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2008 December 8 Monday thru December 14 Sunday.


An open letter to Link Share Japan.   
Thank you for wasting my time!!!

As you may already know if you are a regular reader of this blog, I have started a new website in early September of this year, the main  purpose of which was to be an affiliate advertiser for the products and services of other companies.   

Although this type of affiliate marketing has been around for a bit more than ten years, it is still a relatively new business idea in the course of human history.   

With a lot of help from my good friend Charlie, I started to understand a little bit of what this world of internet marketing is all about.

I receive several internet newsletters from various organizations, one of which is from the Highlights for Children education company.   

I used to read this monthly magazine as a child and was hoping to share it with my students here in Japan, so I looked at their website to see if they had an affiliate program.

Sure enough, they did.   When I clicked on the link, I was taken to the English language website for Link Share USA.   

On that website I clicked on the big button that said Publishers Join Now.  I was taken to a Japanese Language sign up page.   

I didn't think anything was unusual about this, as it often happens with many websites such a Google.

Anyway this is not a problem for me because I can read Japanese. 
So I filled out all of the required information, in the Japanese Language.   
One of the data input boxes required me to describe the purpose of my website, so I filled it in like this.  日本の全てを英語の世界に紹介する、または、日本に住んでいる外国人に、便利な買物サイトを紹介したいとのことです。  In English I would translate this as; "Introduce everything about Japan to the English Speaking World.  Also, provide a one stop shopping website for foreigners living in Japan.

Is there any confusion,  either in English or in Japanese, as to the purpose of my new affiliate website, the Every Thing Japan Network?

About two business days after I made my affiliate application to Link Share Japan, my website was approved to become a publisher, so immediately started applying to most of the various companies that are registered with Link Share Japan as advertisers.   

I was approved by about 80% of the advertisers that I applied to, starting with the companies that I myself have bought things from and know are good products and services.   

Companies such as ALC which also goes by the name アルク and publishes many language learning materials which I myself have used to learn Japanese, Chinese and Korean.   

Sky Perfect TV, to which I myself have be a subscriber for about 10 years. 

Glico グリコ which makes many of the snack foods that my wife enjoys eating, etc, etc.

I was very happy and satisfied to be able to introduce these products and services to the non-Japanese speaking world, which is about 95% of the world population.   

I must have spent more than 100 hours putting up banner advertisements for my favorite companies onto my new website.   

I even made a sale through one of them, thus earning a small commission.   
Then, everything suddenly changed.

About two weeks after being approved as a publisher thru Link Share Japan, I received the following email from them.

ご登録されたWEBサイトは「ECサイトのパートナー」の観点から 一定の基準をもって審査を行っておりますが、審査の結果、下記の理由により、登録申請を一時的に保留とさせていただいております。 ※日本語以外のコンテンツで構成されているサイト

For those of my readers who can't read Japanese, let me summarize the above message.

Your website being registered as a partner to Electronic Commerce websites, as been examined, and the results of the examination are that your application had been put on temporary hold for the following reason.   


Say What????   
You have already approved my website, that is why I was able to get banner links from your advertisers. 

Not only that, but I wrote about the purpose of my website in my application. 

Didn't you read it before you approved my website? 
Did you even look at my website before approving my application?   What kind of nonsense is this?

In an attempt to find out what this was all about, I contacted the Link Share USA branch of the company to find out if I could transfer my account to them, instead of the Japanese Network.

At first, I got an email from Link Share USA, with the URL for the signup page. 
I went to the English Language sign up page, but I was not able to complete the process, because the data input form does not recognize "Hokkaido" as a legitimate location for an address. 

So, I wrote them back again and asked what I should do.   
They said that they will contact me again when the issue is resolved.

As of this writing, I have heard nothing more from them.

As far a Link Share Japan is concerned; I have asked them several questions:

Number one.   WHY did you approve my website in the first place if you already knew that the contents was written in English?

Number two.   
WHY is there no mention in the affiliate agreement that the contents of an affiliate's website MUST BE IN JAPANESE ONLY?  For those of you who can read Japanese, click here to read the agreement for yourself.  Especially take a close look at article 8  第8条。

On December 6, 2008 when Link Share Japan deactivated my account, and thus wasted about 100 hours of my time that I spent applying to advertisers, getting approved, and then putting banner links on my website, I wrote to them again and asked them; WHY IS THERE NOTHING  IN THE AFFILIATE AGREEMENT ABOUT PUBLISHER WEBSITE CONTENTS NEEDING TO BE WRITTEN IN JAPANESE ONLY???

Here is the reply I got.

  参加規約に「日本語以外のサイト」の参加を言及する文章はありません。 但し、弊社は、参加規約の第18条に基づき、日本のネットワークに参画する アフィリエイトサイトが基準をクリアするよう精査しています。

English translation:  There is nothing written in the affiliate agreement about publisher sites using languages other than Japanese. 

However, in accordance with article 18 (of the affiliate agreement) all publisher websites are carefully checked to insure they clear the standards of the Link Share Japan Network.

Below this comment I was given a URL to click on that leads to a web page in the FAQ sections of the website!!!! 
Click here to read that page.   

Again, if you can't read Japanese let me summarize the contents of the page. 
No affiliates under 18 years of age, No under construction websites, No gambling or adult porno or chat websites.

No websites that require a sign in page to access the website.
No multi level marketing websites. No websites that promote racial or religious or ethnic hatred.  etc. etc.    

Oh! and by the way, no websites that are written in a language other than Japanese.

Can you believe this xit!?!?

Remember, this information was not written in the affiliate agreement itself. 
It was written on a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) web page, and merely referred to by the agreement in article 18!!!

While most of these standards are just common sense, the requirement to have all publisher website contents in Japanese only, is not common sense.   

After all, only about 5% of the worlds population can read Japanese.   
The number of people who can read English is much greater than that.   Now, that is common sense.

Conclusion:  Link Share Japan has a business model perfect for the stone age. 

Wake up boys!!!  Your competitors such as Value Commerece, Commission Junction, Pepper Jam Network and so forth are going to steal your market share and put you in the internet marketing has been category.   

Best of luck to you guys.

And once again, thank you so much for wasting about 100 hours of my time!!!!   

Have a Merry Xmas.






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