Amazon autospam

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
914
294
83
Tokyo
#1
Last night I posted a message that very incidentally made a disparaging comment about Amazon (a word that I am not linking). I woke up this morning and thought I'd check my sleepy prose on the fambly Nexus 7. Amazing: "Amazon" (which I am again not linking) was linked to that company's website. I checked on the fambly Ipad 2. Same. I checked again on my Debian machine. Not linked.

On neither of these tablets am I logged in, but of course I'm logged in when using the computer. I tentatively guess that the software here "helpfully" links "Amazon" (a word ditto) for those people who are not logged in.

I returned to my message and linked "Amazon" (I don't have to repeat myself) to "Amazon, Google and Starbucks are struggling to defend their tax avoidance", which seems more informative. I've checked on the Nexus: the software on this website luckily doesn't replace this link with one to the retailer.

I suggest tweaking the software so that it no longer serves to help the business of unscrupulous monopolists.

(If anyone's interested: Yes, I buy from Amazon too, but as seldom as I can. And yes, I fully appreciate the irony of (A) whining about monopoly power while (B) using an Apple device and another device hawked by Google. Given the chance, I'd use a Meego/Mer/whatever alternative; but they're elusive.)
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,681
494
103
Japan
#2
Last night I posted a message that very incidentally made a disparaging comment about Amazon (a word that I am not linking). I woke up this morning and thought I'd check my sleepy prose on the fambly Nexus 7. Amazing: "Amazon" (which I am again not linking) was linked to that company's website. I checked on the fambly Ipad 2. Same. I checked again on my Debian machine. Not linked.

On neither of these tablets am I logged in, but of course I'm logged in when using the computer. I tentatively guess that the software here "helpfully" links "Amazon" (a word ditto) for those people who are not logged in.

I returned to my message and linked "Amazon" (I don't have to repeat myself) to "Amazon, Google and Starbucks are struggling to defend their tax avoidance", which seems more informative. I've checked on the Nexus: the software on this website luckily doesn't replace this link with one to the retailer.

I suggest tweaking the software so that it no longer serves to help the business of unscrupulous monopolists.

(If anyone's interested: Yes, I buy from Amazon too, but as seldom as I can. And yes, I fully appreciate the irony of (A) whining about monopoly power while (B) using an Apple device and another device hawked by Google. Given the chance, I'd use a Meego/Mer/whatever alternative; but they're elusive.)
You lost me @ fambly.
 
Sep 2, 2009
5
0
0
#4
Last night I posted a message that very incidentally made a disparaging comment about Amazon (a word that I am not linking). I woke up this morning and thought I'd check my sleepy prose on the fambly Nexus 7. Amazing: "Amazon" (which I am again not linking) was linked to that company's website. I checked on the fambly Ipad 2. Same. I checked again on my Debian machine. Not linked.

On neither of these tablets am I logged in, but of course I'm logged in when using the computer. I tentatively guess that the software here "helpfully" links "Amazon" (a word ditto) for those people who are not logged in.

I returned to my message and linked "Amazon" (I don't have to repeat myself) to "Amazon, Google and Starbucks are struggling to defend their tax avoidance", which seems more informative. I've checked on the Nexus: the software on this website luckily doesn't replace this link with one to the retailer.

I suggest tweaking the software so that it no longer serves to help the business of unscrupulous monopolists.

(If anyone's interested: Yes, I buy from Amazon too, but as seldom as I can. And yes, I fully appreciate the irony of (A) whining about monopoly power while (B) using an Apple device and another device hawked by Google. Given the chance, I'd use a Meego/Mer/whatever alternative; but they're elusive.)
You want the moon on a stick.
 

thomas

The Crank Engine
Nov 1, 2005
1,812
219
93
多摩区
#6
We are only using Googe AdSense here at the forum. I suggest reading up on their website to see how it works.

AdSense often display ads related to your latest online purchases. Example: I have recently acquired a DSLR and a few lenses via Rakuten, now my ads mostly show camera-related products in Rakuten shops, and frankly it works, as I cannot stop oggling at new lenses. :D

Sorry, no Amazonian conspiracy going on...
 
May 22, 2007
3,617
1,454
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#7
AutoLinker is a plugin application which has been developed for vBulletin forum software. It allows keywords set by the board administrator to be turned into hyperlinks or popups automatically any time they are used in a forum post or message.

Why would you not want that?

Did you link the word "Ipad"? It shows up for me with a link to iPad 3s on e-bay (aargh!) :confused:

Could read this book from Amazon (aargh!) and see if the universe explodes in an uncontrolled feedback loop.

Or avoid completely by forcing a hyperlink on your whole message, like this line which would otherwise probably link to Amazon or iPad.

Personally, I would happily pay a dollar a year or more to keep resources I use regularly, like TCC, Wikipedia etc., free from unwanted intrusions.
 

thomas

The Crank Engine
Nov 1, 2005
1,812
219
93
多摩区
#8
Mike, we are not using AutoLinker here at the forum. In addition to AdSense we are an affiliate of VigLinks. However, they do not - AFAIK - auto-insert links into forum posts.
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
914
294
83
Tokyo
#9
I'm sorry if I didn't explain myself well.

Quite aside from any question of the rights and wrongs of advertising, the need for revenue, and the pluses and minuses of Amazon, something strange is going on. An hour ago (during a lull in a committee meeting), I used my Nexus 7 to surf this discussion and "Amazon" wasn't linked. (I wasn't logged in here.) Now (obviously), I am logged in, and even so I see "Amazon" linked. And yes, "Ipad" linked as well. Even though I didn't see either linked when I was logged in last night and this morning. As I type this message, of course I see the preceding chain of messages below the input box wherein I type, and within them these words are not linked. I open another tab to view this thread in the normal way, and yes they are linked.

How it all works at this end remains a mystery to me. I click Ctrl-U to view the source of the web page that gives me these links, and no links are there. (Yes, my understanding of HTML is adequate for this humble purpose.) On the other hand there are a lot of calls to Javascripts and I lack the knowledge and energy to chase these up and attempt to interpret what I might see.

As I mouse over the autolinked word "Amazon", a tooltip pops up: "Link added by VigLink". Rights or wrongs (etc) aside, can such a link benefit this website? The browser suggests that it goes to http://www.amazon.com/ but actually it goes to http://www.amazon.com/?tag=vglnk-c540-20 and so yes there does seem to be some payback potential.

Thomas, I certainly don't begrudge you your income, which I presume is anyway minuscule and hugely outweighed by the time you need to put into this site.

Half-Fast Mike writes above: Personally, I would happily pay a dollar a year or more to keep resources I use regularly, like TCC, Wikipedia etc., free from unwanted intrusions.

Yes, and I can afford rather more. Thomas, do you have an address for PayPal?
 
May 22, 2007
3,617
1,454
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#10
Hi Thomas. Thanks as always for the great site!

From http://www.viglink.com/demo
"Link Insertion: The author forgot to include links in this post, but they've turned on VigLink's optional link insertion. Relevant affiliate links are added automatically!"​
(If you see li.nk in.sertion hyperlinked above, that's not my doing!)

It sometimes takes a little after the page loads for the links to be dynamically added, and based on microcord's experience it might depend on the browser/OS/device used. Certainly they are not being hard-coded in.

edit

So dynamic are they, in fact, that the OP which earlier linked "Ipad"to iPad 2s on e-bay is now linking "Ipad 2" to iPad 2s. (aargh, aargh, aargh & arrrgh)
 

thomas

The Crank Engine
Nov 1, 2005
1,812
219
93
多摩区
#11
Thanks Microcord, that's very generous of you. We are of course grateful for donations, but we will have to think of a more standardised approach to financial assistance and advertising, most likely after our upgrade in December (yes, it *will* happen).

I have checked the VigLink funcionality again:

VigLink helps you earn money from the links shared in your forum. With VigLink enabled, eligible outbound links to product and merchant sites are automatically affiliated when a visitor clicks them. If a visitor makes a purchase after clicking an eligible link, you'll receive a commission. Links that are already affiliated are left untouched.
They do insert autolinks to affiliated sites (like Amazon, Ebay, etc.), a new feature I am not very fond of. I see if I can disable this function. Thanks again for bringing this to our attention.
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
914
294
83
Tokyo
#13
From http://www.viglink.com/demo
"Link Insertion: The author forgot to include links in this post, but they've turned on VigLink's optional link insertion. Relevant affiliate links are added automatically!"​
Hah! Yes, quite. Except that (1) any writer may choose not to include links (the absence of a link needn't imply mere laziness or negligence), and (2) writers to this BBS aren't offered a choice of whether or not to turn on Vigilink's link insertion.

(This time, it's me who linked "Vigilink".)

PS: Thomas, I'd see good reason for any lack of enthusiasm about contributions: you might feel obliged to keep this BBS going at some point when you'd like to close it, you might feel obliged to tolerate the eccentricities (irrelevant posts, rudeness, whatever) of somebody who'd donated, etc. However, I wouldn't consider my donation as a purchase of any special service, and I certainly wouldn't want two-tier membership, one tier for the generous/rich and the other for the ungenerous/poor.
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
914
294
83
Tokyo
#15
I have killed VigLinks for the time being. Probably I'll add a "Donate" button once the forum is updated. :)
You're a good man, Thomas; and I'd buy the 60cm steel bike within your signature except that I'm too short for it, it's too young for me, I really don't need another bike, and it seems already to be sold.