Thoughts on Commercial Affiliates

from the thinking-outloud dept

So, I’m not exactly sure why, but over the past few months I’ve been receiving more and more requests to do various “affiliations” with commercial sites. Being a business guy I have nothing against commercialism, but my idea for Techdirt was that it was to remain a somewhat “neutral site”. However, with all the requests coming in, I’m wondering if I’m just being stubborn. I figured I’d post this publicly and see if anyone reading the site (since you folks are the ones who matter anyway) had any thoughts on the matter. Feel free to comment below or to send it to me as feedback.

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Comments on “Thoughts on Commercial Affiliates”

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eric fader (user link) says:

commercial techdirt

Hey its America and you are a capitalist. Basically I wouldn’t mind as long as the advertising doesn’t become a major piece of the interface. I would highly suggest keeping the existing site interface as it loads fast and is visually appealing. Maybe give it a try on the email digest version first and see what happens.

There must be a direct distinction between commentary and advertising. Without that, techdirt woudl be selling out.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: commercial techdirt

Okay… clarification… I’m not necessarily talking about advertising or even making money off the site, but rather some how linking to or pointing to specific sites, which may or may not be useful to the reading public of Techdirt. I think my problem is that I don’t necessarily feel comfortable being partial to one particular site, so if I do choose one, I’ll feel compelled to work with a lot of sites, and I’m not sure how well that would work.

Pu Qimeng (user link) says:

Commercial links on techdirt?

Two points:
1.) The bad thing about paid links, affiliated sites etc. is that they are not neccessarily the sites you would recommend without the sponsorship. Your principle should always be (and I believe in the long run this pays most) to send your visitors to the BEST sites, to the sites you would recommend personally – independently whether they pay you or not. The neutral nature of techdirt is for sure some of its biggest values.

2.) However, if you want to enter paid and affiliate relationship with other sites I would clearly state this and have those links completly separated from the other content, maybe a box of

Zebulun (user link) says:

linking or banners?

Big difference to me.

If it’s linking, go for it.
I’ve found running a news site
is hard when one avoids banners
or advertising but I continue to
do it.

How about a links page or something
similar, seperate from the main page
for sponsors, affiliates, and other
worthy sites?

you could even use small to medium
banners there. An example would be’s

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