Ubuntu – How to make sure that Canonical get affiliate benefits when I buy from amazon


Ubuntu 12.10 has a new feature to search and buy from Amazon, either from the Dash, or from a unity WebApp. This is quite controversial, but for my part, I quite ok with it. So when I buy something from Amazon (which I did before, and I'll do tomorow), I'd like to make sure the affiliate revenue are really given to Ubuntu/Canonical: I would have bought anyway, so financing my prefered OS by doing so makes sense to me.

How does it work, and how can I know my order get accounted to Ubuntu/Canonical affiliate program ? What if I navigate the amazon site before I buy ? What if I login or logout from Amazon, does Ubuntu still benefit from my order ?

Best Answer

First of all note that it's not just Amazon. It's a shopping lens, which can be used for numerous backend stores, of which Amazon is one.

The Amazon affiliate referral happens if you've arrived at the Amazon property via a 'tagged' link. Both links clicked via the dash which go to Amazon sites, and the shortcut in the launcher will add the tag. The tag adds a cookie which lasts for 24 hours. If you buy anything during that period, Canonical will get some affiliate revenue.

Personally I've just "pinned" a tab in my browser (i.e. opened whenever I open the browser) which goes to http://www.amazon.co.uk/?tag=u1webapp-uk-21 (which is right for the UK, but will differ for other territories) which ensures the cookie is always there for me. So even if I don't follow links via the dash or use the launcher, I still give revenue to Canonical (my employer ;) ).

I also do this on 12.04 where I don't have the shopping lens installed.