Tuesday, March 9, 2010

an open letter to amazon

Dear amazon,

Yesterday I signed up for your Associates program, which theoretically will monetarily reward me when my imaginary readers follow links to your website and make purchases.  I recognize that this was my choice.  You didn't seek me out or coerce me, in any way, to sign up for this program.  It was all my idea.  Remember I said that part.

I'm mad at you, amazon.  You have appealed to the basest, greediest, most selfish part of my nature.  You held out the delicious carrot of monetary reward, and I bit.  I sold out.  I heard the siren song of earning up to 15% on qualifying purchases when folks click on my links, and I hopped on that bandwagon.  And now, I feel like I've betrayed my faithful readers and my principles and everything I once held dear.  I know what you're thinking, amazon.  If I'm truly suffering from that much guilt, why don't I just change my mind?  It's not too late to back out.  I haven't posted any links yet, after all.  But I'm weak.  Any my greed outweighs my guilt, in this case. 

Here's what I hope comes out of this decision:  I hope that I manage to integrate these amazon links in normal ways, ways that make sense to the overall purpose of the opinions and don't distract or alienate folk.  I hope that somehow, sometime, someone gets something useful from our new partnership (although I'm not supposed to call it a partnership, according to the terms and conditions of our agreement--sorry).  And I hope that if it's wretched and horrible and painful for my peeps out there, that they speak up and speak out and put a stop to the distracting madness.  And I hope if that happens, amazon, you'll forgive me for running a democratic blog and kicking you to the curb.  And if I let my greedy side contribute something here, I also hope that people link through me to make huge purchases from you so that I can rake in the dough.

You know I love you, right, amazon?  I mean I've spent enough time with you buying things for me and others and drooling over things I don't need.  You're my go-to for most anything purchasable on the interwebs.  Even if I plan to buy in person, I like to see what you can tell me about what I'm interested in.  You're good people.  You do good work.  So I really hope we can make this work, amazon--because somehow even though I know I'm completely the one to blame--I'm still a little mad at you.  Maybe I'll stop being mad when the big, fat checks start rolling in.

Your newest non-partner,



  1. I don't find product placement to be a problem in the vast majority of stuff that I watch even when I know that it's there. I suspect that this blog will be the same. Plus, I do buy a lot of stuff on Amazon, and I'll be sure to link through here in the future when I do so - especially around Christmas time.
    Question: Do I have to buy the specific item you linked, or can I just follow your link and then buy whatever I want?

  2. Nice link. Glad you're smelling what I'm stepping in over here.

    If I am understanding the associate program correctly, as long as you follow a link of mine to amazon, I get credit for whatever you put in your cart, if you buy it within 3 months.

    The sell-out to amazon isn't the only thing I changed yesterday. I put recent comments over on the side, so you don't have to search as hard for them. There seems to be a little lag in how it updates, so it may be more frustrating than helpful.

  3. I noticed the new window-dressing, and I think that it's a handy tool since I don't check for new comments on old posts all that often. I'm probably going to order the next book in the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works series when it comes out and it'll be like 50 bucks, so you should expect to see like 7.50 or something there right? I like it. It makes me feel like I'm paying for the service you're providing here rather than just mooching off of you. Also, if you think of it that way, you'll probably feel obliged to post more frequently. Hooray for economic incentives!!!

  4. What is wrong with product placement? Hollywood has been doing this for years now. You are watching a movie or TV series and they is a loving close up of a Starbucks cups. If touting Starbucks is good enough for Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep or Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock, what is wrong with our favorite blogger making a little cash for her writing efforts.

    Edward Lewis

  5. What is wrong with product placement? Hollywood has been doing it for years. You are watching a film and there is a loving close up of a Starbucks cup. If it is good enough for Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep or Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock to promote Starbucks in a film, what is wrong with our favorite blogger making a little coin for her efforts.

    Edward Lewis

  6. I know you are moving, but I would like a new blog. Thoughts about The Jenkins' wedding, your move,etc.

    The Michael Jackson Mime


what do you think?