A note on privacy, ads, audiobook links, and book links

UPDATE 2/15/2012: For now, at least, I’ve stopped posting any links that put money in my pocket. I’m squeamish about the appearance of a conflict of interest. Also, I never actually made any money with those links.

*****************Ads ****************

After many weeks of using a service that places ads at the bottom of my posts, I’ve become uncomfortable with the variability of the ads that appear. Maybe I should have given the service more of a chance. I gather that it works well for many people. I don’t exclude the possibility that some day I might go back to using the service. For now, though, I find the ads distracting. Some of you have mentioned that you do, too.

Because I still want blogging to be more than a money-bleeding hobby, I have decided to replace the random-ish advertisements with a single banner ad that links to an online audiobook merchant. Why did I choose to use an ad from this merchant? Simple: I’m an enthusiastic longtime customer. I made the first of my 176 (and counting) purchases from audible.com on 10/31/2000. I’ve recommended the company to people for years. As a plodding reader, I am able to “read” far more than I otherwise would thanks to the audiobooks I buy from audible.com and the audiobooks I borrow from the Seattle Public Library.

The audible.com banner ad is through a company called Commission Junction. CJ’s privacy policies are here. At the very bottom of this page, you can find my own good-faith effort at crafting a privacy policy that reflects the fact that my blog includes code that allows me to amuse myself by seeing how many visitors see my posts and where in the world they come from. This data does not give me the means to discover the name, address, gender, age, e-mail, Facebook account, Twitter ID, zodiac sign, or blood type of visitors to the blog. None of that is any of my business. Creepily enough, though, I do know what color socks you’re wearing right now.

As my privacy policy notes, I don’t stockpile visitor data or make any real use of it. If I get smart or nefarious about using the data, I will post an update spelling out any changes. I don’t expect to ever become smart or nefarious.

As with all your Internet use, if you don’t like the idea of being tracked you should do what I do and regularly delete the “cookies” from your browser. Doing so may hypothetically cut down on the commissions I can earn from audible.com. But the trust and comfort of readers matters far more to me than money. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to e-mail me at quiggblog@gmail.com.

*****************Audiobook Links ****************

From time to time, I will include links to audiobooks sold by audible.com. These links include a unique identifier that signals to the merchant that the recommendation came from me. I will earn a commission from any sales these links generate.

As noted above, my greatest priority is the long-term trust and comfort of people who read this blog. I will limit myself to posting links for audiobooks that I have found especially worthwhile. If you ever feel as if I’ve become indiscriminate and mercenary in my linking, please e-mail me with your concerns. Again, that’s at quiggblog@gmail.com.

Unless you specify otherwise, I will post any and all civil feedback about my recommendations here. (By “civil” I simply ask that you keep any feedback — that you want to see posted here — free from threats, gratuitous profanity, and other stuff that might tend to make my grandma cry.)

Finally, if you’re opposed to me making a commission from the audiobooks that I recommend, you can simply steer clear of my links and make your own way to audible.com. Other online merchants, your neighborhood indie book store, and your local public library are also excellent resources for audiobooks. My city’s public library even offers loans of digital downloads of audiobooks via this service. Yours might, too. Check it out.

*****************Book Links ****************

I like to write about books. Sometimes I will post links that allow you to click through and purchase the book from IndieBound, the site of the American Booksellers Association. You may have seen information for IndieBound at your favorite independent bookstore. I learned about IndieBound from Secret Garden Bookshop here in Ballard, my neighborhood in Seattle.

As with audible.com, I can earn a commission when readers click the aforementioned links to buy the books I recommend. Again, I’m not interested in making money at the expense of my credibility or integrity. If my links ever cause you to question either, please send me your feedback and — within the minor constraints listed above — I will post your words here so that others can, if necessary, be warned of the perils of my recommendations. My e-mail is quiggblog@gmail.com.

*****************Privacy Policy Statement****************

This is the web site of David Quigg.

We can be reached via e-mail at quiggblog@gmail.com

For each visitor to our Web page, our Web server automatically recognizes only the consumer’s domain name, but not the e-mail address (where possible).

We collect only the domain name, but not the e-mail address of visitors to our Web page.

The information we collect is used for internal review and is then discarded.

With respect to cookies: We use cookies to record user-specific information on what pages users access or visit.

With respect to Ad Servers: To try and bring you offers that are of interest to you, we have relationships with other companies that we allow to place ads on our Web pages. As a result of your visit to our site, ad server companies may collect information such as your domain type, your IP address and clickstream information. For further information, consult the privacy policies of:
http://www.cj.com/

If you feel that this site is not following its stated information policy, you may contact us at the above e-mail address.

(Note: Privacy Policy Statement created using this free tool from the Direct Marketing Association.)