Wednesday, March 21, 2007

God bloggers find themselves in bad company

Monday and again Tuesday I got a notice from Barnes & Noble (Tuesday had a correction):

The Barnes & Noble Affiliate Program is terminating its relationship with BeFree and re-launching on the Performics Affiliate Network.

After March 31st, 2007, our BeFree links will be deactivated and all Barnes & Noble placements on your site must use the links, banners, and/or data feed available from Performics in order to track sales and earn commissions. If possible, please change your links prior to March 23rd to expedite our reconciliation process. All outstanding payments for confirmed orders will be mailed following the close of the quarter.

The Barnes & Noble program is now live on Performics and you may start changing links immediately (see below for instructions on how to apply).

So, I've been dealing with some semi-emergencies and serious family illness and heavier-than-average workload around here and didn't get around to following the link to apply to Performics until this afternoon. (General, public link here.) Look what I came across, in the right hand sidebar under "Who's eligible to become a Publisher." Emphasis mine:

Performics individually reviews each application. Your site may be declined for one of the following reasons:

We were unable to access and review your site based on the URL provided

Your site was under construction

The information provided doesn't match registered domain information

Unsolicited commercial email (Spam) or trademark infringement


Libel or defamation

Illegal substances

Violence or hate-oriented speech

Extensive religious commentary or attempts to preach or solicit members for a particular church or faith

Pornography, obscene, or offensive content

It is our policy to fully review each site before approval into our network. If your site has not been approved, please feel free to re-apply after you have made the necessary adjustments to your site.

Nothing like having faith lumped in there with all those other things.

I'm not sure I want to become what this outfit calls a "Publisher" anyway. Some of the fine print worries me. All I want to do is make it easy for people to get more information on books, and maybe buy a book or two through my links now and then. Is that too much to ask? I don't want to run other banners and ads and such.

Augh. I was already upset enough about having to change a few hundred links on short notice.

Now I'm not sure I want to bother. Or even if I ought to.

I defend their right to come up with any qualifications they want. As far as I'm concerned, they could require all their affiliates to be 6 feet 2 inches tall and left handed and able to juggle three bowling pins while standing on one foot.

But I don't mind telling you that I'm seriously disappointed that people who put out the welcome mat for their church are lumped with smut peddlers and spammers and drug dealers.

Maybe I'm reading this wrong? Tell me I'm reading this wrong.


Anonymous said...

I just got the same rejection letter. My affiliate membership was dormant, and I only paid attention because I got a check from BN the other day.

I'm not taking this lying down. I am complaining to BN, to Performics, to the FTC, to anyone else. To categorize religious speech with hate speech, obscenity, etc., is outrageous--especially since they had no problem in the past

Wade Tonkin said...

Looks like BN is coming to their senses. This rule is ridiculous.

It's essentially a cop out to let Performics dodge having to qualify faity based sites on a one to one basis and give them an easy out with "controversial" faith based sites.

God Bless,

Wade Tonkin