Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    4 Star Lounger I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Rootstown, OH
    Posts
    589
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked 28 Times in 23 Posts

    Skimlinks on the lounge

    I wanted to talk about what Skimlinks is, and why I'd like to use it on the lounge. I've already discussed it with some of the moderators and admins, so now I wanted to introduce it to all members who may be interested, which is why I'm posting this thread.

    What is SkimLinks?

    Skimlinks is a forum plugin which makes existing links into affiliate links that earn WindowsSecrets money. It is a way for forums to better support themselves, without creating additional advertising spots or banners, and while keeping the lounge completely free to everyone.

    How does Skimlinks work?

    Skimlinks detects existing links, and puts a code on them which basically says "this person came from WindowsSecrets".

    For example, if a member asks:

    What is the best value wireless router?
    Then another member replies suggesting his favorite router:

    Normally, if that user buys the router from Amazon, WindowsSecrets lounge wouldn't get any credit for recommending that product. With Skimlinks however, Amazon would know that WindowsSecrets was part of that purchase, and the Lounge would earn a couple percent of the sale price. The link doesn't look any different, the product costs the same price, but instead of Amazon pocketing all of the money they share some of it with WindowsSecrets.

    Does this affect privacy?

    Overclockers has been running Skimlinks for over a year, and they have an excellent rating on WOT: http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/overclockers.com

    I believe Skimlinks doesn't hurt in that regard, because the cookie is only used to track if a purchase is made after being on the lounge. The cookies don't gather information about every site you visit, they don't collect personal info, and they don't report it back to a mothership anywhere - they are used to verify where the purchase came from.

    Does this make the lounge slower, or intrude on members trying to read threads?

    No. There is no slowdown. The links are tagged by a tiny bit of javascript, after the page loads (it is indiscernable). Visually, it doesn't get in the way and can't be seen. This page has links in posts which are skimlinks and normal links. For example, the links to newegg are skimlinks: http://www.overclockers.com/forums/s...d.php?t=718764

    Do you have any questions, or concerns about using Skimlinks here?

    Currently, skimlinks exists on Overclockers forums and Mac-Forums. The members there usually don't even notice it is there, but those who are aware of it like that it supports the site, and it doesn't intrude on their forum experience.
    Last edited by I.M.O.G.; 2012-10-16 at 15:14.
    Matt Bidinger
    Online Community Engagement

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to I.M.O.G. For This Useful Post:

    Medico (2012-10-16)

  3. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12,631
    Thanks
    161
    Thanked 936 Times in 856 Posts
    I have looked at the sites linked by I.M.O.G. and find no problems at all. For those that delete cookies when their browser is closed, this Skimlink will be deleted as well, so no additional privacy issues are seen.

    This would provide an additional revenue stream for the Lounge to help defer the costs here without impacting our members at all. This seems a good idea to me.

    Thank you Matt for this excellent idea.
    Last edited by Medico; 2012-10-16 at 15:37.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to Medico For This Useful Post:

    I.M.O.G. (2012-10-16)

  5. #3
    3 Star Lounger jockmullin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    St-Eustache,QC,Canada
    Posts
    239
    Thanks
    10
    Thanked 21 Times in 20 Posts
    I would personally have no problem with this - the methodology is used very extensively; most sites using it are not upfront in letting the users know it is there. Since it doesn't require offsite resources there is no performance hit beyond, as I.M.O.G pointed out, the few milliseconds to execute the java code and write the cookie. No biggie.

    Though I guess if users don't have java enabled as many of us don't the end result will be nada in those cases.

    Jock

  6. #4
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    4,754
    Thanks
    171
    Thanked 652 Times in 575 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by jockmullin View Post
    Though I guess if users don't have java enabled as many of us don't the end result will be nada in those cases.
    I think it uses Javascript, present in all browsers (and used for many functions on this forum), not Java.

    Bruce

  7. #5
    4 Star Lounger I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Rootstown, OH
    Posts
    589
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked 28 Times in 23 Posts
    That is correct BruceR, it uses javascript, which most everyone has enabled as so many sites depend on javascript for portions of their functionality.
    Matt Bidinger
    Online Community Engagement

  8. #6
    Star Lounger Look's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    71
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
    Quote Originally Posted by I.M.O.G. View Post

    What is SkimLinks?

    Skimlinks is a forum plugin which makes existing links into affiliate links that earn WindowsSecrets money. It is a way for forums to better support themselves, without creating additional advertising spots or banners,
    and while keeping the lounge completely free to everyone.
    Does this mean free access to paid content?.
    Jim.
    May you live as long as you want, and want to as long as you live.

  9. #7
    4 Star Lounger I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Rootstown, OH
    Posts
    589
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked 28 Times in 23 Posts
    Not so much. There is no paid content in the lounge really, all lounge content is free.
    Matt Bidinger
    Online Community Engagement

  10. #8
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12,631
    Thanks
    161
    Thanked 936 Times in 856 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Look View Post
    Does this mean free access to paid content?.
    You have to realize WS Lounge is a separate entity to WS Newsletter. The WS Newsletter has paid content and free content. The Lounge does not.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  11. #9
    Star Lounger Look's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    71
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
    Quote Originally Posted by I.M.O.G. View Post
    Not so much. There is no paid content in the lounge really, all lounge content is free.
    Not so I believe.

    Capture.JPG
    Jim.
    May you live as long as you want, and want to as long as you live.

  12. #10
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12,631
    Thanks
    161
    Thanked 936 Times in 856 Posts
    This is not paid content on the Lounge. This is paid content on the Newsletter referenced from the Lounge. Totally different things.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  13. #11
    Lounge VIP
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    1,168
    Thanks
    44
    Thanked 134 Times in 115 Posts
    Re skimlinks: I would say yes, no problem as long as care is taken to avoid opening an extra vector for attacks. What do I mean by that? Well, as soon as one monetizes a website, it becomes a target for the bad guys to attempt a hijack.

    Overall, I see no harm in Windows Secrets getting a cut from any a vendor that may be linked to in a genuine post. Many other forums use them and very few are up front to say that they are used, even though there is no difference to the end user. Windows Secrets is a place information exchange and I think it is reasonable that as users we support the service that enables that exchange.
    In God we trust; all others must bring data.

    - William Edwards Deming. 1900 - 1993

  14. #12
    4 Star Lounger I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Rootstown, OH
    Posts
    589
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked 28 Times in 23 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Look View Post
    Not so I believe.

    Capture.JPG
    That looks like an article to me which would be published in the WindowsSecrets Newsletter as paid content. The lounge does mention newsletter content.
    Matt Bidinger
    Online Community Engagement

  15. #13
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12,631
    Thanks
    161
    Thanked 936 Times in 856 Posts
    I was referring to the Windows Secrets Columns Forum. The newsletter is referenced in there each week.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  16. #14
    4 Star Lounger I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Rootstown, OH
    Posts
    589
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked 28 Times in 23 Posts
    Yup, didn't see you already replied - you got it.
    Matt Bidinger
    Online Community Engagement

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •