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.
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.
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.
There is no apostrophe in "lots" guys.
Who invited the anal retentive bastard?
Maybe he just couldn't take it anymore. I'm no angry flower, but I can barely stand seeing it anymore.
Any strong brand will have people piggybacking it's success.
At least you point to your personal homepage, you're not advertising anything.
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).
As it is using his affiliate link to Amazon reduces his credibility a bit.
Dont promote urself
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.
Once money enters the picture, either through ads or affiliate links, you have to question the motives of the person doing the review.
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