We’ve been previously opposed to sponsors, but after asking our community for their thoughts and protocols for us to put in place to maintain transparency, we’ve developed the following protocols:
First, we will only accept sponsors that either:
- we rely on for our production workflow
- one or more of our team-members rely on that they can vouch for
- Or are simply services we feel confident recommending to you, after using them ourselves.
- In other words, we need to actually use the service or product!
Second, services are unable to sponsor a video where a conflict of interest may arise. For example, a VPN cannot sponsor a VPN review, for obvious reasons.
VPN sponsors are not allowed in any context. We host open source VPN tools, and accepting any kind of sponsorship would work against that. We will be resuming the same opt-in affiliate protocol we’ve been using.
Fourth, we hold every right and will cancel sponsorships for companies we feel no longer align with our values. Things change in the world, and we want to change with it.
Finally, sponsors are unable to influence the content we make, our recommendations, or our criticisms towards the sponsor itself or its competitors.
For more information, we encourage users to watch our original video covering how we handle sponsors
Affiliate marketing has a bad rep and for good reason–they’re frequently abused with little transparency behind their usage. However, affiliate marketing offers the utmost creative freedom to individuals without relying on a traditional sponsorship relationship where conflicts of interest may arise.
This document explains how we prevent conflicts of interest and maintain transparency behind what we recommend to our audience.
How We Choose Affiliates
The simplest form of affiliations we utilize our VPNs. We implement an entirely opt-in, affiliate model with extremely limited services we feel comfortable having plans with. There will always be a clearly labeled standard & affiliate link for users to know where they’re located, and these never influence the VPN chart.
Our non-VPN affiliates are chosen by answering 5 questions:
- Would we genuinely recommend this to our friends and family?
- Who in our audience would benefit from this?
- Who in our audience would NOT benefit from this?
- Why is there a discrepancy, if any?
- Are we able address both the pros and cons when talking about this affiliate plan without misleading viewers?
If we answer these questions and feel a service is not only a positive experience, but is capable of being recommended without viewers misled–they may qualify as an affiliate.
We will not allow our content or recommendations to be influenced by an affiliate plan. All our affiliate plans are opt-in, clearly labeled, and generally include non-affiliate standard links alongside them.
Our Current Affiliates
The current list of affiliate links we use can be found at: techlore.tech/affiliations.
NOTE: We do NOT treat affiliate plans the same as sponsors. Please read our sponsorship protocol above.
But What If…
At any point in time, if we feel something changes, or our audience overwhelmingly doesn’t agree with our decision, we hold every right and ability to cease the affiliate plan–as we have the freedom to do so by not being reliant on any specific affiliate plan or sponsor.