June 2009 Posts

Update: Amazon Closes North Carolina Based Associates/Affiliate Accounts (Including Mine, Which Was At Least 9 Years Old)

On June 17, I reported that Amazon.com would be closing the Amazon Associates accounts for all North Carolina based affiliates due to what they called an “unconstitutional tax collection scheme” that was set to be enacted by the General Assembly of North Carolina. Well, they followed through.

This morning, I received an e-mail from Amazon.com informing me that my account has been closed as of June 26. They say that the tax scheme will be passed any day and will be signed by the governor. Because of uncertainties regarding the date the legislation will go into effect, Amazon says, they needed to take action.

If the change is repealed, the company would then be able to re-open the closed accounts. Once again, they provide links to both the General Assembly and the Performance Marketing Alliance for more information.

I went into my e-mail archive (I believe I have all of my e-mails dating back to August 2000) and the oldest e-mail I could find, from the Amazon Associates program, was on October 31, 2000 (it was a quarterly report). So, my account is, or was,  likely at least nine years old. That’s a long time!

For anyone affected by this, I’d recommend checking out Skimlinks (see my review). I feel for those that are being hit hard by this. Skimlinks could be a way to lessen the impact and allow you to continue to use the program. Best of luck.

Rest in Peace, Michael Jackson

The Los Angeles Times reports that Michael Jackson has died. CNN has confirmed it.

As with so many others, he was definitely a part of my childhood. From time to time my parents joke about me doing “the Michael Jackson dance” when I was little. This basically meant I moved around in a sort of jittering fashion like a crazy person, resembling Jackson’s moves for maybe a second and by accident.

At EPCOT, I loved the Captain EO ride. I had the Michael Jackson sneakers from L.A. Gear (black with gold, metal circles). I was really young, so I didn’t really listen to or buy albums, but the big singles, especially “Beat It” and “Bad,” I loved. I didn’t end up buying any of his music until the past few years, which is when I got a little deeper into his older stuff and other tracks. I still need to go back and buy all his albums and I’ll do that one day.

So, today is a sad day. He was a tremendous talent, which goes without saying, and his accomplishments were immense. He inspired a generation of entertainers. He’ll be missed.

Music Video: “Must Be Love” by Cassie featuring Diddy

On June 12, the new “Must Be Love” music video by Cassie featuring Diddy premiered. I’m a bit fan of the record and the video has a really cool concept, as well. Check it out below.

Amazon: North Carolina Affiliates Will Be Terminated When “Unconstitutional Tax Collection Scheme” is Enacted (Another Good Reason to Use Skimlinks?)

I received an e-mail this morning from Amazon.com, informing me that they would soon be terminating all North Carolina affiliates (Amazon.com Associates) due to an “unconstitutional tax collection scheme” that the General Assembly of the North Carolina state legislature appears ready to put in place.

For now, all affiliates are still able to generate income from their links, but once the law is enacted it will go into effect immediately, and affiliate commissions will cease. Amazon.com says that could happen in the next two weeks.

The company says that they made their case to senators and representatives in Raleigh, including leadership in the Senate, House and both chambers’ finance committees. Apparently, Maryland, Minnesota and Tennessee had been considering “nearly identical schemes,” but decided against them. Amazon.com says this is because they had an “adverse impact on their states’ residents.”

The e-mail provides links to both the General Assembly and the Performance Marketing Alliance for more information and closes with Amazing pledging to keep North Carolina affiliates informed of the General Assembly’s further action.

I’m definitely disappointed by this, just because I am a fan of Amazon.com, a shareholder and I use their program. It’s a very, very small part of my business, so I’m not so concerned about that, though I wonder how this could affect similar programs and other means of revenue generation. Perhaps Amazon.com’s move is part of a chess match and it’ll all work out. I hope so.

If they don’t, a solution that I would suggest would be that, if you are affected by this, it would now be a good opportunity to take a look at Skimlinks, who I reviewed on ManagingCommunities.com. Since they are not located in North Carolina, they likely will be unaffected by this and will still be able to pay North Carolinians who link to Amazon.com. I’ve been using them for a while and I am pretty happy with their operation. So, if you are in North Carolina and this ends up being enacted, I’d give them a look.

Blog World Expo 2009 20% Off Discount Code: IFROGGYVIP

A few days ago, I mentioned that I would be attending Blog World Expo 2009 in Las Vegas from October 15-17. I’m happy to say that I’ve got a coupon code to share that will save you 20% off of the current rate. When purchasing through their site, use the coupon code IFROGGYVIP. Their rates increase on July 1 (though the coupon will still be good after that), so if you are thinking of coming, now would be the best time to buy the ticket for the least amount of money. I hope to see you there!

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Thank you for reading and for your support.

I’m Coming to Blog World Expo 2009!

Last year, I attended Blog World Expo (in it’s second year) for the first time (see my recap) and participated in two panels: “How to Deal with Trolls, Spammers & Sock Puppets” and “Avoiding Disaster: How Not to Use Social Media.” It was a lot of fun and a great experience.

I’m happy to say that I’ll be back at this year’s edition, which runs from October 15-17 in Las Vegas. I’m on four panel proposals, so I am hoping to speak, as well as do another book signing this year, if they’ll have me. I’m working with them to promote the conference on the iFroggy Network. Here are the panel proposals that I’m on:

So, we’ll see if any of them get accepted, but it’ll be a fun event no matter what happens! On July 1, pricing will go up, so if you are interested in coming, now might be a good time to take a look. Hope to see you there.

Video: “My Time” by Fabolous featuring Jeremih and Ryan Leslie

I really like Fabolous’ new song, “My Time” featuring Jeremih. The video is cool, as well, featuring an epilogue with Ryan Leslie, who I’m a huge fan of, as well. Check it out below.