Evan's post just now made me realize that I had intended to order a new book when it came out (which it just has, last week), so I went to the author's SO profile hoping to find an Amazon affiliate link where I could place an order. To my surprise I noticed that the Amazon links therein were not rewritten like they are elsewhere on the sites. I would consider this a loophole lost opportunity at best and at worst a bug.

Put into algorithm form (Note that I am NOT suggesting altering an existing affiliate link):

if (have amazon link in profile)
    if (not affiliate link present already)
         rewrite link with SO affiliate link
         // user already has his own affiliate link; do nothing!

Now if someone could just explain to me why this book costs $26.39 US on the .com site and $47.99 CDN on the .ca site when the dollar is at par... grrr

  • Thank you for agreeing with my suggestion behind my back. I assume there are a lot of other people that do that too. You should vote to reopen that thread if you find it a good idea. There is no reason to ride the bandwagon. Commented May 5, 2010 at 4:20
  • @Evan: for that one, you got a +1 for the suggestion, but unfortunately a big -1 for the way you said it (and I don't think it should replace the existing advertising scheme). If it helps, I upvoted you earlier today for your SO answer regarding constant folding.
    – Ether
    Commented May 5, 2010 at 5:29
  • That author you don't mention is me. Just use my name when you want to complain about me. Commented May 19, 2010 at 0:50
  • 3
    @brian ether has gone out of her way to address this and apologized. I also believe she had no malicious intent whatsoever with this post (nor did I read it that way). She has no history of doing anything even remotely negative on our sites. Well, except for snarky comments to me, but do those really count? :) Is there anything else that needs to be said here? Commented May 19, 2010 at 21:22
  • @Jeff: I apologize for any undeserved snarky comments. :)
    – Ether
    Commented May 19, 2010 at 21:32

2 Answers 2


We aren't going to rewrite affiliate links on user profiles. The user profile belongs to the user, and it would be inappropriate (IMO) for us to do so there.

Example: say that SO user was the author and was using his or her own affiliate link in the profile. We don't want to rewrite that.

  • 1
    It should be possible to only add an affiliate link if there isn't already one, surely?
    – Ether
    Commented May 7, 2010 at 17:36
  • yea! still working on my book... ;-) Commented May 7, 2010 at 17:52
  • Indeed, I am the author of all the books I link to in my profile. Commented May 19, 2010 at 0:50

So, you want to go to my profile page to find a link to my book, but you don't want me to use my own Amazon ID? You don't have to use my Amazon ID, but you're looking for a link in something that I provide. I'm providing a service to you, but you think I somehow should use that service to fund Stackoverflow? It's not enough that I'm one of the people making Stackoverflow worthwhile for Perl people?

I'm still baffled how I have to find out third hand that people complain about something I do on this site when they never mention it to me directly. I'm also still baffled why they try to hide that it's me they are complaining about. What is this, kindergarten?

As for changing the profile that a Stackoverflow user creates, what do you think this is? Facebook?

  • 6
    OP isn't complaining about you; he's under the impression that a bug exists because typically Amazon links are rewritten with the SOFU affiliate link, but it doesn't happen on the user profile. The part about you only describes how he came across this, but it doesn't concern you personally.
    – waiwai933
    Commented May 19, 2010 at 1:12
  • 3
    well in this case "he" is a "she" but I agree, I don't think you were being singled out. Commented May 19, 2010 at 2:54
  • 3
    Whoa there, I'm not complaining about anything you've done or haven't done. I expected to find an affiliate link and didn't, so reported it here -- it's nothing to do with you, your book or your profile specifically (if it were, of course I would have contacted you). And if you had an affiliate link of your own in your profile, I would be happy to use that too.
    – Ether
    Commented May 19, 2010 at 3:01
  • I do have affiliate links in my profile, and you are insinuating that I shouldn't and that somehow STackoverflow should change my profile to be something other than what I put in there. you might not think you are complaining about me, but you are. Commented May 19, 2010 at 5:34
  • two things: 1. there was no link to the new book at all in your profile at the time I looked (it's still not there in your meta profile BTW); 2. the links to your other books did not appear to be affiliate links (I'm not a frequent amazon user so this is probably a misunderstanding on my part; I had the understanding that affiliate links looked like http://www.amazon.[store TLD]/exec/obidos/[ASIN]/[TLD affiliate id]. So if I overlooked such a link I apologize. You can email me if there's anything else you want to discuss.
    – Ether
    Commented May 19, 2010 at 16:43

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