This morning I remembered that Shawn Collins had started a contest on 99 Designs for a new GeekCast.fm logo. I headed over to the contest page to see what was going on with it, and was a little surprised that a winner had already been chosen (I thought the contest was going to run longer). There were 26 logo entries, and I think that the best one was picked.
A clip of GeekCast.fm's New Logo
Click on through to GeekCast.fm to see the full logo, and while you’re there, check out the latest episode of Geek Dads @ Home! This week, Joe and I talk about Ted Kennedy, Winter’s first day of school, and more. Good stuff.
Few things in the affiliate marketing industry infuriate me more than hearing someone say, for whatever reason, “I may have to go out and get a real job”. In the ongoing fight with various state legislatures, the tax scheme commonly called the “Amazon tax” seeks to use affiliates of online merchants as definitions of nexuses for said merchants. Doing so allows states to mandate the collection of sales taxes on purchases made by state residents online. That’s the super short explanation. The longer explanation is more complicated.
As an affiliate myself, I come down strongly on the side of the industry in saying that it is unfair and possibly unconstitutional to use affiliates in this way. We’re not a nexus. We’re not a “physical presence” for the companies that we drive traffic to. It is important for lawmakers to understand that they are killing small businesses and hurting families when they attempt to pass these laws. Online merchants are severing ties with affiliates in some states to avoid compliance with these bad laws while they are being fought in the courts. Some small business owners are losing their livelihoods as a result.
Nothing hurts our cause more than an affiliate who denigrates our industry by essentially calling it a hobby or flight of fancy. In an article called State may sue Web retailers published at citizen-times.com, affiliate Bobby Coggins says:
“I may have to get a real job.”
A real job? You might have to get a real job? What you’re doing is a real job! This is why the state lawmakers are able to run roughshod over our industry. This is why people like Melanie Seery are tearing their hair out trying to drum up support from affiliates, merchants and networks. This is why it’s so damn hard to get people to take us seriously.
We provide a valid, valuable service. We deserve respect. We do a real job.
Last September, I wrote a bit about a travel reservation mix-up that I had with Southwest Airlines and how they were super cool about fixing it for me. I wrote that they had earned my respect after the way I was treated by the customer service representatives that I spoke to. Well, they just did it again!
I wasn’t booking the “October trip” (shh, it’s a secret – for now) like I was last year, but it’s related to that. You see, that October trip, I just found out, is scheduled this year for the one weekend that I already had booked for a family trip. I really want to participate in that event, so I decided to call up Southwest and move things around; my family is flexible.
I figured it would be tricky because I had redeemed a Rapid Rewards ticket for me and paid a promotional rate for Angela and Winter. Ian, presumably because he’s an infant and doesn’t have a job, isn’t required to pay for a ticket.
I called the toll free number, and discovered my favorite new telephone practice: the automated callback. A pleasant voice told me that my wait time would be between 14 and 21 minutes, and that if I punched in my phone number, they would call me back and I wouldn’t lose my place in line. Considering I was calling from a cell phone? Hell yeah! Thank you, Southwest, for saving me some cell minutes.
I got a call from Southwest after about 15 minutes or so, and a very nice representative was able to work a little magic and reschedule everything. There was no fee to make the changes, and no hassles. You know, sometimes a company does something right and deserves to be spotlighted for it. Well done, Southwest Airlines.