Peggy (shatterstripes) wrote,
Peggy
shatterstripes

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What is LJ doing to my links? Part 3

So I was looking at some of the other LJ support requests involving outboundlink.net. I came across this support request, in which dstroy provides a Target link that outboundlink.net was completely mangling for her.

Well, outboundlink.net seems to have been upgraded, because it worked for me when I clicked on it. Since all LJ pages now include the Javascript that does this (even your profile page! even the front page!), it went through their redirector.

I looked at the URL for an affiliate ID.

AFID=Performics_Driving%20Revenue%20Inc

Iiiiiiinteresting!

Now, view the source of this page. Or any other LJ page. Down by the bottom, you'll find the <script> tags that load and invoke the dRev.js code.

var DR_id = '1111'; // Is this a real ID or we'll be asked to change it? :)


I think I have an answer for this anonymous web developer's question!

I will let you do the math on how much money outboundlink/drivingrevenue* is making off of this lack of communication on ID changing.

(Of course, there is the chance that they're keeping track of all their redirects, and paying out some percentage to their clients like LJ. Maybe.)

I could mmmmmaybe let this slide if they only added affiliate IDs to unaffiliated links. But they don't; they rip your affiliate ID off and substitute their own. To make matters worse, untangling just who is owed what in stolen affiliate-link juice will be a nightmare - they grab, and presumably save, the referring URL, but how many people clicking on links are doing them from their friends page?

I smell lawyermeat here.

[ edit: I can easily come up with narratives for this happened that are just a comedy of errors rather than malicious money-grubbing on LJ's part. But this is really making Dreamwidth look better and better; this is far from the first time LJ's pulled shortsighted bottom-line shit like this. The test Amazon link in the previous post is the first and only time I've linked to an e-commerce site here, but the whole underhandedness of this whole thing is really pissing me off. They'd better have a damn good explanation. And a damn good apology. ]

* I am now 99% certain that outboundlink.net is part of Driving Revenue's system - they're running off the same IP address, the function that activates it is called "drivingRevenue()", and now this plaintext Target affiliate ID?
Tags: drivingrevenue.net
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