questionsmay we have an official ruling on tags?

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The only reason I could see for "free" not being listed on the front page is that there is no affiliate commission to be made by woot on items that are free. Cannot speak for lingerie.

@inkycatz did say that this was being looked into, but may take some time.

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Maybe I'm naive but are there really that many affiliate deals posted here? Honestly there are very few deals I ever click on but I was under the impression that WOOT guidelines don't allow community members to post deals for affiliate-type links?

My point is I don't believe this is why the 'free' tag is now blackballed.

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@lichme: I posed this question to bring the entire tag issue to the forefront. There are separate questions that allude to it. Seems that those questions are dropping out of sight, too. As every other unresolved, unanswered question does.

If a change has been made to add the free tag to deals, and those deals become lost, then I think people would want to know that. Officially. It also changes my desire to post deals here. Free deals are obviously the best! I want to know about them.

And, I believe that @ohcheri has been impacted by the change in the lingerie tag. Her question is not current, and only those who subscribed to it would get an official ruling. If there is one.

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I think instant replay should be added, too. :)

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@ohcheri: Woot does not allow users to post affiliate deals, however woot most likely has accounts set up with places like commision junction themselves where anytime somebody buys something here, woot takes a % as a referral fee. That is why when you click on a link posted by a user, it auto adds something like ?tag=dealswoot (different depending on the site). Part of that commission is probably what funds the jumbowoot coupons/prizes.

@gmwhit: I completely agree - if there was a policy change it would be nice to know what it is, and what all is being impacted.

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Hopefully this answer doesn't get edited or deleted.

Much of Deals profits are via affiliate links. They don't permit community members to post affiliate links, and automatically convert those links (where possible) to point to Deals instead of the poster. There are some who consistently post (for example) Flash Sale sites, and you can often see the link change within 30 seconds of the deal being posted.

I'll try to find the original discussions of this, which were back in the Beta Test days (and also shortly thereafter).

I also gently point out that Deals has zero affiliate deals with any "lingerie" vendors, and as such, is exercising common sense in pushing deals that they are getting money from to the front.

Please note: I do not say this is good or bad. It simply is.

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@shrdlu: That's right. I love flash sale and have posted many of those deals. The links are changed by the software to Deals.Woot's own affiliate link. I think it's great! The staff built this awesome site and they deserve to get some prizes/credits/money out of all clicks!

What I don't understand is why some people seem to have issue with Woot making money...it makes no sense at all.

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Crap. Missed the editing window by two minutes. Here's the most useful question on affiliate links.

http://deals.woot.com/questions/details/fda1d8cf-5af7-4ddd-a598-74036d81f520/affiliate-links-in-deals-how-to-handle#6

I knew there was one out there.

I used to have a list of the many sites where Deals gets affiliate $$$ from, but I long ago lost interest.

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My problem with woot's using of affiliate links is that they are improperly updated. I've seen at least two websites that used affiliate links that redirected improperly as they were outdated. Both deals were posted by my husband.

One was for fortunecookiesoaps. Deal was posted linking to their main site, but was deleted. He reposted it confused, and then discovered it was redirecting to a broken affiliate link saying "Sorry we no longer manage affiliates for this company". @thefenst was kind enough to fix it on that deal, but the problem persists on some older deals like here: http://deals.woot.com/deals/details/00815bd7-0e3b-4294-afc7-fcdfa6576e79/unicorn-farts-bath-gift-by-fortune-cookie-soap
That deal should not have been RIP-ed as it is still in stock, but it was RIP-ed since woot's referral link makes it look like the site is no longer there. Pretty sure Moose has tattled a lot from FCS for this reason, which I don't blame her, because it makes it look like the site is gone.

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Secondly is a deal from today: http://deals.woot.com/deals/details/6a187931-f66a-44b9-a011-a818189a1a97/100-full-color-minicards-from-moo-com#2

Firstly, the free tag was added by a mod, so if "free" is going to be an issue I'd really rather they didn't add it as a tag on their own, but I digress. Secondly, woot keeps redirecting it to a specific page of items on moo's site, which a problem, considering they are not the items on sale. I presume, again, this is an affiliate issue that's been mismanaged.

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With all due respect to those who responded regarding whether or not "affiliates" are involved in the TAG issue - I'm not interested in what I consider internal woot linkage. The whys & hows of deals woot & how they handle affiliates is irrelevant to someone who just posts deals. The fact that woot also gets a commission from some is great! More revenue for them! But I do not care. It's "nice" to know, but simply not a "need" to know in order to post deals.

What I would like to know is - has deals changed tag usage? Does this place some deals in tabs where they are not likely to be seen? I would like to know if TAGS, & how they impact the tabs, has changed. And what the changes are. At the moment, these UNacknowledged changes are counterproductive to me wanting to post deals at all.

Please? @gatzby @jumbowoot @anyotherstaffmemberwhomakesdecisions, let us hear your voice(s) And a hearty TIA to those staff members who have passed this question on - much appreciated!

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I too would like to hear from the higher ups. I understand the whole 'the gears of woot move slowly' and wanting to think long before making big changes. It seems like if you're going to make a big change like blackballing tags from making it to the front page you should be ready to explain why you're making big changes. Especially when you're already dealing with a community who is getting tired of change and feels that administration is killing the community. It seems like woot keeps telling us we can't see the bigger picture, but it's hard to see the big picture when they keep changes behind close doors.

Anyways, Today's been a long day at work so I don't feel like typing up more. I just wanted stop in real quick to express my disappointment in woot and support for the community to find answers.

(as a side note that last line was originally as long as what I had typed before it. I guess I ended up expressing more than I originally planned on)

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Also, the fact that they didn't tell us is pretty damn suspect. It's almost as if they got together and wanted to see if they could slip these things past us without us knowing. It makes me wonder if there are any other changes have been made that we just haven't discovered yet. I know it's a word that gets thrown around a lot and I kind of hate using it, but we need transparency. I'm sorry to say but it's moves like these that make me less and less excited to keep coming back to woot.

It's really sad to think these changes might have occurred because there's nothing in it for woot

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@gmwhit: I am glad you asked this question. I noticed when I posted a free deal how heavily edited it was and questioned it too (http://deals.woot.com/questions/details/73d39a3d-ad58-4532-933a-0281df45faf8/is-free-a-four-letter-word-in-the-deal-title#8).

I have been with Deals.Woot since the beginning and I like it a lot, but I don't care for the increasing restrictions.

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@mtrlgrl: YW Ah! Another tag question that wasn't answered. Seems to be a pattern here, eh? One wonders WHY staff cannot acknowledge/respond to/answer genuine inquiries. SAD. (BTW: I'm so sorry; I missed yours.)

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What if users stopped posting deals in protest of the tag changes? Would that make a difference? Because what is going on now doesn't feel right.

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@jsimsace: I've considered doing a full boar boycott of DW for much less (read: FAQ) I'd be all for that if things progress this way.

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Just want to drop my 2 cents worth here. The mods seem to be avoiding these questions. There are a few likely scenarios here:
1.) Perhaps they think we're Kool-Aid drinking, Tin-Foil hat wearing paranoid lunatics. Our paranoia does not dignify a response.
2.) Something sneaky is happening around here. @gmwhit, @cowboydann, @lichme, @ohcheri have all scratched the surface and found the opening to a rabbit hole. The Mods are not allowed to comment until the changes are complete.

Either way, comments from the Mods, High Muckety-Mucks, and the Supreme Mugwhump would be appreciated. This issue will not go away until someone at Woot dumps some ice-water on this forum.

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I was hoping there would be a question like this posted by tonight :) thank you! I really feel like this is a reasonable request.

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@cowboydann: You said it! Time for Woot! to post more tax returns!!! Wait.. oh, wrong discussion. O_O

Seems like the wheels of Woot didn't move so slowly in the past. I know somebody has to be reading these posts; at some point they have to realize that they're not going to go away, and Woot will either have to answer them, close AtC, or delete them all to keep them from polluting the entire AtC topic list.

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@jsimsace: Just did a random sample of fresh deals - looked at the 1st page. Of the 15 deals posted 3 were posted by black triangles. I guess what I'm saying here is...a boycott likely would not work. Black triangles (the most active on deals) might join in, but the end result would not be very effective.

UNLESS deals wakes up & realizes that those who participate the most are displeased w/staff's lack of response, nothing will change. This reminds me of the old AT&T; they thought because they were the biggest that nothing would or could change that. Or affect them. They almost went under because they were so out of touch w/reality.

Not saying woot or deals will go under. Just that it really is to their benefit to answer pertinent questions. Feeling like a mushroom here...do not like the odor.

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This all seems not so oddly familiar...

It looks like some of the previous tag weighting has returned, you can get up in arms about it but it's not likely to do a lot a good, I'm pretty sure they mentioned the time without it was a trial period anyway.

Questions on the inner workings are not likely to be answered if they aren't answered immediately. You can keep complaining and asking the same questions in different ways and you might get a response - probably you'll notice questions and answers start to go missing.

Mass boycotts and black triangle strike threats are HIGHLY unlikely to work, it's been done before, at least twice to one degree or another, and new people show up to fill the void. It can get nasty and does little good.

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@gmwhit @cowboydann: My reply was tongue-in-cheek, but @tygerdave is correct. There are plenty of other newer participants who will fill in the gaps that the ▲s might leave. But, just in case, my pitchfork and torch are on standby. ;)

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@tygerdave:

Whether or not this issue is new, the posts are showing up here because the same cultural problem remains in Deals.Woot management. If you have a userbase generating content for you, and doing a large portion of the moderation for you (tattles), there's an expectation that the users will be told what they need to do so as to not have their efforts be wasted. (Yes, this is an echo of the rules/FAQ issue, which still hasn't been resolved as-promised.)

We like woot. Some crazy folks among us LOVE woot. We want it to stay good. We want it to be a happy place where everyone wins. We help each other find deals. Woot gets ad revenue and affiliate kickbacks, if they so choose. We just want it to not become unpleasant to participate.

As for prior boycotts not working ... I'm not sure I've heard of one actually being attempted beyond just loose discussion.

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@tygerdave: Ah, you post the truth, and what do you get? A downvote. I'd say, out of the original folks that were here when this started, that there are less than 5% of them left. Some are still active on Woot central (@wootvan was still around, last I looked, couple of days ago), but most are gone. Some have just moved on completely, and others are still around, now and again.

I've left, at least twice, but it's such easy entertainment.

For every innocent here that thinks all this objecting will make a difference, there's a dozen waiting to take their place that won't even see the issues here. Last I looked, there were 394 black triangles, and another 393 purple triangles. The number of those posting in this thread is not even 5%, and that's being kind (and mathematically casual, as well).

It's been done before. Really.

http://deals.woot.com/questions/details/47b5bbe6-adcd-4ee3-88ad-6101521eab0c/why-does-staff-ignore-uncomfortable-questions

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@psaux: :-) The first time was more of a disorganized trickle of the beta testers and initial users, lots of individual action. The second time, well let's just say that the mention of pitchforks and torches brought back some memories.

Many have felt the way you do, and most have come to the conclusion that this is still a fun place to visit but a poor place to invest much of your time. Making this site social is high priority, but creating a real community through transparency and giving ownership is much lower on the list.

Anyway we begin to tread on dangerous ground, hopefully no one has an itchy delete finger this evening

edit - @shrdlu: meh, not the first one I've gotten

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@shrdlu: I realize you're used to patriotically following orders, and accepting things are as they are (and I think we all appreciate your efforts in that regard), but I don't think that's the right attitude to take here.

I'm not talking about a boycott or anything, I'm just saying if the site becomes more painful to use, it's natural to expect that it will see a reduction in usage over time, even if new users rotate up to fill the voids left by those upset with it, like so many shark's teeth. There's no reason to treat the causes of this like they're carved in stone. It does not need to be a given.

To be clear, we're not just bitching (where your attitude of stop-complaining-and-accept-it would make sense), we're trying to get woot shifted back onto a track that's healthier for both us and woot itself.

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@psaux: Man, oh, man. I KNOW you've been around longer than that. I just KNOW it. Me. Follow orders. Thank god I wasn't drinking anything.

Nah, I'm just suggesting that this battle has been fought, and lost, multiple times, right here in River City. The only reason I commented was that I was a bit annoyed that @tygerdave got a downvote for merely pointing out the truth.

Bringing up that old question has made me extremely sad. I miss @dosquatch, and I'm now going to go off somewhere, and be terribly sad about things.

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@shrdlu: Ah, yes. Nothing's new, it's all been addressed before. And nothing changes, etc., etc. I'm considered a noobie here. An upstart, perhaps. The pesky mosquito that buzzes around. A temporary nuisance that can be ignored or swatted.

You're right, of course. No answers back then, no answers should be expected now. If I leave, or any other active members leave here, it won't matter. And, I'm fully aware of the fact that it does not make one iota of difference to anyone. That does not make it right. But, that's "the way it is."

Guess I'm just spitting in the wind. Too bad, eh? For what it's worth I tried.

All told.

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@tygerdave: As I mentioned, I pretty new here. Not real familiar w/the "crab" tag revolution <---my word.

Quietly wondering if CRAB would fly as a tag now. :-/ Suppose it might, but then it could be one of those that gets thrown into the we don't want to see that deal now, so you're going into the hidden place zone.

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@gmwhit: I'm working from home today - I'll wear my shirt in solidarity (http://shirt.woot.com/offers/rockcrabthevote) if it makes you feel any better

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Ew, almost a week and not even a "we'll look into it"

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Thank you for all of your comments and ideas. I wanted to wait until I felt like all contributions were in from the community before responding. It seems like we have that now.
While reviewing the daily customer experience for the majority of visitors that never login, it was determined that we wanted a better representation of the deals posted on our site to appear in the default view.

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The default view for the homepage of deals.woot is the Top tab showing the current rank. The current rank view is a sort of community deals using the published formula () excluding expired deals as well as deals tagged #free, #lingerie, or #sexy. Sexy is used to identify items that are not lingerie but are not desired in the thumbnails on our other properties.

The first alternate view of the Top tab is the Popular Flow view. This was the original default view until late summer 2011. The popular flow view can be considered a destination for deal postings. The popular flow view is a stream of deals that have reached enough activity to be considered popular by a proprietary algorithm. A tag of #lingerie, #free or #sexy will result in a post having some difficulty achieving the condition of being “popular”.

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We will continue to evaluate and balance the weighting of these tags. We want to be able to observe results, so any changes will take some time. We don’t want to remove deals submitted from the community. We view the current rank algorithm as a great way to showcase an accurate representation of the best deals submitted by the community.

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@jumbowoot: Does this mean that the tags of #free, #lingerie and #sexy will no longer be removed from posts?

Since the changes have been put in place making these terms almost irrelevant when it comes to top list ranking I think it would be fair to let the tags remain on products if the user marks a deal as such. This will still give users the ability to manually search for deals of these types allowing people to find them if they so desire even if they will no longer have an easy time making it to the front page.

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@raider9924: If a post is incorrectly tagged, the tag will be replaced with a correct tag.

http://deals.woot.com/deals/details/6a6d81f6-9086-4714-b8d9-72ff66b84545/olympus-sz-20-16-mp-digital-camera-12-5x-wide-optical-zoom-24mm-wide-with-3-4#0

If this post was tagged with #lingerie, the lingerie tag would be removed or replaced with a more appropriate tag.

Did I understand the question?

Now that I think about it, that's a pretty sexy camera...but no, it should not receive #sexy as a tag.

...and it's certainly not free so it should not be tagged #free either.

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@jumbowoot: I understand the removal of incorrect tags...but you are right that camera is sexy ;). My question lies with comments I have seen by other users that correctly tags their deals only to see the tag removed or changed. The most glaring example are deals on actual lingerie that were changed to tags such as clothing.

An example: I post a deal for a free sample of lacy lingerie from Hanes. I tag my deal, Hanes, Free, Lingerie, Lacy, Sexy. Will the tags remain as is now as they accurately describe the deal posted or will they be changed to Hanes, Clothing by a staff member after the deal is posted? I fully understand the odds of this deal now becoming popular are slim to none but still marked it as such as it best represents the deal I posted.

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@jumbowoot: Thank you for responding.

Have a question similar to @raider9924's: If a deal is free, will that tag be placed on the deal even if the one who posts the deal does NOT use it? For instance, this Bloomin' Onion deal did not have 'free' as a tag. A mod added it; then it was removed. During that tag play, the deal dropped from sight. IOW, those who might be interested in it could no longer see it. It didn't go 'popular' or to the 'top' in a timely manner. If it got there at all. Can't see how that is beneficial to those who come here hoping to find free deals.

Would like to know if the 'Free' tag will always be added.

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@raider9924: @gmwhit: It is our intent to apply the correct tags to posts. We are human and sometimes we make mistakes. When you see this occur again, please let us know and we will look into it.

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@jumbowoot: Thank you for the responses. Tho I do miss the "All told" ending =).

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@raider9924: In our previous discussions of appropriate tags, I believe we did not consider brand names as beneficial tags. That item should be tagged #clothing and #lingerie. Without an actual item to consider, we would not tag your example with any other tags.

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@raider9924: Somehow I think that "close" is not appropriate just yet.

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@jumbowoot: A couple of thoughts regarding what you said;

Re: "...wait until I felt like all contributions were in..." This question itself was not easily viewable after the 1st 24 hours. It was not "Fresh". It was, in fact, stale. The community would have to actively look for it to find it. Kinda like tagging deals w/certain tags make them hard to find/view. And, as you know, only those who subscribed to the question will ever know your ruling.

Re: "While reviewing the daily customer experience for the majority of visitors that never login, it was determined that we wanted a better representation of the deals posted on our site to appear in the default view." Ummmm, does that mean you want to (hopefully) please those who don't login? Sorta makes me, a logged in active community member, wonder if I'm not as valuable a member as I think I am. Ponder.

Oh.... okay. I see now.

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@gmwhit: Interesting spin on it, but that was not intended.

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@jumbowoot: really? because that's how a lot of us see it. it sounds like you are saying the logged in active members are not a s important as the unlogged in ones. and one would realy have had to look to find this, and i was waiting and watching to see if a response ever showed up.

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@jumbowoot: Thanks for the continued answers after I thought my question had be fully answered. With your further explanation i have a followup. I can understand the removal of the brand name and the term sexy since that can be subjective and no product was offered as an example for viewing. What one person views and sexy the other can see as being very tame.

What does stand out is the removal of the tag free. Since the item I described was being promoted as a free sample of a product why was the term free removed? If free is no longer an acceptable tag for a free sample item what tag should be applied to such items?

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@raider9924: Unless I'm mistaken (could be), the tag free can still be used. Do that on your own peril, though. If you tag it free (or if a mod does), it will not be in view for very long. Will most likely never become popular or reach a top ranking. They are being excluded.