Affiliate links, kickbacks, the reputation web and other such things

I want to make one thing clear: I don’t recommend anything unless I wholeheartedly think that you are likely to get some sort of benefit from reading/buying/using/downloading/hacking or otherwise engaging with whatever it is that I am recommending. Having said that, I do all the normal things when it comes to participating in the ‘reputation web’ such as use affiliate link programs and other mechanisms to gauge what my readers think is valuable. For example, if I recommend a book and I link through to it on Amazon AND you actually go ahead and buy a copy of that book, I get a small (a very small) commission for that. If I post a link to a webpage I use various metrics to see how many people clicked through from that link. Similarly, I use all the normal inbuilt analytics tools in platforms like Twitter, Buffer, Facebook etc. to try to figure out what the visitors on my site like and what they might regard as being all a bit “meh”. Some of these programs provide me with income (which I churn back into running this site), some don’t.

So here’s the thing: if you click on a link on this site you should probably expect that in some way, shape or form I’m measuring that action and that sometimes I might also be getting a benefit from that.

And here’s my promise to you: if, as this site grows, people ask me to review something I’ll make it very clear that I’m doing that on their behalf. You’ll always be able to tell the difference between what I personally recommend and what others have asked me to review. Always.

Finally, this why I link through to paywalled articles: In this blog I aim to provide authoritative commentary and analysis in the fields of strategy, practice and pedagogy. In order to do so, I read widely. I may quote another author or I may paraphrase something that they have said that has been published elsewhere. Attribution matters. You should be able to check that what I have said on this site is true, that I’m not just making it up. By linking back to the original source, you have the opportunity to read what I have read and make your own mind up about how I have represented that particular author’s writings. I’m aware that sometimes you may be able to find a copy of the original source elsewhere on the web – particularly older articles or articles that are well cited – but out of respect for you and of course the author, I link back to the original source. As I expect that most of my readers may be academics or students, chances are you have access to the original articles through your library journal database subscription services. I believe that wherever possible, you should go to the source.



Leave a Comment