I did a similar post on my personal blog earlier this morning, but think is fitting for the CPN readership to ponder as well…
My friend Shawn Collins writes:
Affiliate marketers are the epitome of the Time Person of the Year accolade. They are the straws that stir the drink. Experimental Netizens that explore, test, and evolve.
I was not going to write about the Time Person of the Year (surprise, it’s “You”) which has gotten so much coverage in the blog universe. If you haven’t heard the news, you can read up on the much discussed “award” there.
However, I don’t think affiliate marketers, as a whole, are the experimental bunch that Shawn describes, and definitely not the epitome of the web2.0 movement.
Are affiliate markters, as a whole, resourceful? Yes. Are they experimental on the web2.0 level? No. Affiliates and affiliate marketers are good at using metrics and figuring out more efficient ways to move traffic from point A to point B, but few affiliates actually push the limits of the top-down hierarchical structure which was predominant on the webs before 2003.
I’m not arguing that affiliate marketers are bad people or ineffectual because of the slow adoption of next-gen platforms and services. But do we really think they are the epitome of what Time is describing as the Person of the Year?
Are there any affiliate marketers on Second Life? Are there any affiliate marketers on Twitter? Are there any affiliate marketers effectively using YouTube (or even MySpace beyond spamming and networking)? Do most affiliate marketers even know what StumbleUpon is? Or how to use Ma.gnolia and del.icio.us to gain quality readers? Flickr? Meebo? 30Boxes? Do most even use a feedreader and not just email subscriptions? Widgets anyone?
The straws that stir the drink?? Hopefully one day, but not now.