WPKindness is a site devoted to sharing acts of kindness that have taken place throughout the WordPress community. The site is powered by Headway, Gravity Forms, Toolset and WordPress. To report an act of kindness, visit their submission page and fill out the necessary details. Near the end of the submission form is a radio button where users can sign up to an infrequent newsletter. I asked the sites creator Ryan Bell what information would in the newsletter: “I would send out a newsletter once or twice a month with my favorite submissions“.
The site is a great idea but things become fuzzy once you read their terms of service. The only problem I see is with number three “You understand wpkindness.com might use an affiliate link to the company you are submitting about.“. I am torn on whether this is good or bad.
The way I see it, an affiliate link within an act of kindness report is almost the same as a great product review. Visitors that come across these links may make purchases based on those reports. If I report an act of kindness, I’m not sure I like the idea of someone else making money off my report. I have to admit, it’s an ingenious way of generating affiliate income if he can get a lot of people to submit acts of kindness that have occurred with companies. Ryan tells me that although there are no affiliate links on the site now, he wanted to cover his bases in case he wanted to use them to monetize the site in the future.
I would probably only do it for products I have used and feel are great products. If the site starts to be used a lot by the community and is an asset I don’t see why I shouldn’t be able to find a way to monetize it.
I’ve been on the receiving end of many acts of kindness but I’ve mostly used Twitter, forums, or a blog post to thank them. I appreciate Ryan’s goal for the site.
There is always someone willing to help you figure out how to make your site do what you want it to do with WordPress. I wanted to give those people recognition, whether it is a theme shop, hosting platform, plugin developer, or just a human who loves WordPress. My desire is for this to be a place where people can come and brag about the awesome people in the WordPress community and in turn build loyalty for that brand.
It will be interesting to see how many people share acts of kindness they have received from members of the WordPress community. It’s a great idea but the possible use of affiliate links on reports makes me uncomfortable. I’m not against Ryan making money, but I don’t think adding affiliate links into submitted content is the right way to go about it. I’d have a blog attached to the site and create content that correlates with the submissions. Then use affiliate links within those posts.
Help Ryan Out:
Ryan is seeking recommendations from the community on what they would like to see on the site. Also, if you have any ideas on how Ryan could monetize WPKindness without manipulating submissions, let us know in the comments.