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  • FIRST POST
    Former MSE Dan
    Skimlinks trial on MSE forums
    • #1
    • 4th Aug 10, 4:57 PM
    Skimlinks trial on MSE forums 4th Aug 10 at 4:57 PM
    UPDATE: This trial has now ended and Skimlinks removed. We will now evaluate and decide if we're going ahead and how we best communicate it to people.



    Hi folks,

    From tomorrow (5 August), we are going to begin a one month trial of some new software on the non-Pure Money boards - that’s already being used by The Telegraph, Mumsnet and others - and wanted to give you an early heads up about it.



    Nothing you post will change, nothing will change in the user experience, none of the site rules are changing. It’s just a way of helping the forum meet its costs.




    If your user experience changes as all because of this, please reply to this thread and report it.






    What’s happening?

    A company called Skimlinks have created software which can link a limited number of standard links to other websites, eg, www.amazon.co.uk, into tracking links, which are then demarked to have come from MSE.

    It scans through boards on the forum and, if Skimlinks has a commercial relationship with a company linked to, it then ‘affiliates’ that link i.e. MSE will get paid if it is clicked.

    Crucially, the process of a reader clicking the link, and reaching the destination page intended, will remain unchanged (if anything does change, please let us know immediately).

    NB - some posts below refer to a totally separate software called Skimwords, which finds keywords and adds links to them. We’re not using that software, both as it could be annoying, but more importantly as it may auto-link people to places that aren’t MoneySaving. As such the concerns addressed here are irrelevant for the MSE forums.

    Will anything change in the posts?

    The posts will remain as they are originally written; we will not be altering the content at all. This means we cannot control the amount of links that appear, or whether they are the links Skimlinks has an association with.

    If Skimlinks doesn’t have any commercial relationship with the retailer mentioned in a post, the link is left unchanged. Many other websites use Skimlinks’ technology

    Where will this happen?

    For the trial period, we will not be applying this in the ‘Pure Money’ boards of the forum (or the ‘Referrers Board’).

    Links to shopping websites, broadband providers & utility suppliers, among others, will be automatically tracked if Skimlinks has a relationship with that retailer.

    Once the month trial is completed, if we decide to use Skimlinks permanently (and that decision isn’t made yet), a full explanation will go in the How this site is financed? Guide.

    Will a * be added to paid links, like on the main site?

    In any article written by Martin or the MSE team, we denote all affiliate links by adding a * to the provider name (fully explained in the How this site is financed? Guide).

    The reason for that is to be transparent, so everyone knows when there is a link that helps the site and can judge for themselves whether that impacts the editorial content (which we never let it do, but it's important we offer it.)

    Yet the content on the forum is not generated by MSE but by users, and we don’t want to start editing MoneySavers’ posts, even by adding the * automatically. Not only would this be a form of moderation (we operate a reactive ‘report an abuse’ system), spammers could manually add a * to any link in their posts, possibly giving them a false appearance of validity.

    Instead a link to this post will appear in the right hand side of all pages on the forum (and a more permanent solution if we continue after the trial)

    What about posts by members of the editorial team?

    However, any forum posts made by members of the MSE Team that include an affiliate link will, as they do now, denote that link with a *, to keep up our transparent ethical stance on only including products in our write-ups based on editorial merit.

    Why is this being done?

    This forum is massive, one of the UK’s biggest social networking sites. It has no adverts (no one can pay to be on the site) and does not generate any income. Yet it is a large cost, both in terms of servers, the abuse team, and our in-house lawyer who works almost primarily on dealing with legal letters arising from posts made by users.

    Currently the substantial costs are met due to the success of the main site, hopefully this will allow the forum to cover some of its costs – if so we would like to use a chunk of it to expand resources (possibly allowing a staff member to solely concentrate on the forum), contribute to the site charity and of course the main site's coffers. So we’re trialling it to see if it’s worthwhile – and whether it causes any issues.

    Does it change the rules about spam and who can post what where?

    No the rules remain the same. No spamming and no referral links. We would also ask that people continue to only post genuine MoneySaving deals, and don’t pay a second’s notice to whether they help the site or not.

    Thanks

    Dan


    ____________________________

    Update note 13 August:

    As we continue the trial we’ve learnt much more about how Skimlinks interacts with our forum.

    a. The visible underlying link may change if you right click

    One of the discoveries is if you specifically right click a link (instead of just clicking it and going through) in preparation for opening it in a new tab or window, the software changes the underlying link on your webpage. Although it does not change the post in our database.

    So from this point onward (unless you refresh the page) if you hover your mouse over the link, you will now see the new underlying skimlink which will have a MoneySavingExpert referral reference.

    To clarify the situation as far as we (currently) best understand it:

    The text and content of your posts (what people read) shouldn't change.

    The link text on the page that people read, whether it's a www.bbc.co.uk style link or a cool BBC news page style link, won't change.

    The final destination when people click through a link shouldn't change. In other words, if you've linked to a specific toilet brush on Amazon, when they click the link they will get to that toilet brush on Amazon.

    Yet the actual link used to send people through will change to an MSE referral link, and if you right click beforehand, when you hover over it you will see this in the bottom left of your screen.

    b. Cashback sites

    Some people have questioned the impact on this for cashback site users and if it will affect the tracking of their cashback.

    As far as we are aware it shouldn’t affect cashback, as it’s all about the last ‘tracked link’ used, as this is the way they operate, so as long as it’s the last link you click it should be fine.

    We haven’t yet had any reports of this not working, and we’re talking to the cashback sites to double check this. Though, obviously, as the trial continues we will monitor it (it’s reasons like this we’re doing a trial).

    Again, to reiterate, our focus is ensuring it doesn't impact users’ MoneySaving in any way, so this is important to us.

    c. Competitions Board

    Some people have been worried that these links could stop people being allowed to enter competitions, because it is being tracked.

    This is highly unlikely, as frankly they know where you're coming from anyway (google analytics and other standard software they will have track this). Plus links are only changed if skimlinks has a relationship with the company in which case again it's unlikely to be a problem as competitions and referrals are given to try and bring traffic in anyway.

    Yet, of course, we will monitor it. If there is any practical impact on people's MoneySaving then we will look to protect that. However there have been no reports of it actually happening that we know of (please keep us informed).

    d. Opt out

    We are currently looking at whether it would be possible to introduce an opt out for any registered users if we do go ahead with after the trial. It looks likely, though we're not there yet.

    While we'd hope if we choose to do this people won't opt out, as the increased resources amongst other things will allow us to improve the forum. But, if that's what people want, we will try and provide it (if it's possible).

    Do remember most sites would have added this without telling you and say be done with it. As always, that's not our way.

    Please do report any practical issues with any of this, or if you discover we’ve got this update wrong in any way (we’re trying to learn it as quickly as possible) - that's the point of a trial.

    -------------------------------------

    Update Note 18th August

    Hi all,

    Just to keep you all in the loop. We are working on adding an option to allow you to opt-out of Skimlinks as part of the trial

    I just wanted to take a moment to explain how the opt-out will work – it will be a setting in the user CP (which we will point people to)

    For those of you interested in the technical side of things (may be gobbledygook to some).

    It’s important to understand the Skimlinks Javascript may be cached within a post, so the option for turning it off has to be making that javascript not work, rather than deleting it. So that when you click the link if you’re opted out, while some Javascript will be fired off, it won’t actually do anything, leaving you to follow the link naturally without being redirected! My apologies to anyone I lost with that paragraph. That’s all the jargon.

    One last thing to mention. Your opted-out status only affects how you see links and not how others choose to see your links. I hope this helps give you some idea where we are going with our Skimlinks implementation in the near future.

    Kind regards,
    MSE Ian
    Last edited by Former MSE Dan; 06-09-2010 at 10:11 AM.
Page 1
    • alwaysonthego
    • By alwaysonthego 4th Aug 10, 5:39 PM
    • 7,915 Posts
    • 10,749 Thanks
    alwaysonthego
    • #2
    • 4th Aug 10, 5:39 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Aug 10, 5:39 PM
    It would be good if someone is employed to focus on the forum. It makes no difference to the user, so sounds like a good idea,
    .
    • Nile
    • By Nile 4th Aug 10, 6:50 PM
    • 14,344 Posts
    • 14,292 Thanks
    Nile
    • #3
    • 4th Aug 10, 6:50 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Aug 10, 6:50 PM
    The Skimlinks trial sounds good. It won't affect the posts and threads on the forum but it may raise sufficient income to help the MSE Charity and cover the legal and Abuse staff costs.

    It would also be lovely to have an MSE Team member devoted to the forum..................which brings back happy memories of the MSE Andrea early forum days.

    I hope we'll get some feedback after the trial, to tell us whether the Skimlinks is going to be a permanent fixture..............and whether we can look forward to having our very own MSE Team member looking after us.

    Thanks for the heads up.

    Regards

    Nile
    Hi, I'm the Board Guide on the In my home (includes DIY) and the I wanna buy-it or do-it boards which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. However, do remember that Board Guides don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. It is not part of my role to deal with reportable posts. Any views are mine and are not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com.

    10 Dec 2007 - Led Zeppelin - I was there. I wear my 50 (gold/red/white) blood donations pin badge with pride. Give blood, save a life.
  • oakhouse13
    • #4
    • 4th Aug 10, 9:05 PM
    • #4
    • 4th Aug 10, 9:05 PM
    AV Forums uses this technology. See here for an example of how it works.

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/headphones-headphone-amps/779623-best-closed-headphones-100-a.html

    In this thread, people are discussing headphones. Skimlinks scans the page. When it finds product names mentioned - in this conversation the discussion mentions Bose Around Ear Headphones it creates an affiliate link. In this example the link is to eBay. Skimlinks collects vast amounts of information from millions of links it creates and knows which affiliate programs earn the most and that forums convert much better than any other content. Whether it is in forum member's interests to use the link to drop eBay cookies is open to question.

    Skimlinks' blog on average commisssions:

    "Average Commission?

    We also get asked about things like average basket sizes and average commissions. This again varies based on the content of the publisher site: technology-oriented sites have a larger basket size, although fashion sites are not far behind. We are doing well also with car accessory sites, and eco-friendly products is a fast growing area for us. The average basket size is about 50, but we see examples from 40 to 75.
    Average commission vary based on product type. Technology merchants and general stores have a lower rate: 2-4%, with niche stores and many fashion merchants at around 10%.
    Great Merchants

    We often get asked what our favourite merchants are: at the moment there are two:
    • Love Honey has a great site and range of products, and pays great commissions
    • Ebay (both the UK and US) have a fantastic program, both in terms of their rates of commission and the people that run the programs.

    We heartily encourage all our merchants to think about incorporating these merchants into their sites, eg. “Weekly Ebay favourites” and for appropriate sites “Best female toy of the week”

    More background here: Skimlinks writes publisher monthly $300,000 cheque, Venturebeat

    http://media.venturebeat.com/2010/06/25/skimwords/

    For more on cookies which affiliate links drop onto your computer:

    The Web's New Gold Mine, WSJ

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703940904575395073512989404.html

    ------------
    IMPORTANT CLARIFICATION FROM MSE
    The info in this post is incorrect

    We have added an insert as the information given above is incorrect and we do not want anyone to be misled.

    As explained in the first post, our key parameter here is nothing we do will change the content of the posts or where users are able to link through to.

    We’re only adding ‘skimlinks’ software which simply tracks links forum users have added.

    What the AV forums use (described above) is ‘skimwords’ that finds keywords and adds links to them. We’re not using that software, both as it could be annoying, but more importantly as it may auto-link people to places that aren’t MoneySaving. As such the concerns addressed here are irrelevant for the MSE forums.

    Unfortunately some below have assumed this information is correct so some of the discussion is about that.

    Please ignore that – it is not what’s happening.

    If you find that the introduction of Skimlinks in any way impacts what’s written in your post or where it links you to please report it during this test period by replying to this thread.

    Dan, thanks for the correction.
    Last edited by oakhouse13; 05-08-2010 at 1:07 PM. Reason: Update
  • robt
    • #5
    • 4th Aug 10, 11:00 PM
    • #5
    • 4th Aug 10, 11:00 PM
    I think you should be providing information on skimlinks privacy information and how long cookies (if any) are set for etc, rather than just perceived benefits.
  • oakhouse13
    • #6
    • 5th Aug 10, 7:01 AM
    • #6
    • 5th Aug 10, 7:01 AM
    Will not Skimlinks increase your moderators' work enormously? It makes the forum a commercial communication surely? You are the first trader in the shopping chain, and then Skimlinks and then the affiliate network and then the retailer, and possibly more middlemen in some trades. To go from a forum post on MSE to purchase, the customer is paying all these middlemen in the purchase price which the retailer pays for acquiring the customer by affiliate marketing.

    A post that includes a price, product description and facility to buy is exactly what an invitation to purchase is, as defined as in law and this is exactly what most shopping related posts are. In law, you are liable for any material ommission or misleading information and in law you have to provide certain information about products or services that you are facilitating the purchase of.

    Here is an example post which gives a price of 29.99 whereas the price on the retailer's website is 59.97. It was the first post I looked at. You only learn after clicking the link that the price is incorrect. Posting shopping links to limited offers or offers with limited stock for example, that information would have to be in the post and that post will have to be removed as soon as the product is no longer available for purchase at the advertised price. This is what retailers do everyday, all day by the way, make sure their pricing information is legal. Once you have clicked the link, the cookie is dropped on your computer and depending on its latency will be there for a day, a week, maybe years, tracking you.

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showpost.html?p=35364367&postcount=1

    I think I have read somewhere that Skimlinks is not accepted onto affiliate progams for regulated financial service products for legal reasons which I would guess is the reason why it will not be on the money boards. Reading its website it does not mention working with any financial service providers, but is an affiliate for 12,000 plus e-commerce sites.

    The reason for introducing this is the need to cover the cost of providing the forum, you say. Since the forum is where the content for the site's email program comes from in part, and also editorial coverage features forum posts, does the income from the email and editorial not cover the cost of the forum already?

    Have you considered inviting people to pay an annual subscription? It could be voluntary and flexible. That might pay for the forum in a way that loads fewer external files which are outside your control onto user's computers and avoid the hassle of commercialising it.
  • Former MSE Dan
    • #7
    • 5th Aug 10, 10:42 AM
    • #7
    • 5th Aug 10, 10:42 AM
    AV Forums uses this technology. See here for an example of how it works.

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/headphones-headphone-amps/779623-best-closed-headphones-100-a.html

    In this thread, people are discussing headphones. Skimlinks scans the page. When it finds product names mentioned - in this conversation the discussion mentions Bose Around Ear Headphones it creates an affiliate link. In this example the link is to eBay. Skimlinks collects vast amounts of information from millions of links it creates and knows which affiliate programs earn the most and that forums convert much better than any other content. Whether it is in forum member's interests to use the link to drop eBay cookies is open to question.

    Skimlinks' blog on average commisssions:

    "Average Commission?

    We also get asked about things like average basket sizes and average commissions. This again varies based on the content of the publisher site: technology-oriented sites have a larger basket size, although fashion sites are not far behind. We are doing well also with car accessory sites, and eco-friendly products is a fast growing area for us. The average basket size is about 50, but we see examples from 40 to 75.
    Average commission vary based on product type. Technology merchants and general stores have a lower rate: 2-4%, with niche stores and many fashion merchants at around 10%.
    Great Merchants

    We often get asked what our favourite merchants are: at the moment there are two:
    • Love Honey has a great site and range of products, and pays great commissions
    • Ebay (both the UK and US) have a fantastic program, both in terms of their rates of commission and the people that run the programs.
    We heartily encourage all our merchants to think about incorporating these merchants into their sites, eg. “Weekly Ebay favourites” and for appropriate sites “Best female toy of the week”

    More background here: Skimlinks writes publisher monthly $300,000 cheque, Venturebeat

    http://media.venturebeat.com/2010/06/25/skimwords/

    For more on cookies which affiliate links drop onto your computer:

    The Web's New Gold Mine, WSJ

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703940904575395073512989404.html
    Originally posted by oakhouse13
    Hi Oakhouse,

    I think you have misunderstood what we’re doing – so a little technical guidance may be of benefit.

    As explained in the first post, our key parameter here is nothing we do will change the content of the posts or where users are able to link through to.
    We’re only adding ‘skimlinks’ software which simply tracks links forum users have added.

    Your concerns are about a different piece of software - ‘skimwords’ - that finds keywords and adds links to them. We’re not using that software, both as it could be annoying, but more importantly as it may auto-link people to places that aren’t MoneySaving.

    As such all the concerns you have explained aren’t actually relevant.

    Thanks

    Dan
    Last edited by MSE Martin; 05-08-2010 at 11:07 AM.
    • JimmyTheWig
    • By JimmyTheWig 5th Aug 10, 11:22 AM
    • 11,738 Posts
    • 11,307 Thanks
    JimmyTheWig
    • #8
    • 5th Aug 10, 11:22 AM
    • #8
    • 5th Aug 10, 11:22 AM
    It’s just a way of helping the forum meet its costs.
    Originally posted by MSE Dan
    How do you define the costs of the forum?
    More importantly, how do you define the income of the forum?

    I would argue that the forum is an integral part of the website. That while it may not bring in many new users, it helps a great deal to retain the users that you have. Therefore I suggest that the forum brings a great deal of traffic to the site which, therefore, results in a great deal of links being clicked from the main site. And so in a roundabout way it pays for itself.

    It would be like saying that your office cleaning team should help meet their costs - where in reality it's just a cost of having the site which should be allocated across money-making areas accordingly.


    That's not to say that I'm against the idea per-se. If it really does have little impact on the user and the money it brings in can help improve the site then that sounds reasonable. But that's a valid argument whether the forum, as a standalone entity, was making millions or costing millions.
    • nzseries1
    • By nzseries1 5th Aug 10, 11:51 AM
    • 2,144 Posts
    • 1,851 Thanks
    nzseries1
    • #9
    • 5th Aug 10, 11:51 AM
    • #9
    • 5th Aug 10, 11:51 AM
    Oh thank god. I thought for a moment you were adding the "skimwords" software that automatically converts people's text into links, and that pop up little ads when you hover over those links. I was thinking that if that happens, I'll be gone from this site so fast, just like every other site that uses that software.

    Thankfully above, MSE confirmed that this isn't happening. I hope though that this new "skimlinks" software works well, and doesn't start redirecting people to places that they didn't specify.

    I still think that this should be clarified better in the original post. I know it says "nothing you type will be changing", however it's not clear enough that links will not be generated.
    You're spelling is effecting me so much. Im trying not to be phased by it but your all making me loose my mind on mass!! My head is loosing it's hair. I'm going to take myself off the electoral role like I should of done ages ago and move to the Caribean. I already brought my plane ticket, all be it a refundable 1.
    • Oneday77
    • By Oneday77 5th Aug 10, 12:08 PM
    • 1,217 Posts
    • 1,009 Thanks
    Oneday77
    My concern is for anyone wanting to use a link to check the availability of a linked deal. Skimlinks then add a cookie to your PC which then allows teh site to track as a possible MSE purchase. Which as sound fine and unobtrusive.

    The problem is as MSE users everyone is savvy enough to use cashback sites. Which will have problems with tracking if an other cookie is in the way for the same site. Cookie cleaning is always advised when using cashback sites but this just adds and extra layer where it could go wrong for the very users on the forum
    New PV club member. 3.99kW system. Solar Edge with 14 x 285W JA Solar panels. 55 West from south and 35 pitch.
  • jackbauersurfingtheweb
    Hello, first time user long time follower.

    Although im new to this blog im not new to the affiliate world and i know of Skimlinks and rate their work very highly. In fact i know that last year their technology won several well deserved rewards and has improved affiliate industry making life easier for small companies to generate revenue from their websites.

    However, by adopting skimlinks onto the MSE forums i believe this is actually taking advantage of the thousands of people that post their opinions on a daily basis on this forum. I struggle to understand why MSE should profit from user generated content and im keen to know what on earth MSE will be doing with the extra revenue (which is undoubtedly going to be a heck of a lot!) to improve things for their users and basically justify becoming a salesman for high end merchants.

    In my opinion forums like this should be used for anyone to discuss issues, points and opinions without their thoughts on certain companies actually being turned into a sales channel for that particular company!

    Would be keen to hear your thoughts....
    • jenniewb
    • By jenniewb 5th Aug 10, 1:59 PM
    • 12,553 Posts
    • 11,735 Thanks
    jenniewb
    Maybe you could have it as an option where you could "opt out" of either viewing or having the skim-links on what you read or what you post. Just like there are "sites which do/don't help this site" posted at the bottom of various pages, it could be something that could be there by default but you could opt out of.

    At least give people the option though, I understand people can vote with their feet but it just would have been nice to have been asked.
  • robt
    Web hosting and bandwidth costs have not suddently jumped up - so will there be a tangible benefit to the average user, or have you been running at a loss for the last few months? Will the revenue go towards better forum support? A full time person dealing with abuse emails?

    Obviously this is only a trial so there is no need to answer - but if the trial is successful then these are questions which could be addressed.

    If you won't/can't say, doesn't it go against your transparency? You are having affiliate links - what is next - launching a cash back site?

    I also note you ignored my question about Skimlinks cookie and privacy policies - does that mean there something to hide?
    • KingL
    • By KingL 5th Aug 10, 2:28 PM
    • 1,665 Posts
    • 752 Thanks
    KingL
    Are we sure about the cookies? I purged mine last night and did a 'trial' after the outage this morning when I made a post including a link to a M&S online shop item and then followed it. My browser is set up to ask my permission for new cookies and I didn't get any prompts when I folllowed my M&S link.

    Since purging all my cookies I have accepted the main MSE cookie (that allows you to remain logged into the MSE forums), but apart from that, I don't seem to have had any new cookie requests.

    Mind you, i have never understood exactly how beacons work....
    • JimmyTheWig
    • By JimmyTheWig 5th Aug 10, 2:29 PM
    • 11,738 Posts
    • 11,307 Thanks
    JimmyTheWig
    Maybe you could have it as an option where you could "opt out" of either viewing or having the skim-links on what you read or what you post. Just like there are "sites which do/don't help this site" posted at the bottom of various pages, it could be something that could be there by default but you could opt out of.
    Originally posted by jenniewb
    I'm not sure that the opting out would work particularly well, but I do like the idea of the "links that help this site" analogy.
    Maybe at the bottom of the page there could be a section which tells the user which links have been skimlinked and give un-skimlinked versions.
    This would be great for transparancy, whilst barely affecting the profitability of the exercise.
  • oakhouse13
    Easy opt out of an advertising network like Skimlinks is something the Information Commissioner has said he expects as best practice. It seems fair. If you want to surf the web and not have external files loaded onto your computer when using a link that is not labelled in any way, there should be a one click way to do that imo.
  • Former MSE Dan
    Hi folks,

    Just a reminder that - as some posters above have mentioned - this is still a trial at the moment, and we are reading helpful suggestions and will discuss whether and how to put any of them into practice.



    However, by adopting skimlinks onto the MSE forums i believe this is actually taking advantage of the thousands of people that post their opinions on a daily basis on this forum. I struggle to understand why MSE should profit from user generated content and im keen to know what on earth MSE will be doing with the extra revenue (which is undoubtedly going to be a heck of a lot!) to improve things for their users and basically justify becoming a salesman for high end merchants.

    In my opinion forums like this should be used for anyone to discuss issues, points and opinions without their thoughts on certain companies actually being turned into a sales channel for that particular company!
    Originally posted by jackbauersurfingtheweb


    As noted, this is a trial, and it may enable the forum to generate income for itself for the first time, and as we've said, we want it to work in a way that is comfortable for users and doesn't cause any issues - but the object of the trialling is to see just that.

    As stated in the first post, we hope the extra income would enable us to justify spending more on support and resources for the forum - which we think it would be useful.

    If there's more it may also enable us to give more to charity and it may add to the site's overall revenue and profitability - and there's nothign wrong with that either - again providing it doesn't impact the user negatively or impact the editorial - which we have safeguards to prevent.


    On your point of turning MSE into a sales channel, the use of Skimlinks will make absolutely no difference to how the forum content is generated. All users can post whatever they like, with no intereference from MSE, except crucially links for their own company and that will continue - no one is likely to transact any more or any less on the back of this.

    The only possible issue we've detected above is one for cashback users and that's something we will monitor.


    If there are problems caused we'll either pull this or fix it - but we can't know without trialling it.


    PS.
    If anyone is wondering why Martin isn’t replying, it's because I'm managing this project and we wanted one person on top of it all doing it
    Last edited by Former MSE Dan; 05-08-2010 at 5:04 PM.
  • meher
    never heard about skimlinks before but seen this is in another form on nytimes and I used to think that's neat, very clever I suspect it's the trend now

    on ny times it links us automatically to the dictionaries even; if you happen to read that clinton's daughter wore Oscar de la Renta gown, it takes you to the Oscar de la Renta gown shop to look for information, price and other options - very helpful to settle all curiosities it's so resourceful and a fantastic feature as well

    I don't know if it is meant to happen here on mse but on other sites, the moment you just type amazon, even without the website address, it automatically turns into a link. I think.

    Am I right in guessing that non pure money boards mean the home boards, shopping, OS and MSA? That phrase is something that I haven't got round understanding the classification. btw thanks for letting us know and wish it's a success for mse
  • Former MSE Dan
    Hi meher,

    The process you describe is absolutely not what will happen on MSE. No links will be added where users have not already posted them themselves.

    The Pure Money boards are the top 14 if you go to the index page here- http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/. Everything apart from those (and the referrers board) have Skimlinks applied to them for the trial
  • oakhouse13
    Dan, why is Skimlinks not on the money boards? Is it issues with what affiliate networks called closed programs?

    This is meant to be helpful, what happens to skimmed links that are posted to Twitter, like this one for example?

    http://twitter.com/crazy_lurve/statuses/20381873134

    Skimlinks apparently has a url shortner that disguises affiliate links on Twitter.

    It's not editorial that is the issue imo, it's that you will have to moderate every post in the way you already moderate very well any content where you post affiliate links, for obvious reasons.
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