On tonight’s episode of Comedy Central’s Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert issued a $5 challenge (in the spirit of Microsoft) to the first person who changed the definition of “Reality” on Wikipedia to include “Reality has become a commodity.” I’m posting this about 2 mins after he issued the challenge, and I’m sure it’s already been accomplished. The Wikipedia watchers are going to have another long night (or morning on the other side of the pond).
However, reality is not just about our phenomenological experiences. It also encompasses our daily interactions with other humans and technologies. Affiliate marketing is a facet of that reality for most of us and for millions of users who don’t realize that they are participating in “affiliate marketing.”
How should that reality be defined? Should it be purely a commodity based reality? Or is there greater value in helping your visitors, customers or users realize that the reality of affiliate marketing interaction they are participating in with your site is not just a commodity… it is also a relational experience in which they can share, learn or grow as a human.
How to do that?
It greatly depends on your program, site or shopping cart process. Whatever your case, I would start with a the realization that relationships can make you money (if that’s what your ultimate goal is), and work from that point of realization. Try out things to accomplish that goal. Value based relationships want to occur… so don’t hold them back behind a commodity based fence.
I think there’s a great deal of value in allowing for a deeper level of affiliate marketing reality which transcends the artificially imposed boundaries of pure commodity.