So I subscribe to an RSS feed on FanBlogs.com that is the writings of some guy named Kevin Donahue. I think this guy must be an LSU blogger or something – I don’t always recall why I add something to RSS.
So, anyway, this morning there’s a piece in my RSS called 15 must-haves for the 2008 college football season. OK, it’s a link-bait list post, but worth a browse in the reader. But something struck me as odd at best and more likely just pathetic:
Gear – Check out the NCAA Fan Store at Amazon for all the hats, shirts, and tail gating gear your could ever want. (And if you want the best portable grill out there, check this out. Just got this one this summer and it’s fantastic! Plus free 2 day delivery if you enroll in Amazon Prime!)
OK, I’ve built an Amazon affiliate site around fan gear, and I know for a fact the selection and pricing kind of sucks there. It’s mostly through non-Amazon sellers, and it’s not quite as random as eBay crap, but it’s close. There are many, many better places to find fan gear online; Amazon wouldn’t be in an objective person’s top 10.
Ah, but hovering over one of the links to Amazon reveals all. “&tag=kevindonahue-20″ means Mr. Donahue is an Amazon Associate and would get paid for any purchases you make after following these links. And there’s your motivation.
Pretty ham-handed attempt to make it appear that Amazon is the best place to buy gear – not just the place to go so Kevin Donahue gets paid. Strike one.
No disclosure that these are commercial links isn’t cool, either. Destroys the credibility of Mr. Donahue and the validity of this list of his. Is he actually in to college football, or just out to make a buck through Amazon? How much time did he spend actually seeking out the “must haves”? Or did he just round up some stuff to go along with his Amazon links? Strike two.
But the best part is that after I saw this, I went to his blog and left a comment calling him out on it. Of course, any and all comments left on his blog have to be approved by a moderator (Strike 3A), and he chose not to approve mine that was critical of him (Strike 3B). He approved others praising his piece, but not mine that pointed out his undisclosed interest and the shitty nature of that (Strike 3C).
So well done, Mr. Donahue. I hope you earn $20! You’re gone from my RSS reader, though.