Last year Jason Calacanis gave the keynote at Affiliate Summit and made the point (if I may summarize) that affiliate marketers are bright and have lots of potential but think too small…instead they need to make quality platforms that people and VC’s will get behind.
Clearly, that mindset should have changed as the economy continues to dive bomb and the Silicon Valley companies (such as Calacanis’ VC backed Mahalo) that Jason lauded continue to make double digit percentage staff cuts in the name of runway to survive the long recession/depression that we’re in for.
However, I’m listening to the new This Week in Tech from Leo Laporte, which features Jason Calacanis, John C. Dvorak (drink!) and Sarah Lane. Listen to the first 15 or so minutes if you’re interested in how much Jason’s views haven’t changed over the last year regarding affiliate sites being equatable to parked pages and spam.
Look, I hate spam as much, if not more, than the next guy. Just follow me on Twitter if you’d like to see an affiliate marketer filled with self-angst over the spam problem. I recognize that some “affiliates” use tactics that suck and should be looked down upon. But that is not the majority of affiliates considering that “affiliate marketing” itself is mushrooming to encompass a whole range of publishers because of the evolution of the social web.
However, an outsider calling all affiliate sites spam for his own business gain is just lame considering Mahalo itself is an affiliate site. I guess the Valley way to eliminate competition is to call it spam.
Good luck with those runways, Jason. We’ll keep the traffic flowing in the control tower.