Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

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Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by Marc » Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:20 pm

Please use this topic to discuss the blog post phpBB to ship with VigLink extension.
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by scootergrisen » Sat Dec 10, 2016 12:25 am

I don't know anything about VigLink then what i read on the link above.
Its not clear to me if the extension is disabled or not by default. And if you are going to enable it by default in the future when people have gotten used to it.
I don't understand the meaning of "this will only affect existing links and should be entirely unnoticeable".
And what is "affect". What is the difference what the links?
Instead of "entirely unnoticeable" i would like to know what the difference is.
Maybe if VigLink website have a explanation the blog could like to it.
And who are "VigLink’s partner websites"? Link could be added for that.

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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by Austeyr » Sat Dec 10, 2016 1:32 am

scootergrisen wrote:I don't know anything about VigLink then what i read on the link above.
Its not clear to me if the extension is disabled or not by default. And if you are going to enable it by default in the future when people have gotten used to it.
I don't understand the meaning of "this will only affect existing links and should be entirely unnoticeable".
And what is "affect". What is the difference what the links?
Instead of "entirely unnoticeable" i would like to know what the difference is.
Maybe if VigLink website have a explanation the blog could like to it.
And who are "VigLink’s partner websites"? Link could be added for that.

All excellent points that really should be elaborated on by PHPBB and not left up to us entirely to do the research. if you want to stick ads in open source software, that's ok but who it going to leave ads on in their forum that are not there own, i hate ads and don't use them really i have one 160 x 160 banner ad on my portal page only and i think even that looks tacky. Don't mean to be rude or unsupportive either, but knowing im paying my own hosting bills while you guys are collecting checks from my forum doesn't sit well with me either.

I get how viglink works, their partnered with 100's of retailer.

Example:

Links that normally would go to say ebay, that are not already an affiliate link - would be turned into a viglink. There's always a catch with sites like this, viglinks gotta earn something i thought it was you earn from every second sale or something stupid like that anyway.

Viglink is better than short links though because it not really an ad, like say linkbucks or adfly is. There is no full screen ad for 5 seconds it's just a normal direct link however viglink knows if it's a partner link and whoever has there script running on a site, they tack that persons AFFILIATE Id to the sale kinda cool really.

So it's a normal link thats only converted to a viglink after it's been published into a forum post, the link doesn't change in that post, you still get taken to ebay.com/someproduct/ but because you had a viglink script running on your site viglink goes oh he can make money from that link, it's a partner site.

Do what ya gotta do. don't think i'll be upgrading if this is the path you guys are gonna take id rather pay for a VB licence and go ad free.


While im here, no wonder your ads don't do well your biggest ad on this site is black and says "Need Hosting?" like boring everyone knows that ad is taking them to a page with a list of hosts on it with no real information you would have been better off monetizing the transition from banner to page with a interstitial ad purchased by your advertisers. dont use third party ads like adfly to do this do it yourself, all out bound links from phpbb official site should have this, saying you are leaving our site help support us and view this advertiser blah blah blah.
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by Marshalrusty » Sat Dec 10, 2016 2:08 am

If someone posts a link to, say, eBay on your forum, VigLink will automatically add a referral code to that link. eBay (and many other retailers) will then provide a referral commission. It will not create new links or otherwise modify any content on your forum. In short, there should be no tangible downside to your users.

On most small forums, these commissions will be proportionately small. When added together, we're hoping they will add up to an amount that can then be used to better fund the phpBB project. In short, if you use phpBB with the extension enabled, you will be contributing back to the community. With sufficient funding, we could, for example, fund the development of features or even hire full-time developers.

I'll also note that we're hardly the first open source project doing something like this. If you're using Google's Chrome browser, you're probably aware that Google makes billions of dollars from your searches. If you're using Firefox, Mozilla generates hundreds of millions from Yahoo for the same. Pretty much every large open source piece of software has some kind of corporate backing, with various schemes of funding attached.

We're being upfront about what we're doing. It's clearly stated during installation and you have the option of saying "no thanks", although we hope you won't without good reason.

phpBB is and always will be free software, but we'd like to make it even better software, and that requires more resources than we currently have. This is a way to make that happen.
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by Swanny » Sat Dec 10, 2016 3:07 am

My $0.02. I already have an affiliate account for Amazon but not with other links like eBay. So I'd be fine sending VigLinks to all but Amazon links and you can have the commission.

If you could let me send Amazon links to my affiliate link and you (Viglinks) get the rest, that would be ideal. You only mention eBay so I'm not sure which all links get modified.

Have you guys considered adding even one single AdSense ad to the forum here? I would think that would bring in a bit of revenue too without being obtrusive (provided you stick with one ad). At least AdSense ads mean you don't have to sell ad space, it's set it and forget it pretty much.

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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by scootergrisen » Sat Dec 10, 2016 5:01 am

Google also gave me the option to say "no thanks" when they started asking for my phone number when i logged in.
Some times went by and they asked again.
And again.
It become to much for me so i stopped using most of their services.
Lets say the option was enabled by default and i had to remember to deselect it each time i installed/updated phpBB that i would not like.

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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by Marshalrusty » Sat Dec 10, 2016 5:34 am

It seems like you painted a highly objectionable hypothetical scenario and then objected to it. I realize it's tempting, but I would ask that you don't head straight for the doomsday scenario.

I will also point out that unlike Google services, phpBB is open source. That means if you (or anyone else) don't like something we include, you can simply remove it. In this case, you can simply delete it like any other extension.

You're completely entitled to your opinion, but I ask that you stick to facts and avoid spreading FUD.
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by Marshalrusty » Sat Dec 10, 2016 5:44 am

Swanny wrote:My $0.02. I already have an affiliate account for Amazon but not with other links like eBay. So I'd be fine sending VigLinks to all but Amazon links and you can have the commission.

If you could let me send Amazon links to my affiliate link and you (Viglinks) get the rest, that would be ideal. You only mention eBay so I'm not sure which all links get modified.
I've been told that VigLink does not replace existing referral links, but depending on how this is done on your end, it's not impossible that the two could be incompatible with each other. In this case, you would simply keep VigLink disabled. Alternatively, you could switch over to it and opt to claim the commission.

Swanny wrote:Have you guys considered adding even one single AdSense ad to the forum here? I would think that would bring in a bit of revenue too without being obtrusive (provided you stick with one ad). At least AdSense ads mean you don't have to sell ad space, it's set it and forget it pretty much.
We have run adsense and other kinds of ads on this site, but without moving them into prominent placement, the revenue generated is unfortunately insignificant :)
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by david63 » Sat Dec 10, 2016 9:09 am

I have just updated my development RC1 to RC2 and have found that the VigLink extension is installed and enabled despite Marc saying in the blog
If you enable the VigLink extension ...
Marshalrusty wrote:It's clearly stated during installation and you have the option of saying "no thanks",
There is no such option with an update.
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by MichaelC » Sat Dec 10, 2016 10:01 am

david63 wrote:I have just updated my development RC1 to RC2 and have found that the VigLink extension is installed and enabled despite Marc saying in the blog
If you enable the VigLink extension ...
Hi David,

There is technical reasoning for this. The extension is enabled to allow it to add a template event to the send statistics page, something we couldn't do without either building code into phpBB itself (when we wanted to keep Viglink completely self-contained and separate in the extension) or enabling the extension but redirecting users to a page where they could then choose to enable or disable the functionality of the extension, we opted for the latter. On installation or update you are redirected to this page where you are asked to select if you want to enable or disable the VigLink functionality and if you do want to enable it, if you wish to use it to monetize your forums yourself or use it to support phpBB. The extension being technically enabled but functionality disabled in its settings will have no effect on your board except adding a message to the Send Statistics page.

I'm not entirely sure why you weren't redirected to the Send Statistics Page and that's obviously a bug (The point of RCs is to catch these). Could you please report it to the bug tracker including the update method and your environment?
scootergrisen wrote:Its not clear to me if the extension is disabled or not by default. And if you are going to enable it by default in the future when people have gotten used to it.
And who are "VigLink’s partner websites"? Link could be added for that.
Hi,

If you elect to disable the VigLink functionality, disable the extension or delete the extension then we won't ever turn it on, re-add the extension or enable it in an update. We aren't trying to be evil or force you into anything; we're just bundling a self-contained, easily deletable extension with phpBB that will allow you to support phpBB if you wish (We often have people asking how they can support phpBB as a project and the funds we get are used to make phpBB better), or provide a way to help you monetize your forum (another often requested feature).

You can view a list of Viglink partner merchants here: https://www.viglink.com/merchants

I hope that answers some of your questions and if you have any more feel free to ping them our way. :)
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by Stoker 4.0 » Sat Dec 10, 2016 10:26 am

I think its a great opportunity for normal users to give something back to the phpBB project :)

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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by david63 » Sat Dec 10, 2016 11:40 am

MichaelC wrote:Could you please report it to the bug tracker including the update method and your environment?
Done - https://tracker.phpbb.com/browse/PHPBB3-14902
MichaelC wrote:or delete the extension
Can you reword that otherwise there will be some who will just delete the extension files without disabling and deleting data for the extension - which will result in errors.
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by VSE » Sat Dec 10, 2016 4:48 pm

david63 wrote:I have just updated my development RC1 to RC2 and have found that the VigLink extension is installed and enabled despite Marc saying in the blog
If you enable the VigLink extension ...
Marshalrusty wrote:It's clearly stated during installation and you have the option of saying "no thanks",
There is no such option with an update.
FWIW, I did two updates and in both cases was, upon completion, sent to the new Help Support phpBB page where you can opt-out of using VigLink.
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by HiFiKabin » Sat Dec 10, 2016 5:09 pm

I would suggest that having Image may not be that clear to some users Either a pair of yes/no check boxes , or toggle information is much clearer

eg. if VigLink is on, display text click to turn off if VigLink is off, display text click to turn on
Last edited by HiFiKabin on Sat Dec 10, 2016 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by david63 » Sat Dec 10, 2016 6:48 pm

VSE wrote:FWIW, I did two updates and in both cases was, upon completion, sent to the new Help Support phpBB page where you can opt-out of using VigLink.
But you only get redirected if you are logged in as an Admin when you do the update/upgrade.

And the process is an "opt out" not an "opt in" as is being implied by both Marc and Marshalrusty.

I have no issue whatsoever with phpBB.com raising income and if they had a "donate here" button I would do so without hesitation but personally I believe that it is ethically wrong to be automatically opted in to something like this.
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