Affiliation via cookie, a theory

I always want to use affiliate codes on links! Not because I want to do that for money, or track people, or participate in nonsense. I just think it would really cool to talk about gaming and tech and linking to things that I like and getting some of my expenses paid or receive stuff. I mean, it is what it is. I like free stuff, because I think stuff should be free, and this is a way to indulge that goal.

But yeah, the whole game is screwy. I mean, most places that have an affiliate program are tracking too much that I would never link to them. That’s me.

I keep thinking about it, because the gamifying linky thing is so intriguing. I mean… what if I wrote my honest thoughts about games and tech and ran no ads, would people maybe just like having a human talking about things and not trying to sell? And then maybe I’d feel good getting free stuff? I like that! I get to be progressive and self-serving!

Anyhow, that preamble is to explain why I think about this at all. I like the idea of showing two links, one with the tracking code, but it is a crappy UI. I keep looking for this scenario where I don’t have to bother my precious visitor, but we somehow have an agreement that I will be cool with the links and when they click they might be benefiting me.

I’ve seen what’s out there of course. And I don’t like it, because companies hide behind their EULA and TOS as a firewall, and people react as drones, and we don’t actually protect or support anyone.

Here’s one idea: toggle a cookie to add affiliate links! I mean, that or whatever. Toggle the thing. And all the links then maybe benefit the site. But it is opt-in, and we won’t bug folks about it.

I’m not even interested in doing that. I don’t want to render separate contexts for potential profit. That is a waste of energy. But if someone else were looking for such a solution, I’d go with something similar. :slight_smile:

This isn’t helpful in the short term. However, it occured to me the other week, id actually really love it if some of these concepts could move out of the webpage into browser. And just let the browser signal to the webpage the user’s prefrences.

Like if I could have a profile in firefox of authors I thought were froody, and then they could declare some sort of public key in web documents they offer which would signal to the browser I wouldn’t mind appending their affiliate information on the next link.

Also with tip jars / webpage subscriptions to remove adds / etc. I would much rather have a wallet in Firefox and let the Firefox application doll out cash to web-authors peer to peer, than funnel through a centralized service or network, like liberapay or patreon or scrolls, etc.

(This occurred to me while I was thinking outloud about the pros and cons of Mozilla’s partnership with the Scrolls thing the other day.)

@tim, what does Brave (web browser) do? I recall you using that, it having such a mechanism. Obviously not as cool as using a public key, but something.

I also recall not using Brave for some other reason, and I doubt they’ve resolved it; I can’t remember what it was, just guessing they haven’t changed based on historical occurrence. :slight_smile:

Brave got created by Brendan Eich and was born out of the controversy which resulted in him leaving Mozilla. It could be related to that.

It could also be their ad replacement model which is somewhat controversial.

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Blarg, I didn’t know about all that re: Eich. I like Brave because the default ad/tracker blocking is pretty good. I like that it is “Shields up”. And some sites I genuinely like, I keep shields down to give them ad revenue.

I haven’t tried any of the micro-transaction stuff to pay sites through Brave.