BoxClouds: Data Transfer and Entry Barriers to Affiliate Marketing

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Constructing a site and finding affiliate programs to promote for your site is becoming easier and easier. However, one entry level barrier for new affiliates is how to transfer certain data files to their affiliate managers or merchants. I think we need to lower the entry threshold for new affiliates, so I was excited to discover something new this week.

On Wednesday a merchant that I work with on one of my affiliate sites recently asked me if I’d like to use a new service called BoxClouds to transfer some non-crucial files that normally would be shared via FTP.
I’ve since played with the BoxClouds service for a few days and am happily surprised with the ease of use.

From the BoxClouds site:

BoxCloud’s “drag and share” functionality makes sharing files a snap through a small application you install on your desktop. You decide what to share simply by dragging files from your desktop over your buddy list. Your files and folders are hosted directly and instantly from your computer without any uploading. Once shared, your contacts can then access your files over a regular browser — they don’t need to download or configure anything.

While I wouldn’t suggest using this for sensitive documents or data files, I do think applications such as this or box.net are making file transfers so easy that eventually how we work together in the affiliate marketing world could figure out a way to innovate secure and safe file transfer system.

FTP is nice but not every affiliate or affiliate manager knows how to use it. Email is certainly not safe, and not always certain to land in the inbox of the recepient. IM transfer is difficult-to-sketchy at best due to different platforms and security settings.

What do you use to transfer files with your partnering merchants, affiliates or affiliate managers? Could a service such as BoxClouds (with more security) further the entry barrier to affiliate marketing?

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5 thoughts on “BoxClouds: Data Transfer and Entry Barriers to Affiliate Marketing

  1. Are you downloading datafeed files manually??? For the affiliate that only uses a feed to hand pick a few products that fit their niche is it maybe better than downloading stuff via FTP.

    On the other hand would it be better for the affiliate and advertiser to come up with a simple way to access product information and link codes for a set of selected products (which were selected by the affiliate) where the affiliate that does this kind of stuff buy hand can go and get what it needs quickly.

    This will come. Web Services are perfect for this kind of stuff.

  2. No, I’m not (duh), but I do know of some affiliates who do. They are actually intelligent people (which suprises me given that they download feeds manually). That is what they’ve always done and they feel comfortable with it… horses for courses, I guess.

    Good point about the Web Services.

    So is Amazon going to re-invent affiliate marketing (affiliatemarketing2.0) with web services since it helped create it??

    Or is Google already there?

    And where is ValueClick with the web services front? Why aren’t they paying attention?? Read my blog ValueClick! It’s free! Then hire me as a consultant.

  3. I am way ahead of you. I already talked to CJ. I was talking with them over 1 hour and sent a long follow up email. It was actually about the feeds AND the Web Services.

    Web Services itself are not easy. They use standards which is good and somebody who has worked with datafeeds from all the different sources will appreciate it.

    Web Services are an Interface. One party is the provider of “stuff” and the other one is an application that uses the Web Services to build a custom application that can be designed for any kind of things, even beyond the original intend of the providing party.

    For example DataFeedFile.com and GoldenCan.com are enablers of the Datafeed Generation by providing simple to use tools for affiliates, based on feeds. Those Feeds have limitations though.

    Also providing services like the two I mentioned is harder with datafeeds and their unique challenges which can be solved by a lot of CPU power, Disc space and Time wasted. This on the other hand reduces the number of similar and total number of services altogether which is bad, because a lot of ideas simply don’t make it, because of the high entry cost.

    This is different with Web Services. The technical entry level is much lower.
    This does not make everything good and peachy, because if the Web Services offered by the provider suck, ground breaking applications will also not happen.
    It also raises the cost for hardware for the provider, but should reduce the cost for personal to do all this manual work. The ladder is not going to happen, because datafeeds are still needed. Web Services would do a poor job in replacing datafeeds completely.

    A Web Service has a lot less “moving parts” than a datafeed.
    If all the networks would offer today what amzon.com and ebay.com offer in regards to Web Services, come back in a year or less and you will not believe your Eyes. I am convinced about that.

  4. maybe, eventually.. what do you expect? A revolution inside CJ that changes everything? They started reaching out. It’s a start. I am yelling at them since 2002 when they changed their product catalog. The main complaint/suggestion did not make it into the feed to this day.

    See
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=9182
    and
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=1377

    comment. please make it work that the form is not empty if the window gets redirected somewhere else and I use the back button to get back to the post. Windows uses sometimes Tabs you are working in to open a site from a link in lets say outlook.

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