Shareasale Think Tank 2012 Recap – Inside Internet Marketing #45

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Greg Hoffman and I discuss the Shareasale Think Tank 2012 conference in great detail. If you have an interest in affiliate marketing and one of the best networks around, this is the episode to check out.

The stairs… oh lord, the stairs…

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About Daniel M. Clark

Daniel M. Clark is a podcaster and proprietor of QAQN, a writer at danielmclark.com, and an all-around cool dude everywhere else.

God, I hate talking about myself in the third-person.

Wade M. Tonkin May 25, 2012 at 2:40 pm

wow – a little tough love for ShareASale – justifiably in the way that OPM's are dealt with in my opinion. Even tougher love for another network that would never have the guts to let merchants and affiliates give live feedback on their product. All in all a great show, but there is definitely a little room for improvement.

Daniel M. Clark May 25, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Though we were a little critical of some things, I hope that the tremendous respect we have for everyone involved came through. Tough love perhaps, but the "love" part is definitely there :)

Angel Djambazov May 25, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Considering it is the best show in the affiliate industry and one of the top 3 shows I attend out of 18 a year…I think the bar is set pretty high. A 3 rating at SAS is like a 5 rating at any other network show.

Shawn Collins May 25, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Greg – I totally prefer the destination locations for ThinkTank, since they allow for non-stop networking. The time is so brief that I think it's a real shame you were in your room so much.

So you didn't like the exclusion from the affiliate/merchant thing – there was so much time on the lake and at the party we hosted to meet people. Make your own meetings happen!

I didn't care to get in a bathing suit either, so I didn't. I went out and rode around on the water and talked. And we had the band placed higher up on Thursday night to make it easier for people to talk, and I did it non-stop.

Kevin Strawbridge May 25, 2012 at 3:17 pm

You nailed it Shawn Collins

Wade M. Tonkin May 25, 2012 at 3:19 pm

The party on Thursday night was well pulled off – the music was great, but the sound levels allowed for conversation.

Chris Cooper May 25, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Wasnt at either event, so I cant comment on how I would have reacted or opinions I would have formed, but at a few times this conversation has reminded me of the movie Grumpy Old Men.

Daniel M. Clark May 25, 2012 at 4:07 pm

More than anything, this comment lets me know that I failed utterly in the execution of this episode. I never want to be thought of that way! This was helpful to me, thank you.

Missy Ward May 25, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Was I at the same ShareASale ThinkTank as you guys?

Daniel M. Clark May 25, 2012 at 3:29 pm

We were a little critical, but like I said to Wade earlier, I really hope that the tremendous respect that we both have for Shareasale still came through. Everything we said was meant to be constructive and honest because we love those folks.

Missy Ward May 25, 2012 at 3:34 pm

OK, I'm probably going to get flack for this but I'm going to say it anyway… I've always felt that if there is "love" and respect for a person and/or company and you have something critical to say that you would hope would spark the change that you want — you tell them in private. That's all I gotta say about that :)

Daniel M. Clark May 25, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Like I said, I know we weren't all sunshine and roses, but… were we that bad? I think I need to listen to it over… if we came off as really negative then we did something wrong.

Missy Ward May 25, 2012 at 3:49 pm

I don't know if it was that bad, but it's sort of like this… If you invited me as a guest to your home and made the worst lasagna I ever tasted, I wouldn't publicly tell everyone that your lasagna sucks and provide tips on how you could improve it. But rather, I'd be a gracious guest and if you sent me a survey to rate my experience, I'd let you know privately. But that's just me.

Mary Lankford Poiley May 25, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Where is my damn Tiramasu! How dare you not make me more! lol sorry I could not resist.

Kellie Stevens May 25, 2012 at 4:03 pm

JMO :) For both of you rating it middle of the road by your scale, it did strike me as focusing more on the negative than the positive. Actually I stopped listening about 3/4 of the way through. It started sounding like a bit of a nit picky whine. Although there was constructive feedback there from the different perspectives of aff, merchant, opm for the event…overall it just struck me as a bit focusing on the negative side of things. <shrugs> because I wasn't there.

Daniel M. Clark May 25, 2012 at 4:03 pm

I totally get that. It was never my intention to say the lasagna sucked, which is why I am so overwhelmed by the reactions the episode is getting. I wanted us to cover the ins and outs of the conference but I wouldn't ever say it sucked. Clearly I didn't think this one through enough before pressing Record :(

David Barenholtz May 25, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Just a question Missy Ward: Do you use Yelp or Angie's List? I can understand your point about not wanting negative comments but you are running a business not inviting friends into your home. Every business should be able to take criticism if it is given fairly. It is expected that not everyone is going to be over the moon about any given event, product or venue. That fact makes your product or event seem genuine and authentic. From what I heard it was a pretty stellar event.

Missy Ward May 25, 2012 at 4:10 pm

@David They were both given the opportunity to provide feedback directly to the company and if I'm not mistaken, I believe Daniel said he did. I don't understand the need to air them publicly, other than for maybe blog comments????

Daniel M. Clark May 25, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Noooo! I would sooner shut this post down than have you guys think that I'm doing this for comments. That's not how I operate. Never have, never will. I did do the survey, and I'm 99% sure Greg did, too – and while we did mention the survey a few times during the hour and mention a few of our responses, this was never about bashing Shareasale or Think Tank for the sake of comments. It was a great event, and we didn't focus on the positive aspects as much as we should have. That was a massive mistake on my part. As host, I take full responsibility for not guiding the conversation as well as I should have.

David Barenholtz May 25, 2012 at 4:17 pm

fair enough……but now look at the all coverage this is getting….which perhaps was maybe their intention.

Daniel M. Clark May 25, 2012 at 4:20 pm

@David – that was not our intention. Like I said in response to Missy a minute ago, I would rather shut this episode down than have people think that. I don't want to build a reputation for being negative because that's not who I am. This episode failed in that regard.

Missy Ward May 25, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Daniel M. Clark – you know what? I totally believe you're being sincere. Lessons learned :) <3u!

Daniel M. Clark May 25, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Thanks, Missy. Your opinion means a lot to me. Lessons were *definitely* learned here. <3u back :)

Jim Kukral May 25, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Sounds like you've got two camps. The business camp and the party camp. You guys were looking for more of the business stuff. I've only been to one Think Tank, and it was for an hour, so I have no opinion.

Shawn Collins May 25, 2012 at 3:43 pm

I'm in the camp where business and drinks don't have to be mutually exclusive.

Wade M. Tonkin June 5, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Kuk – I thought you were at the Chicago event for at least 90 minutes… didn't we figure out that you could have easily driven over in the time you spent sitting at the airport waiting to fly out ?

Daniel M. Clark May 25, 2012 at 3:58 pm

You guys are all opening my eyes about this episode… I don't know if there was something in my water yesterday or what, but I think we need a do-over. Think Tank was not without a few flaws – many my own hangups (the 'bikini' discussion) – but if the overall impression you're all getting is that we had a lousy time and Think Tank sucked… that's not at all how I feel about it. If podcasters are allowed one train wreck of a show, this might be mine.

Daniel M. Clark June 5, 2012 at 4:51 pm

I've been trying to figure out why Brian [Littleton, CEO of Shareasale] hasn't been able to post a comment here. He tried twice, and the system seemed to eat the comment. I think the days of Facebook comments are numbered here on the site. He sent me an email with the comment and asked if I'd post it on his behalf, which I'm happy to do. Here's Brian Littleton:

“Howdy y'all (still in Texas mode)… my comments were eaten by the spam filter earlier I think… so reposting.

I don't mind criticism at all, and it certainly helps to build a better event for the future so thank you for taking the time to produce this podcast about our event in Austin!

The only critique I would offer about the podcast is that I definitely found myself wanting to chime in from time to time to provide our perspective or opinion. If you are doing a review of Think Tank again in the future – I'd love to sit in as a guest if that is something that interests you!

You definitely missed a great time on the lake, by the way… it wasn't all "bathing suits and beers"… there were some great conversations, places to hang out on the boats, etc… We had something like 95% positive response on the event which was pretty good – I'll try to convert you next time. :) And of course… a helicopter for the steps would have helped!"

Thanks, Brian! I would definitely welcome you on the show next time I do a Think Tank recap, I think that's a great idea.

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