In 1994, Tobin launched a beta version of PC Flowers & Gifts on the Internet in cooperation with IBM, who owned half of Prodigy. By 1995 PC Flowers & Gifts had launched a commercial version of the website and had 2,600 affiliate marketing partners on the World Wide Web. Tobin applied for a patent on tracking and affiliate marketing on January 22, 1996, and was issued U.S. Patent number 6,141,666 on Oct 31, 2000. Tobin also received Japanese Patent number 4021941 on Oct 5, 2007, and U.S. Patent number 7,505,913 on Mar 17, 2009, for affiliate marketing and tracking. In July 1998 PC Flowers and Gifts merged with Fingerhut and Federated Department Stores.
Wealthy Affiliate is also very strict on spam, which in the end is a GOOD thing, but I have to be careful sometimes about promoting my sites or referencing them. Sometimes I do have valuable information on my site that I think could help people during live chat sessions or Q&A’s, but I don’t share because I don’t want it to look like I’m spamming. They do allow people to promote their sites in certain areas, but in order to keep the community from filling up with self-promotion spam, there are times when it is best not to share certain information from outside sources, especially my own sites.
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