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Driving Revenue: back in the affiliate saddle? 
16th-Apr-2010 01:37 am - Driving Revenue: back in the affiliate saddle?
Skittish Eclipse
There's a comment in the current news post pointing out a new Driving Revenue script. You may remember the previous, flawed implementation.

The script is: http://l-stat.livejournal.com/js/pagestats/DR_v4u.js

The script is now: http://l-stat.livejournal.com/js/pagestats/DR_v4u2.js

You can prettify it up for viewing and examination using: http://jsbeautifier.org/

I've not yet found (nor made) any analysis of the code therein, but the script does show up on all non-SSL LiveJournal pages for my permanent account, so whatever it does affects paid journals and the viewers thereof, not just Plus/Basic accounts.

Reference posts: one post by shatterstripes, two by xlerb.

Also, this script still follows an optout that you can use in the console (NOTE I AM A DITZ AND ORIGINALLY MIXED THIS UP):

set opt_exclude_stats 1


You can see a response from dwnewhall here:
The driving revenue script is designed to add our affiliate ID to any outbound link that doesn't have one. This should not affect anyone, and is a transparent process. The last time we tried this the process did not have enough testing. We believe it's been thoroughly tested and works correctly now. If it's causing some sort of a problem, please open a support ticket so we can notify our engineers.
Comments 
16th-Apr-2010 08:47 am (UTC)
Doesn't seem to do anything, and I'm not running any script or ad blockers. Is it live?
(no subject) - foxfirefey - 2010-04-16 08:49 am (UTC)
(no subject) - franzi1981 - 2010-04-16 09:08 am (UTC)
(no subject) - foxfirefey - 2010-04-16 09:11 am (UTC)
(no subject) - franzi1981 - 2010-04-16 09:14 am (UTC)
(no subject) - sundayave - 2010-04-16 03:25 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - trixieleitz - 2010-04-16 08:04 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - sundayave - 2010-04-16 11:48 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - trixieleitz - 2010-04-16 11:55 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - trixieleitz - 2010-04-16 09:06 am (UTC)
(no subject) - foxfirefey - 2010-04-16 09:10 am (UTC)
(no subject) - foxfirefey - 2010-04-16 09:07 am (UTC)
(no subject) - jproulx - 2010-04-16 02:01 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - foxfirefey - 2010-04-16 04:44 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - sundayave - 2010-04-16 04:52 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - foxfirefey - 2010-04-16 04:59 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - sundayave - 2010-04-17 12:13 am (UTC)
(no subject) - sundayave - 2010-04-16 03:39 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - foxfirefey - 2010-04-16 04:47 pm (UTC)
16th-Apr-2010 05:49 pm (UTC)
It definitely makes the ebay/amazon links open in new windows here (Opera, Linux) even though they don't have a target set, so it's definitely doing something.
16th-Apr-2010 07:29 pm (UTC)
I've investigated further with tcpdump and wireshark. When any link is moused over, a request is sent to outboundlink.me divulging the URL linked to as well as that of the page. The response can include a new URL, in which case clicking on the link opens that URL in a new window. In the case of the first Amazon link, it is "http:\/\/www.amazon.com\/gp\/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Famazon.com%2F&tag=5336432744-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325" (which I assume gets de-escaped before use). Querying that url gives a redirect back to the original Amazon URL with no additions, but it sets two X-headers (x-amz-id-1 and x-amz-id-2) which look to have some encoded information, which I suspect can be read off by JavaScript on Amazon's pages. I presume that they either contain or reference (as session IDs) the information passed in by outboundlink.me.

I also took a look at the beautified JavaScript — it seems to be making these queries to outboundlink.me by adding <script> elements to the document. This means that the response is passed directly to the JavaScript interpreter as if it had been part of the original page, and has access to the user's LJ credentials. Currently it's just calling a previously defined function with the redirect info, but it could do pretty much anything.

I've made some posts in my journal with a bit more detail.
(no subject) - foxfirefey - 2010-04-16 07:40 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - sundayave - 2010-04-17 12:35 am (UTC)
(no subject) - xlerb - 2010-04-17 05:31 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - isiscolo - 2010-04-22 09:26 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - foxfirefey - 2010-04-22 09:40 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - isiscolo - 2010-04-22 09:54 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - pengolodh_sc - 2010-04-22 11:26 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - foxfirefey - 2010-04-22 11:35 pm (UTC)
16th-Apr-2010 07:35 pm (UTC)
I tend to open links by right-clicking and opening in a new tab. Before I get from your link to amazon.com, I go through http://community.livejournal.com/no_lj_ads/87881.html?dr_log=-1&linkout=http%3A//amazon.com/
which seems to be new behavior. IIRC, I'm using the opt-out on this account.
(no subject) - foxfirefey - 2010-04-16 07:42 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - dandrennah94 - 2010-04-16 08:33 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - foxfirefey - 2010-04-16 11:16 pm (UTC)
16th-Apr-2010 10:29 pm (UTC)
[Bad username: dnewhall&quot;] just answered a question about this over in news. Basically he seems to be saying that it's "transparent" and anyway it's not stripping other users' affiliate IDs. So.
16th-Apr-2010 10:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I've put that response into the post, and asked for clarification for the policy of whether paid users and/or their content will be subject to this script in the future.
17th-Apr-2010 11:57 am (UTC)
The line of script in this entry will turn the script on, is that what you meant to write?
17th-Apr-2010 06:25 pm (UTC)
You mean the console opt-out? No, setting it to 0 should turn it off!
17th-Apr-2010 06:49 pm (UTC)
What I've read elsewhere suggests you have to set it to 1. Mine is set to 1 and I'm not seeing the redirect scripts operate.
(no subject) - foxfirefey - 2010-04-17 06:52 pm (UTC)
17th-Apr-2010 07:43 pm (UTC) - I am a sad ditz
I meant to write the one that turned it off and I wrote the one that turned it on and I have fixed it, woe!
18th-Apr-2010 12:13 am (UTC) - Re: I am a sad ditz
No problem. I wrote my previous reply from my e-mail, before I got to the latest one.
Re: I am a sad ditz - foxfirefey - 2010-04-18 12:17 am (UTC)
18th-Apr-2010 03:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you for this.
18th-Apr-2010 10:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the information. I'm in the slow-computer-from-2004 camp, and even though I know I probably should say something like "slow computer from 2004 is slow", blocking is probably the option that will make the most immediate difference in my daily life.

Though I probably will say something.

Edit: I did file a support request, mentioning the age of my computer and that its performance was being affected -- not to demand change, but to let them know what it was doing so they would have that information available when thinking about stuff.

Edited at 2010-04-18 10:38 pm (UTC)
22nd-Apr-2010 05:20 am (UTC)
To be honest, I'm okay with LJ adding an affiliate code to my unaffiliated link, if only they were doing so transparently, openly, and without involving Javascript. I'd really prefer it if thye just appended their affiliate code when loading up the entry from the database, instead of obscuring the new destination with a tricky script.
22nd-Apr-2010 06:10 am (UTC)
I'm much the same way. If this was part of the HTML cleaner code for free users, I don't think I'd find much of a problem with it. I also don't know if it's exactly fair to force on paid users without an opt out; I feel like if they're paying for the service, they should have the privilege of making the links they want to without having them messed with like that.

But, not a lot of users really seem all that upset about it, so I guess in the long run it doesn't matter much.
28th-Apr-2010 03:10 am (UTC)
But, not a lot of users really seem all that upset about it, so I guess in the long run it doesn't matter much.

I am. I'm quite pissed, actually. I really don't need any more draconian LJ crap these days.... And it wreaks f-ing havoc on tabbed LJ browsing, I can tell you that much!
23rd-Apr-2010 02:24 am (UTC)
Yes, this. It's the privacy and security implications of this third-party implementation that I particularly object to.

They've also worked against their interests by implementing it in this way, as it means that clicks by anyone with suitable blocking software won't earn them any revenue.
22nd-Apr-2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
help i did the opt out but now i can't do something is there a way to tell the admin console to not do it
how do i take it back
22nd-Apr-2010 08:32 pm (UTC)
What is it you can't do? You can tell the admin console to not opt out anymore with this:

set opt_exclude_stats 0
22nd-Apr-2010 08:37 pm (UTC)
yes that is what i want and that will get rid of what i told it to do which was this
set opt_exclude_stats 1

(no subject) - foxfirefey - 2010-04-22 08:44 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - snchick12 - 2010-04-22 08:47 pm (UTC)
17th-Dec-2010 08:16 pm (UTC) - Dreamwidth posts 8 - 17 December
User livredor referenced to your post from Dreamwidth posts 8 - 17 December saying: [...] to a third-party site [...]
7th-Jan-2011 11:21 am (UTC) - Dreamwidth posts 19 December - 3 January
User livredor referenced to your post from Dreamwidth posts 19 December - 3 January saying: [...] to a third-party site [...]
24th-Jun-2011 05:41 pm (UTC)
Hi good folks - is this comm still active...?

A couple of days ago I noticed that if I copied and pasted a link from anywhere on LJ, it did not give me what I thought and what the status bar said I got. Instead it gave me a long redirect URL that included, not only where I had copied the link and where I'd end up when clicking it, but also the subject line/page title of the page it was on and the full text for the link itself.

I went to the adm console and opted out, but this, I suppose, only works for me and my browser, not for anybody else who hasn't opted out. Or, am I mistaken?

I did some testing before opting out, and found that even links in friends-locked and private entries contained the above-mentioned information. In short it appeared in any and all links that didn't take me to my own journal.

I copy and paste links for various reasons quite often, but this has never happened to me before in my nine years on LJ.
25th-Jun-2011 08:55 pm (UTC)
It's been a while! I don't keep on top of this stuff as much as I used to (I'm a filthy seditious Dreamwidth person now)--but from your journal it looks like you put in a support request. I'll note that it goes private for anything that is staff only, the support system just isn't built for stuff that is staff only to answer AND public. You're right that the opt out described only works for you, the viewer, and not for people viewing your journal.
(no subject) - leeneh - 2011-06-25 09:08 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - foxfirefey - 2011-06-25 09:10 pm (UTC)
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