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Brand strength

I read SoftwareCEO's article on Joel and some things came to my mind. Joel has such a great grassroots power that  believe it's relatively easy to take advantage of his name.

The best example is to buy Google Adds for every query that includes the name of FogCreek or Joel Spolsky. Your product would appear to be something Joel uses because, well, if it shows on his queries, then all those people must be using it.

Another is to come to this board and casually drop your companies URL on your signature. Lot's of eyeballs, instant advertising.

These are simply off the cuff. With time I might have other ideas. What I don't know is how can Joel avoid the erosion his name and reputation will suffer when people start to piggyback on them to sell their wares.

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Joel's way ahead of you. Try adding your url to this board and see what is actually in the link when you click on it.

Matthew Lock
Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Signatures don't have links. If you put your URL on your signature, lot's of more people will read it, way many more than those who post on the forums.

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

There is no apostrophe in "lots" guys.

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Who invited the anal retentive bastard?

anon-y-mous cow-ard
Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Maybe he just couldn't take it anymore.  I'm no angry flower, but I can barely stand seeing it anymore.

Greg Hurlman
Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Any strong brand will have people piggybacking it's success.

BTW I invented URL in your sig, or in my particular case, as my Full Name.
Wednesday, August 4, 2004

At least you point to your personal homepage, you're not advertising anything.

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Sure I am, I'm advertising my personal page. But you're right, I'm not selling anything, though I did put Google Adwords on my site a few months ago. I make a few pennies a day from it, Joel would probably make a killing adding Adwords to his site & the forum (though he'd have to "fix" the dynamic URLs or you'd always get the generic ad, even once Google spidered the site).

But he'd probably lose all "cred" as a businessman. As it is using his affiliate link to Amazon reduces his credibility a bit.
Wednesday, August 4, 2004

As it is using his affiliate link to Amazon reduces his credibility a bit.

But personally promoting a  homepage is not reducing your credibility I suppose!!!.

True you might not be selling anything but still

Dont promote urself
Thursday, August 5, 2004

I don't see anything wrong with using the affiliate link. After all, if Joel recommends a book that I then go and buy, it's fair enough that Joel gets a dollar or two commission on that purchase. It's not like it makes a difference to the person buying whether an affiliate link is used or not. It's completely transparent to the customer.

Ads on the site are a different story. Joel's worked hard to build a brand around being open & honest without commercial intentions (even though he links the site to Fog Creek, he doesn't blatantly advertise it). He's not getting any direct income by all of us being here and posting on his forum. Advertising would ruin that image.

James U-S
Thursday, August 5, 2004

Once money enters the picture, either through ads or affiliate links, you have to question the motives of the person doing the review.

Don't you know about the Amazon scandal where revealed the identity of all the anonymous reviewers, and it turned out they were the authors & publishing houses?
Friday, August 6, 2004

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