Phil Askey has a point
While I’m still upset about the tone and method of dpreview’s message to us, I have to admit, after thinking about it a little bit and exchanging some private emails with Phil, he has a point.
We’re a ‘no ads, no spam‘ company, and would hate for our brand to be associated with any sort of spammy tactics. On the other hand, we feel like people should be able to recommend products they enjoy. I love the Canon 30D, for example, and I’m not afraid to tell everyone I meet. But there’s a line, and it looks like some of our customers may have crossed it. (Why on earth a few customers crossing the line results in the banning of an entire photo community, I don’t know, though.)
To that end, we’ve added some language to our referral information in our users’s Control Panel, and in the referrals help section on SmugMug. Specifically, the text reads: “Please: As you know, SmugMug hates spam, as we’re sure you do. We know you’re thrilled with SmugMug, but please refrain from using your coupon code in a pushy way that could be construed as spam. Thanks!”. I think that about sums it up, and it helps us and our customers be better Internet citizens.
To be clear: We never intended for our referral program to be some ‘free ride’ on forums or anything. The original intent was for friends and families to hook each other up. We’re happy to pay for advertising on message forums and websites.
I guess we’re just cursed with zealot customers. Oh darn. 🙂