There are lots of us who have some involvement with the world of affiliate marketing who find the sort of marketing you describe later in your post just as sketchy as you do (and should).
I’m an affiliate marketer, social media early adopter and a longtime Twitter user (since ’06) and don’t think I fit the description you make. John Reese and I got into it last night on this topic at Andrew Wee’s blog.
All of my affiliate stuff (as well as 99% of the people I know in affiliate marketing) is consumer related, not B2B ebooks and rarely, if ever, promoted on any of the myriads of social networks I belong to.
There’s a big gap between the B2B “affiliate” marketers and the B2C variety.
I talk a good deal about cloud computing. If you listen to the GeekCast podcast, you might here me arguing with Shawn Collins over our cloud-based future and how it will be a reality as soon as variables, such as ubiquitous highspeed internet connections are available and accessible here in the US as well as the continued maturation of “cloud” based web apps such as GMail or Google Docs, are made more reliable.
I also talked with Andrew Wee about the cloud computing issue on his latest Friday Podcast and how I thought cloud computing was not only the future here in the West but also presented an amazing opportunity for more “developing” societies to leverage and improve increasingly complex web apps using cheaper and thinner computer machinery.
In other words, I’m a major proponent of cloud computing and see our futures there. However, I have to disagree strongly with this new post from Mashable…
The Web OS. It’s Coming, Just Not Too Soon.: “I’ll offer up my own prediction here that cloud-based operating systems will advance and grow to become popular, mainstream options for computer users in less than a decade’s time. Yes, 10 years from now, I imagine a portion of both the corporate and consumer populace will be logging on straight to the World Wide Web, without need for Windows Vista or Windows 7 or whathaveyou. If wireless broadband is to become a far-reaching utility and relatively inexpensive commodity – which I think it very well might, if telecoms really know what’s good for them – then there really will be no need for much of the public to continue to straddle the offline-online divide. The paradigm will shift. It is already doing so to large degree.”
My basic argument with this premise that we’ll be operating on a “Web OS” is that there’s no need for such a platform or system. In a decade’s time, the web will be omnipresent on our mobile devices, our HDTV’s, our AppleTV’s/DVR’s/TiVO’s/PS5’s as well as our more traditional web terminals that we have traditionally associated with desktops. However, we won’t need a web OS.
Web apps that work on our mobile devices, entertainment devices and more traditional computing machines will be OS agnostic and the browser will slowly but surely be the main “program” needed on a “computer.” Welcome to the fracturing.