ops team quickly removed the script. Please be aware that, while we may beta-test other affiliate scripts down the line, we will take greater measures to ensure that no existing user-referral arrangements are impacted in any way. (http://news.livejournal.com/123354.html)"

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It doesn't actually sound so good to me, yes, they are sayng that it's not their intention to hijack affiliated fees, but if someone is writing a link without an associate tag, they indeed want to "beta-test" other affialiate scripts down the line... So I think I will continue to monitor my reports, just to be sure.