The only value that's getting added is from the consumers to you.
No. The value is in making people aware of deals they might not otherwise see. You may disagree because you see them on other sites as well, but plenty of people don't.
Instead of asking for help, you handed it off to a third party.
These are not mutually exclusive. We have asked for help and taken that as far as it can go. We can also work with partners in interesting ways that *ALSO* provide benefits for our community. As is the case here.
There's no value added for the consumer.
If that were true there would be no sales. But there have been many. That indicates that many people find the value in being informed about these deals from us.
The advertising is not good content.
Again, if that were true, people wouldn't be buying, but they are. Still, this is a point that we're trying to think more about in terms of how can we make the content better. But, on the whole, given how many people are buying, it appears that a lot of people think that the content is plenty good.
There's no connection made.
I'm not sure what you mean by this. Can you expand? Must *everything* we do involve making a direct connection?
You're putting goods and services on your site that you can't endorse.
That's a valid criticism, but also a practical one. We have turned down some of the suggestions from StackCommerce that we thought the community here wouldn't like. But we also don't have the time/resources to go out and test every product. That's why we're working with a partner. It feels like a reasonable tradeoff, but I recognize some disagree. We'll continue to pay attention to this and see what can be done.
You're extracting money from transactions you're not directly involved in.
But we are. We're making people aware of those deals. That's always how referral deals have worked and it's a completely legitimate process. We make money in exchange for directing people to the deals that they find valuable enough to make a purchase.
Any StackSocial site has all of the same deals available as any other StackSocial site. There's no exclusives on Techdirt Deals, Mike, and I challenge you to show one.
You're correct. I may have misspoken that there are current deals that are exclusive to our site. But in the past, there have been exclusive deals on other sites and we expect that to happen in the future as well.
Plenty of people click links to buy things online. The fact that they're clicking your links doesn't mean that you're providing those people a service that they can't get elsewhere, it just means that you got to them with your Stacksocial marketing over someone else's.
No, you are simple wrong here. It means that people in this community value the offering. Again, why does this bother you so much?
You're not doing anything new, special, or even marginally different than lots of other sites are doing. I'm shocked that you don't see that this is going to end in the exact same way as every other cobranded e-commerce play has in the past.
If it fails then it fails. Right now it's not failing. Why does it bother you so much?
Congratulations on becoming an unnecessary middleman, Mike. Something you've always thought was terrible is now something you're proud of.
(1) We have never been against middlemen, as we've noted over and over again, so you're wrong. We're against *gatekeepers*. Nothing in what we're doing here makes us a gatekeeper. (2) And, again, if we were truly "unnecessary" people wouldn't be buying. But they are.
So, again, I ask you WHY DOES THIS BOTHER YOU SO MUCH? I find it telling that you won't answer that simple question. You just keep attacking. I get it. You don't like Stack Commerce. Many people are quite happy with it. So what's your real beef?
Is Techdirt really going to go offline without this one, specific kind of cash grab or are you just being fatalistic?
Calling it a "cash grab" is pretty ridiculous, don't you think? We turn down all sorts of advertising that is aggressive and annoying. This actually provides real benefits for users and helps us make some money to keep the lights on as well. What is really your problem with it?
Do you think your readers can't find these deals elsewhere? What value to TechDirt readers does this provide that they can't get elsewhere? Where is the uniqueness of service in this?
As noted already, some of the deals are seen on other sites, but many are not. And the fact that in the first two weeks multiple *thousand* people have bought into deals, it seems like many in our community find these deals special enough to make them worthwhile.
You still haven't explained what your problem is with these deals or what the problem is.
If Techdirt had an exclusive, or even limited marketplace, that would be different. If they were deals sourced by readers, that would be different. If the deals were better than could be found elsewhere, that would also be different.
Some of the deals *are* exclusive. Some are not. But given that many of our readers do not frequent some of the other sites that have these deals, many seem to find it helpful to have them here as well. What, again, is wrong with that?
Would having totally exclusive deals be better? Sure, but that would also require a full time staff dedicated to just that. And we're not about to do that, nor would the return on that be worth it.
But none of this is different. It's just the same affiliate-based embedded/linked marketplace scheme that's been being used for years, and it still offers end consumers no real benefit. It's just more middlemen and Techdirt readers expect better.
That's just wrong on multiple levels, and the response from our community (beyond a few complaints in the comments) shows so.
If not having this marketplace will remove Techdirt from the Internet, then something else is wrong and in need of fixing, Mike.
We've been quite clear that we've basically lost nearly all of our ad revenue in the past few years thanks to some of our public activism on certain issues. We ran a crowdfunding campaign last year, but there's only so much of that we can do. We only just started with Stack Commerce, but so far the response has been fantastic in terms of people using it -- which suggests your concerns are not felt by most people here. And, yes, it likely could be the difference between the site remaining in its current form or not.
We avoid intrusive things like pop ups or interstitials that don't seem to have any benefit -- even though that's where all the ad dollars are these days. But this appeared to be an approach that provided a real benefit to our community -- and many of them agree, based on purchase data alone.
If you don't like these, all you have to do is not read the one post per day, which many in our community seem to actually enjoy. Is it so troubling to you?
How so? I'm really confused by this statement? Would you prefer we shut down or had to lay off our writers?
This isn't what techdirt is for, none of these deals are exclusive (and most aren't that good), and it's literally embedding someone else's shopping mall in your site.
What do you think Techdirt is for? As I said, so far, many, many people seem to appreciate these deals based on the purchase numbers. So it appears that a very large segment of our community disagrees with you. Yes, a number of other similar sites also do work with Stack Commerce, but they do source unique deals for our site as well.
I'm just confused about what your specific complaint is? That we're offering good deals to our community?
It cheapens you and diminishes your voice.
How so? I'm legitimately confused by this sentence. It makes no sense to me. How could offering deals diminish our voice? You do realize that not being able to afford to keep this site running would diminish the voice entirely, no?
I really don't like these 'offers' either. Each time I look into them they leave me with a scammy feeling.
Why? So far, we've actually gotten a great response to them (and I've even purchased some myself). The company that we're working with tries to find deals that match with the interests of the community, and for the most part they've done a really good job. What is your concern about the deals?
No, the F word wasn't an appropriate response. I apologize. I was very angry at your tone. You dismissed my daughter, and all the other deaf, blind, and otherwise disabled people in the United States when you said, "Maybe netflix should put up a sign on their website, content only available for those that can consume it." That's not a reasonable or polite response to the issue either.
I didn't say that. Not sure why you are suggesting I did. I did not dismiss your daughter. I did not say that Netflix should put up such a sign on its website.
I don't think you realize the value that the ADA has brought to the US. Whenever we make something handicap accessible, we make more jobs available to the disabled, which reduces the public burden of supporting them, while making life easier for all or us. When you carry your shopping bags out the automatic door at the supermarket, you are looking at an innovation that would not be in place if the ADA had not mandated it. I could go on, but this is not the forum.
I'm well aware. But that has nothing to do with the point of this article.
They are not my friends. I have met each of the two individuals you discuss exactly once each (in separate circumstances) and do not know either particularly well. You make bad assumptions and it makes you look like an... well, you know...
In the meantime, you keep insisting that their action was "infantile" or "unprofessional" -- and I don't see how or why.
But, honestly, the idea that EFF is considered a "minor player" in patent issues suggests a level of ignorance on your part that is astounding. I believe the term "wishful thinking" was invented for deluded folks such as yourself. I am quite sure that the "true believer" patent abuser world that you revel in would like to believe so, but having spent plenty of time with the people who are actually making some of these decisions, you are wrong. Ridiculously so. But it's funny to watch you pretend otherwise.
Until then, the EFF will at best remain a marginal organization that is not taken seriously in matters relating to patent law.
This is hilarious and shows just how out of touch you really are. I realize that folks like yourself who are against patent reform, like to believe this bit of wishful thinking, but you are very, very wrong. Keep underestimating the folks who are about to make you look incredibly silly. It's hilarious.
She can "consume" their website if they would just do the right thing and use closed captioning. It doesn't cost much and it makes her lives and the lives of many other people better.
I don't disagree with that. Netflix should do that if possible. But the real question is what about everyone else? What about the small one person/part-time hobby site? Should it be required to go to the same level of effort? The risk of someone just setting up a site for fun, and somehow failing to meet all of the qualifications of the ADA are very real.
No one is saying that sites shouldn't strive to be as accessible as possible. The question is whether or not every website should be burdened by a law that was not written for websites and doesn't make sense for many such websites.
I'm sorry if my daughter isn't important to you, but a lot of people love her - including me
Did you really get that out of reading my article?
Oh, and by the way - f**** you.
Do you honestly think that's an appropriate response?
lol you can't even honestly address what the guy said about you.
What did I not address? I'm guessing you think it's this phrase: "you've done nothing but complain when artist's rights are enforced and protected." And my response was: "I think it's counterproductive for artists to treat their fans badly."
I think that's addressing his comment, but to be more explicit since you seem to think I'm somehow being dishonest: I think that in many, many cases it is *counterproductive* for copyright holders to enforce their copyright, because, in doing so, it often treats their best fans badly. And I think that's a mistake in the long term that *harms the artist* much more than letting their copyrights be infringed. You, quite clearly, disagree.
However, if *you* were being honest, you would need to admit that arguing that enforcing copyrights harms the artist does not mean the same thing as hating artists -- and, in fact, probably means the exact opposite.
Where we do disagree, quite clearly, is on whether or not enforcement harms the artist. You think it does not. I think that, in many cases, it does. And the reason is because the punishment that is given turns off many fans and forecloses many more opportunities to build a larger fanbase and to open up new ways in which those artists can make money.
It is possible to disagree, and to do so in a manner that does not involve misleading statements and insults, but I have yet to see you do that. Perhaps you'll start now?
Telling me to fuck off on my own site is an interesting strategy. For what it's worth, you're absolutely welcome here on my site. I just wish you would debate with facts rather than emotional diatribes. Your choice, though.
You lying slimeball-
Can you point to a particular "lie" that you think I've told? If I got something incorrect, I'm more than happy to post a followup.
for YEARS you've done nothing but complain when artist's rights are enforced and protected.
Nothing? At this point, I have to assume that you chose to ignore all of the links above. Look, you can disagree with my stance on why I think it's counterproductive for artists to treat their fans badly. And it's pretty clear that you do disagree with that stance. You think that calling your biggest fans criminals is a good strategy. Fair enough. But it's a big stretch to go from that to arguing that I "hate" musicians, given how often we celebrate musician success stories.
Go die in a fire.
I hope you have a great weekend. Maybe chill out a little. You sound a bit angry.
There's many more like that. So, you can claim we "hate musicians" all you want, but the truth is the exact opposite. We are super happy to see musicians be successful and we spend a shit ton of time trying to help more be successful. We just think that your preferred method of threatening and insulting your fans is not a wise way to do that.
Re: Treaty obligations vs Constitutional Obligations
If TPP gets ratified by the US Senate (one way or another), how does it play against the US Constitution?
The Constitution does trump the TPP, but that doesn't mean it won't still cause problems. What happens is that you get a phalanx of lobbyists arguing how we have to "comply with our international obligations" or all hell will break loose, and then Congress tries to figure out ways to "work around" the situation.
Add to that, things like the WTO and the ISDS panels, and what might happen is that even if the Constitution "wins" and blocks the implementation of the treaty, the US is then "punished" -- either through monetary fines (taxpayer money) or other punishment (like the WTO saying that countries can ignore other US laws as "compensation") and so the US still faces pressure to comply.
Re: I'm growing tired of TechDirt's "no HTTPS" whinging
In this case, since videos of public government hearings for news purposes would clearly fall under fair use (if not public domain), why don't you just host the video yourself? FTFY
C-SPAN does not make them downloadable. If someone wants to figure out a way to get the actual video, we'd happily post it. But, as a warning, doing so may circumvent technological protection measures in violation of the DMCA section 1201.
Re: You have no idea what this "Sovereignty" thing is, right?
Corporation suing government of $country in same $country? Is _this_ supposed to "undermine sovereignty"? Like in:
>> The TPP would newly empower about 9,000 foreign-owned firms in the United States to launch ISDS cases against the U.S. government
No. It's not about "suing government of $country in same $country." It's about avoiding the court system altogether. It's about challenging laws in $country at a non-court tribunal made up of other lawyers who represent other multinational companies in similar cases and letting THEM decide if the laws of a country are "unreasonable."
In other words, giving a small group of corporate lawyers the ability to basically veto any country's laws.
If I patent something but don't have the means to actually see it through, selling the patent is a reasonable way to use the patent system to encourage innovation.
There are two implicit assumptions in that, neither of which hold up under much scrutiny.
Implicit assumption #1: That raising capital for an idea is impossible for small players. If an idea is truly interesting, there are lots of ways to raise capital for it, and you don't need patents to do that (despite what some claim).
Implicit assumption #2: The selling of the patent actually transfers something useful towards the actual innovation. As others have noted, there is rarely much in the patent itself that actually helps the innovation move forward. Most of the useful "know how" is entirely unrelated to what's in the patent.
If a small time inventor isn't likely to see return, they are less likely to do it.
And yet, you almost never see cases of someone selling a patent to encourage development of some new technology. It's almost all about giving control to some party to either sue others over it, or to prevent being sued. It's not actual knowledge transfer.