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Friday, October 07, 2005

Multi-affiliates search page example using CaRP and Grouper 

I've posted an Affiliates RSS Example showing how CaRP and Grouper can be used to create a search page for multiple affiliates programs. A few noteworthy notes:

1) The affiliate search results are displayed on your website so that if your visitor doesn't find anything interesting, they're still on your site.

2) Multiple merchant sites can be searched from the same page, increasing the probability of your visitors finding something they're interested in. At the moment, the example code only searches Amazon and All Posters. More merchants will be added later.

3) Google AdSense ads appear on the page--if you don't reach your visitors in one way, you might reach them in another.

4) The example requires Grouper Evolution. As it appears on our site, it also requires CaRP Evolution, but could be easily adapted to the other versions of CaRP. With CaRP Koi, the AdSense add could not appear inside the search results (because without the FlexFormat plugin, more ads than Google allows would be displayed). With CaRP GPL, the images could not be displayed.

5) Default search terms are automatically entered when you first arrive at the page--if you have an idea of what your visitors might be looking for, don't waste an opportunity by showing them a blank page when they arrive. Also, having the page filled with results by default means that there's content for the search engines to see.

6) Finally, the "method" for the search form is "get". This is important if you have AdSense ads on the page, because without it, Google couldn't deliver relevant ads based on the visitor's search terms.I've posted an Affiliates RSS Example showing how CaRP and Grouper can be used to create a search page for multiple affiliates programs. A few noteworthy notes:

1) The affiliate search results are displayed on your website so that if your visitor doesn't find anything interesting, they're still on your site.

2) Multiple merchant sites can be searched from the same page, increasing the probability of your visitors finding something they're interested in. At the moment, the example code only searches Amazon and All Posters. More merchants will be added later.

3) Google AdSense ads appear on the page--if you don't reach your visitors in one way, you might reach them in another.

4) The example requires Grouper Evolution. As it appears on our site, it also requires CaRP Evolution, but could be easily adapted to the other versions of CaRP. With CaRP Koi, the AdSense add could not appear inside the search results (because without the FlexFormat plugin, more ads than Google allows would be displayed). With CaRP GPL, the images could not be displayed.

5) Default search terms are automatically entered when you first arrive at the page--if you have an idea of what your visitors might be looking for, don't waste an opportunity by showing them a blank page when they arrive. Also, having the page filled with results by default means that there's content for the search engines to see.

6) Finally, the "method" for the search form is "get". This is important if you have AdSense ads on the page, because without it, Google couldn't deliver relevant ads based on the visitor's search terms.
// posted by Antone Roundy @ 10:52 AM
(4) comments
http://grouper.docs.geckotribe.com/tips/2005/10/multi-affiliates-search-page-example.php

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Grouper 1.5 adds Amazon, Shopping.com and All Posters affiliates XML handling 

Grouper version 1.5 was released today, adding new XML helper plugins for converting the XML from the Amazon.com, Shopping.com and All Posters affiliate marketing programs to RSS feeds. The new version also changes the way Grouper handles Google News and Yahoo! News, accessing the RSS feeds published by those services directly, now that they're publishing in RSS, instead of scraping the HTML search results. Finally, Feedster and Daypop support were moved from Grouper Evolution into the free version.

Another development that many are sure to enjoy is the totally revamped online documentation, which fixes what has been a bit of a sore spot for Grouper for quite a while.

Expect more affiliates XML plugins in the future, as well as one or two more options in HTML scraper plugins.
// posted by Antone Roundy @ 8:40 PM
(0) comments
http://grouper.docs.geckotribe.com/tips/2005/10/grouper-15-adds-amazon-shoppingcom-and.php

Friday, July 15, 2005

Grouper 1.4.3 adds Atom 1.0 support 

Grouper version 1.4.3 was released today, adding the ability to convert Atom 1.0 feeds to RSS. The Atom 1.0 format specification is essentially a few bureaucratic steps from getting the official IETF stamp of approval, and any changes that may be made to the document are unlikely to affect the format. Some of the other people involved in the effort to create the specification have already started publishing feeds in the new format, and once everything is official, more and larger publishers should start switching from Atom 0.3 to Atom 1.0 quickly, so it's time for consuming applications to start supporting it.

The new version with the Atom 1.0 plugin has been sent to everyone who purchased Grouper version 1.4 or later. Those who purchased Grouper prior to version 1.4 can upgrade by purchasing the XML and Atom plugin package separately.
// posted by Antone Roundy @ 10:44 PM
(0) comments
http://grouper.docs.geckotribe.com/tips/2005/07/grouper-143-adds-atom-10-support.php

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Example code for Grouper 

I've started posting example code for Grouper on the Grouper website. The first two examples cover converting an Atom feed to RSS and generating an RSS feed from a news search--I'm beginning with the basics. More to come.
// posted by Antone Roundy @ 9:48 PM
(0) comments
http://grouper.docs.geckotribe.com/tips/2005/07/example-code-for-grouper.php

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Gecko Tribe Associates Program 

In response to numerous customer requests, we've launched an associates program for selling CaRP, Grouper, Jawfish subscriptions, Chess Hounds memberships, iMovie and FileMaker Pro plugins, t-shirts, and DeGPG. Here's a slight revision of the email we sent out to announce it:

Dear CaRP, Grouper or Jawfish user:

We are pleased today to announce the launch of the Gecko Tribe Associates Program, which offers the opportunity to earn commissions of 10 to 20 percent on sales of Gecko Tribe products. In addition to our RSS products with which you are already familiar, you can earn commissions on sales of our iMovie plugin, FileMaker Pro plugins, t-shirts, encryption software, and online chess website memberships.

Rather than rambling on here, I'll just point you to the program website, where you'll find the programs terms and an application to become an associate. The site is not yet fully complete, but has everything you need to sign up, create associates links, view earnings reports, and most importantly to start earning commissions. More features will be added from time to time.

We hope you'll join us.

Antone Roundy
// posted by Antone Roundy @ 7:49 PM
(0) comments
http://grouper.docs.geckotribe.com/tips/2005/03/gecko-tribe-associates-program.php

Thursday, October 07, 2004

If Atom feed conversion only works part of the time... 

If you have been using the XML and Atom plugins for Grouper Evolution to convert Atom feeds to RSS, and it sometimes works, but you sometimes get errors, it may be caused by the character encoding of the Atom feed. To check, load the Atom feed in your web browser, view the source, and take a look at the first line. It will probably look something like this:

<?xml version="1.0" charset="UTF-8" ?>

If instead of "UTF-8", it says "ISO-8859-1" or "US-ASCII", then this is not the source of the problem. In fact, "ISO-8859-any number" shouldn't cause errors, though some characters may display incorrectly. If the charset is anything else, for example, "windows-1252", then this probably is the source of the problem.

The problem is that, while windows-1252 is almost identical to ISO-8859-1, it contains a few additional characters like smart quotes, etc. When the feed doesn't contain any of those characters, Grouper will work fine. But whenever one of those characters appears, there will be an XML parsing error. The reason for this is that PHP's XML parser only supports three character sets: UTF-8, ISO-8859-1 and US-ASCII.

If the Atom feed is under your control, for example, if it's from your own Blogger blog, then you may be able to solve the problem by changing the character encoding of the feed. I'd recommend using UTF-8, since it will support pretty much any character you might ever want to display--that's why it's the default encoding for XML files. In Blogger, you can change the encoding by clicking the "Settings" tab, clicking "Formatting" under the tabs, finding the Encoding popup, and changing it's value.
// posted by Antone Roundy @ 5:10 PM
(0) comments
http://grouper.docs.geckotribe.com/tips/2004/10/if-atom-feed-conversion-only-works.php

Monday, September 06, 2004

When searching in a non-English language... 

When using Grouper to search Google News in a non-English language, remember to change not only the language setting:

GrouperSourceConf('language','fr');

...but also to update the value of the "toss before" setting as needed. For example, in English, this setting tells Grouper to ignore everything that appears on the results page before the words "by date". In French, "by date" changes to "tri par date". The following setting adjusts for the language change:

GrouperSourceConf('tossbefore','Tri par date');

// posted by Antone Roundy @ 11:20 AM
(2) comments
http://grouper.docs.geckotribe.com/tips/2004/09/when-searching-in-non-english-language.php

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