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  1. #1
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Coupon Feed Flaws
    You have a coupon feed and that is a good thing. Your coupon feed comes in two forms, a flat file feed and an RSS feed. Both options have key flaws.


    Flat File Feed - The problem with this feed is that you use a comma "," to split the fields. Merchants include comma(s) in the description field regularly. When that happens, parsing the fields correctly is not possible. I have suggested this before. Use a pipe "|" to split the fields. No one will use a pipe in their description field.


    RSS Feed - The problem with this feed is the lack of a "start date" and "end date" tag for each item. Unless every coupon feed item has no specific start and end, which I doubt, you really need to include these 2 additional fields in the feed.

  2. #2
    Half a Bubble Off Plumb RemodelingGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeymourButts
    You have a coupon feed and that is a good thing. Your coupon feed comes in two forms, a flat file feed and an RSS feed. Both options have key flaws.


    Flat File Feed - The problem with this feed is that you use a comma "," to split the fields. Merchants include comma(s) in the description field regularly. When that happens, parsing the fields correctly is not possible. I have suggested this before. Use a pipe "|" to split the fields. No one will use a pipe in their description field.


    RSS Feed - The problem with this feed is the lack of a "start end" and "end date" tag for each item. Unless every coupon feed item never ends, you really need to include these 2 additional fields in the feed.

    So.......

    What are the solutions????

    I'm setting up two pretty cool niche coupon sites....

    Educate me bro....

    Jimmy McDonald - Your Local Hard Working RemodelingGuy ( & SprinklerGuy - & GarageGuy )
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  3. #3
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    As an affiliate....the solution is to not use their RSS coupon feed.

    If you use the flat file coupon feed, count the number of commas "," on the line before you parse it. If there are more than 7 commas, ignore that line and move to the next line.

    The obvious solutions to me is that PJ should fix these flaws.

  4. #4
    Half a Bubble Off Plumb RemodelingGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeymourButts
    As an affiliate....the solution is to not use their RSS coupon feed.

    If you use the flat file coupon feed, count the number of commas "," on the line before you parse it. If there are more than 7 commas, ignore that line and move to the next line.

    The obvious solutions to me is that PJ should fix these flaws.
    Parlais Vous Francais???

    Commas??

    Parse?

    I'm a dumb ass...

    Everyone thinks that because I have been doing this for 13 years now, that I'm must be a code genius..

    I'm not...

    I've been keeping up with this PJ stuff and am not impressed at all with them..

    What platforms are the best?

    Jimmy McDonald - Your Local Hard Working RemodelingGuy ( & SprinklerGuy - & GarageGuy )
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  5. #5
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Code:
    if(substr_count($eachLine, ',') ==  7) { //parse line to get each field }

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager ParadigmWilliam's Avatar
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    Why not just fix the RSS feed and add the start date and end date? Also are you referring to a coupon feed service or feeds from the merchants? If from the merchants it will be harder as opposed from a coupon feed service where are the feeds are the same format.

    RemodelingGuy would you share your coupon sites? I would like to check them out.

  7. #7
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParadigmWilliam
    Why not just fix the RSS feed and add the start date and end date?
    Umm yah, I think that's what I suggested in the original post.


    I am talking about the coupon feed through the PepperJam network.

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager ParadigmWilliam's Avatar
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    Yea, I ended up creating a script that would convert their feeds into something I could use. PJ really needs to clean up their coupon feed.

    Dirty feed in - Clean feed out

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager bcwaller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RemodelingGuy
    Parlais Vous Francais???

    Commas??

    Parse?
    Think Excel. You can take a file in Excel, and save as a CSV file. What is CSV? Comma Separated Values. If your simple Excel file looked like:

    1 Apples $5.99
    2 Oranges $3.99

    the CSV would be:

    1,Apples,$5.99
    2,Oranges,$3.99

    Sounds like PJ just made a simple CSV export, but forgot about commas in the descriptions, which make it look like there is another phantom column, but there is not. The "pipe" is the vertical bar in the top row above the \. Excel will put quotes around cells with commas, but the easiest and best solution is to use the pipe.
    Brad Waller | VP, Business and Affiliate Development
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  10. #10
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I've seen pipes in descriptions, merchant names, and other fields, but it is much less common than commas.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
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  11. #11
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    The other solution would be to have all the data inside each field encapsulated in quote marks, which I believe would then make the use of commas as the delimiter, easier to use?

    So you get

    "merchant","product name","etc etc etc"

    Of course that has its' own issues if measurements get added within a field.

    I think the | (pipe) delimiter method is by far the cleanest.
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  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    I've seen pipes in descriptions, merchant names, and other fields, but it is much less common than commas.
    For this reason tabs are a better bet. Any tool that can handle pipes can handle tabs as well; there may even be more.
    Richard Gaskin
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  13. #13
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Whatever the format, you have to decide how to handle it if there's a delimiter within the data fields.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
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  14. #14
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    We are currently discussing ways to improve our coupon feed...the feedback here is much appreciated. Your feedback, along with others' input we have received, will certainly help us improve our technology.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maura - Pepperjam View Post
    We are currently discussing ways to improve our coupon feed...the feedback here is much appreciated. Your feedback, along with others' input we have received, will certainly help us improve our technology.
    Yeah well how about adding an expiry date to the RSS feeds DUH! it's been 6 months since you replied and you have done absolutely nothing about it. ACTION speaks louder than words. I have starting using the RSS feeds which are quite good besides there been a whole bunch of expired links going back months for some merchants. This is exactly the same problem Linkshare had. I was hoping that the merchants from linkshare were moving to PJ because you had better management of your program. From looking at the RSS feeds it seems you are the same!
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  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador Georgie Peri's Avatar
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    Unhappy
    Still seeing alot of "expired offers" showing up with the Coupon Feed!

    I hope they can assign someone to review all the coupon feeds on a daily / weekly basis so they can fix these minor issues that keep showing up!
    OpA! Giasou Ti kanies!

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    Maybe contacting the merchants might be more effective? They probably think that those things are being managed.

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