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Have You Got Friends? Affiliates

Affiliate Means:
to bring into close association or connection

The word ‘close’ is mentioned. This means that affiliates are meant to be something much like a close friend.
The real meaning of affiliates is lost in the web world. Affiliates are meant to be friends; you’re meant to keep in touch with them. They’re not just a link on your site. Over time people have treated affiliates differently and they’re being treated as nothing more than a link exchange.
‘Sister sites’ were derived to bring back the meaning of affiliate – but even that wasn’t enough. It’s ridiculous to see people with long lists of affiliates, and of course it’s hard to believe that they can keep in touch with every single one.
Then came the term ‘link exchange’. This was to differentiate between affiliates – being friends – and simply exchanging links with someone (often just to get a few more hits).
Linking A Friend
People have different ways of linking affiliates. A while ago in the age of iframes and tiny layouts, affiliates were linked using buttons of the size 88 by 31 pixels, on an ‘affiliates’ page. Nowadays it is still done, but not as often. People started to make annoying flashy animated buttons.
It’s quite common now to simply link affiliates in the ever so conventional sidebar or footer. But with growing trends, affiliates are treated worse.
When less is not more
This is so extremely annoying when someone links all 924 of their affiliates with the same dodgy coloured button. How on earth do you differentiate them from others? If someone were to click those, how could they tell when they’ve clicked something so small? And what is the point of linking all your affiliates with the same tiny button?
Even worse, many people link their affiliates with a tiny symbol or a tiny x. Not only are they hard to click, they look ugly and it shows you’re just plain selfish. How could you link your affiliate with one tiny character?
Going on and on
Marquees are half, if not almost, equally as annoying as tiny link buttons. People who put all their affiliates’ buttons in a scrolling marquee are just too lazy. Not only is the marquee distracting and annoying, if you have 924 affiliates too – how are your affiliates to feel appreciated at all? LOL i do this :P
Just differentiated
It’s very annoying when people bury their affiliates’ links into a page that needs some serious navigation therapy – or stick them right at the foot of a page amongst other links like ‘top commenters’ or ‘blogroll’. Pfft!
‘Top affiliates’ are another issue. Perhaps you have affiliates that keep in contact more and such, but must you differentiate them by labelling them ‘top’? Or even giving them a BIGGER link on your site, leaving your other affiliates with tiny links?
If you’re linking your ‘top affiliates’ on every page, why not have a ‘more’ link for the rest of your affiliates? They deserve that much too, I can tell you.
On the other hand, I’ve seen people who treat their so called ‘top’ affiliates like shit – and treat their remaining affiliates worse. In a particular case someone had ads filing up their sidebar, some stupid ‘favourite/blogroll’ sites linked, their link button, and then their ‘top’ affiliates. Worse, the ‘favourite sites’ were linked with full text links or buttons, while the affiliates were linked with tiny xs.
Every page
It’s annoying when people expect you to link them on every page so they will link you on every page in return. It doesn’t seem fair when they link their affiliates with tiny characters or buttons, and you link your affiliates with their large button. Or when you have only your best affiliates on every page, and this affiliate is new, or just doesn’t keep in touch.
People can link their affiliates how they like – but with some respect for them, of course.