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  1. #1
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    This is a great product, but I don't think I can use it at my present site (but still plan to create niche sites with it as soon as I master it!)

    My current index pages have:

    Thumbnail (OK with Webmerge)

    Product Title: OK

    Product Number: OK

    Suggested Retail Price: (Not on all datafeeds. Would I manually have to add this to 10,000 products?)

    Sale Price: OK

    Save 25%: (Again, manually insert for all products?)

    I can't really change the above format because in one of those zillions of marketing newsletters I get, one gave me a rule that I use - and it works:

    "Give the customer a REASON to buy"

    So we've always used:

    Retail Price
    (What the rest of the world pays)

    Sale Price
    (You're special! You only have to pay this amount)

    Save xx%
    (Quick math shows you save a whopping xx%!! That's how much we value your business!!)

    You can view my site at

    http://mailordershoppe.com/index_personal.htm

  2. #2
    Affiliate Miester my2cents's Avatar
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    I disagree... Webmerge is for anyone how wants to use it...

    once you learn how to creat pages with it..

    Joe

    And, that's the bottom line because it's my2cents!

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    WebMerge is a good program, but the documentation that comes with it leaves a lot to be desired. I just had to start playing with it until I could determine what was happening when I made changes.

    You do get to a point where it sort of "clicks" but it can take some time and effort to arrive at that point.

    Andy

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  4. #4
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Andy:
    WebMerge is a good program, but the documentation that comes with it leaves a lot to be desired.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I've had a few negative comments on the docs, but to date my requests for specifics remain unanswered.

    The documentation is being revised now, so this is a good time to send your specific suggestions of what you'd like to see to webmerge@fourthworld.com

    --
    Richard Gaskin
    Fourth World Media Corporation
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any database on any site
    ___________________________________________________________
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    Tel: 323-225-3717 AIM: FourthWorldInc

  5. #5
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    I'm not familiar with WebMerge, but in all scripting languages and in many template-based development systems, you can usually use conditional "If" statements within your templates.

    This would allow you to only include the fields if they are available.

    If you are not familiar with conditional statements, the following explains the basics:

    http://www.webcom.com/help/form_proc...se_endif.shtml

    Hope that helps a bit!

  6. #6
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    Actually, I just checked the WenMerge docs online, and they do support if statements:

    http://www.fourthworld.com/products/...gs/cTagIf.html

  7. #7
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    I don't know much of anything about Webmerge but I do know that NO program is for everyone.

    Even without seeing Webmerge, I can say it's not for everyone.

    Wayne

    [This message was edited by NorthernStudio on February 22, 2004 at 06:47 PM.]

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    Quite honestly, I am not sure about all of the things Billy Kay said in his initial post. Not because I doubt them, but that I don't understand what he is asking/saying. This may be partially due to the fact he doesn't understand datafeeds completely. We want to fix that.

    Many folks out there get frustrated with WebMerge. In some ways it is unavoidable. Once you learn how to use it though, you will find the results far more customizable than you think. The results can be quite "affiliate friendly" too. Please don't blame the program, it's the whole datafeed concept that many need to understand before the tool can really be meaningful.

    I am helping Richard develop help files that will contain both examples geared for affiliates, and a small primer on datafeeds which should help. Please follow Richard's request concerning suggestions for the program.

    Fred

    Are you sure the nurses know you're using the computer?

  9. #9
    http and a telephoto
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    If you want to know what is missing from the documentation, just read the questions in this forum....

    I realize WebMerge is not just for creating datafeed driven affiliate sites, but some real life examples with real datafeeds, and real settings files and real template examples would go a long long way. Use a program that is two-tier as a sample and have people sign up through a WebMerge link if you need a financial incentive

    People learn in different ways, and walk throughs help pretty much everybody. I still don't get it and I have some example template files, because it isn't just the template files you need, it is help with the settings files and the build order. Index pages are not working the way I would like them too, detail pages are a cinch.

    Some of the examples in the Lessons I Learned thread are helpful, but I still "hit the wall". Because of other issues, I haven't been able to sit down and spend a solid block of time to really try and grasp this, but I have built 4 sites with other scripts that are getting spider hits and earning money.

    I bought the progam, I *will* learn it, because I have use for more than just affiliate data feeds for it, but it is not earning me back it's cost yet....

    I am glad documentation is being worked on, but the comment that we aren't telling you specifically what we want to see kinda ticked me off....

    Deborah Carney
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    Submit your sites, if you fit the criteria
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  10. #10
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by loxly:
    If you want to know what is missing from the documentation, just read the questions in this forum....

    I realize WebMerge is not just for creating datafeed driven affiliate sites, but some real life examples with real datafeeds, and real settings files and real template examples would go a long long way. Use a program that is two-tier as a sample and have people sign up through a WebMerge link if you need a financial incentive <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    That's the only specific documentation request made, and an example set fitting those specs is being developed.

    So when that example's released the docs will be perfect?

    --
    Richard Gaskin
    Fourth World Media Corporation
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any database on any site
    ___________________________________________________________
    Ambassador@FourthWorld.com http://www.FourthWorld.com
    Tel: 323-225-3717 AIM: FourthWorldInc

  11. #11
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Wow! Posting a question here is way cool!!

    Anyway, the datafeed from from this merchant doesn't have a "Suggested Retail Price" AND the "Current Special Price" - it just has the current price.

    Which means I would have to manually add 10,000 "Suggested Retail Prices" (not gonna' happen!!)

    So I can't use it for The Mail Order Shoppe. But I have other sites.

    Many, many, many (etc) thanks!
    Billy

  12. #12
    http and a telephoto
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> So when that example's released the docs will be perfect?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Probably not, but I am not a documentation writer There are lots of recurring questions in the forums, that is where I would look to see what is needed in the documentation.

    When I worked for customer service that is how we identified problem areas and created information to address those areas. The term "FAQ" comes from real life questions and answers

    That is just a suggestion of course, take it for what it is worth.

    Deborah Carney
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    http://coolcraftsites.com/directory
    http://coolpetsites.com/petlinks

  13. #13
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    I would to see some basic temp;ates. One showing index page, the next page, etc. They could be totally blank except for the linking so people aren't making identicle pages.

    Mr.Merchant, if you do business in any way what-so-ever with parasites, your products will not be sold on my sites!!
    Affiliates, before you use CJ merchants, Read This! Comments are to be interpreted as opinion unless otherwise noted.

  14. #14
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    Billy;

    The quality of datafeeds varies greatly (as you are finding out). I have worked with more than 100 and find that most feeds only include ONE field for "PRCE".

    You will be really limiting yourself as to the number of useable datafeeds if you only work with datafeeds that include. But that's OK, that will leave something for the rest of us to work with.

    Have a Creative Day!
    FRANK, Baertracks
    Be More Creative

  15. #15
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Two changes:

    The Tutorial DOES get you from point A to point B - but never tells you WHY you did this or WHY you did that. I live in Vegas, and the best comparison is when I see someone telling a novice to "Hold the Kings and get rid of the Ace" (never telling them why)

    What I'm saying is after the tutorial I can clone a site ONLY if it's another diary with the same exact data.

    and 2...

    When I clicked the help button for more in-depth explanations... in this case, how to add a thumbnail graphic on the index page. Here's what the help section says:

    Data Insertion Tags
    WM-ImagePath
    Syntax: [WM-ImagePath: fieldName]
    Example: [WM-ImagePath: ImageFile]
    Description: WebMerge will build an &lt;img&gt; tag, using the data in the database field as its source, like this:

    &lt;img src="images/mypicture.jpg"&gt;

    When this didn't work - and I tried for hours - I posted a question online. And found out it was missing some extrememly important stuff.

    While the help section said all I needed was

    [WM-ImagePath: ImageFile]

    what I REALLY needed was

    &lt;img src="[WM-Field: Thumbnail]" width="80" height="80" border="0" alt="[WM-Field: ProductName]"&gt;

    (That was an awful lot of extra stuff I would have never guessed at on my own)

  16. #16
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Billy Kay:
    Two changes:

    The Tutorial DOES get you from point A to point B - but never tells you WHY you did this or WHY you did that. I live in Vegas, and the best comparison is when I see someone telling a novice to "Hold the Kings and get rid of the Ace" (never telling them why)

    What I'm saying is after the tutorial I can clone a site ONLY if it's another diary with the same exact data.

    and 2...

    When I clicked the help button for more in-depth explanations... in this case, how to add a thumbnail graphic on the index page. Here's what the help section says:

    Data Insertion Tags
    WM-ImagePath
    Syntax: [WM-ImagePath: fieldName]
    Example: [WM-ImagePath: ImageFile]
    Description: WebMerge will build an &lt;img&gt; tag, using the data in the database field as its source, like this:

    [img]images/mypicture.jpg[/img]

    When this didn't work - and I tried for hours - I posted a question online. And found out it was missing some extrememly important stuff.

    While the help section said all I needed was

    [WM-ImagePath: ImageFile]

    what I REALLY needed was

    &lt;img src="[WM-Field: Thumbnail]" width="80" height="80" border="0" alt="[WM-Field: ProductName]"&gt;

    (That was an awful lot of extra stuff I would have never guessed at on my own)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yes, that is a frequently-asked question, so last year I added it to the FAQ.

    --
    Richard Gaskin
    Fourth World Media Corporation
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any database on any site
    ___________________________________________________________
    Ambassador@FourthWorld.com http://www.FourthWorld.com
    Tel: 323-225-3717 AIM: FourthWorldInc

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    I think the things that gave me the most trouble were the [WM-Field: ----] commands. I couldn't quite figure out where they fit in exactly, and exactly how to format images, etc.

    SSanfs suggestion about more basic templates is a good one. Offer several types for index pages, product pages, etc., so that people could customize them to match their site.

    I think WebMerge is a good product, there's just a really big learning curve unless you're already somewhat familiar with databases, and I think the instructions need to be written more for the person who knows NOTHING about databases, instead of those who are more accomplished.

    Andy

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  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    "I think WebMerge is a good product, there's just a really big learning curve unless you're already somewhat familiar with databases, and I think the instructions need to be written more for the person who knows NOTHING about databases, instead of those who are more accomplished."

    Sounds like a winner to me !

    Fred

    Are you sure the nurses know you're using the computer?

  19. #19
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Andy:
    I think WebMerge is a good product, there's just a really big learning curve unless you're already somewhat familiar with databases, and I think the instructions need to be written more for the person who knows NOTHING about databases, instead of those who are more accomplished.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I agree that's a desirable ideal, but if a person isn't familiar with working with datafeeds -- with or without WebMerge -- there's only so much education I can squeeze into a tutorial. You'd be surprised how many tech support requests I get involve explaining even basic HTML.

    90% of support questions are covered in the docs, with 50% alone being folks using the WM-Field tag without reading it's description. When I get one of the I quote the relevant portion of the docs, and the reponse I get is always favorable, like as light came on, so I feel pretty good about the content of most of the documentation, if only I could find a way to encourage folks to read at least the relevant portions of it.

    As I've mentioned, a new example set is in development for affiliates working with datafeeds, so the most commonly-requested documentation enhancement is already on the way.

    While reviewers and most customers find the product easy to learn and use (MacWorld called it "remarkably easy to use") I'm still interested in refining it further. With your specific suggestions we can make each release even easier to get going with than the last.

    --
    Richard Gaskin
    Fourth World Media Corporation
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any database on any site
    ___________________________________________________________
    Ambassador@FourthWorld.com http://www.FourthWorld.com
    Tel: 323-225-3717 AIM: FourthWorldInc

  20. #20
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    To Richard Gaskin:

    1. Can't believe the overwhelming response to my original question! Your product has tapped a nerve! (Excellent product - learning curve needs to be faster)

    2. What a cool guy! I can't picture Bill Gates coming into the forum and asking "Any of you ABWers have any comments about my Windows Operating System?

    3. A little unrelated, but... I had contacted an Affiliate Manager to say "Hey! Linkshare mailed this check 3 months ago/still not here/can you help"?

    He replied that he has a couple of niche sites himself and he knows how frustrating lost ckecks can be. He'll contact Linkshare.

    In case no one read that right: an affilaite manager is also his own affiliate!!

    I mention this because every 3rd merchant email I receive says "Datafeeds Now Available"!

    You may want to contact them and say "as long as your sending out a million emails stating you now have datafeeds, can you mention WebMerge?" (make the AM's your affiliates!)

    Thanks again everyone,
    Billy

  21. #21
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    I'm new to WebMerge. While I like the potential, I'm finding it difficult to get WM to do what I want it to.

    To help me learn to use the software, I would like to see more templates and examples. Step-by-step walk-thrus of all functions. Perhaps a collection of common scripts.

  22. #22
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by blackgrape:
    I'm new to WebMerge. While I like the potential, I'm finding it difficult to get WM to do what I want it to.

    To help me learn to use the software, I would like to see more templates and examples. Step-by-step walk-thrus of all functions. Perhaps a collection of common scripts.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    New tutorials are in the works. In the meantime let's see what we can do to get you started. First, read the "Getting Started" section of the Help files, and review the simple example examples provided to show how the tags work together.

    After that jump in here with any specific questions you have and myself or one of the smart folks here will help you out.

    --
    Richard Gaskin
    Fourth World Media Corporation
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any database on any site
    ___________________________________________________________
    Ambassador@FourthWorld.com http://www.FourthWorld.com
    Tel: 323-225-3717 AIM: FourthWorldInc

  23. #23
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Billy Kay:
    To Richard Gaskin:

    1. Can't believe the overwhelming response to my original question! Your product has tapped a nerve! (Excellent product - learning curve needs to be faster)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Agreed. Decreasing the learning curve is the challenge for all software designers, and one I take seriously.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    2. What a cool guy! I can't picture Bill Gates coming into the forum and asking "Any of you ABWers have any comments about my Windows Operating System?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    As much as we're all concerned about Microsoft having been convicted of sweeping antitrust violations by more than two dozen governments worlwide and Gates still hasn't apologized, their work on user feeedback isn't bad considering how large an installed base they have.

    I also develop a package for qualitative analysis used by researchers doing domographic studies, and we have two licenses at Microsoft. Only serious folks earnest about understanding customers do research at that level.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    3. A little unrelated, but... I had contacted an Affiliate Manager to say "Hey! Linkshare mailed this check 3 months ago/still not here/can you help"?

    He replied that he has a couple of niche sites himself and he knows how frustrating lost ckecks can be. He'll contact Linkshare.

    In case no one read that right: an affilaite manager is also his own affiliate!!

    I mention this because every 3rd merchant email I receive says "Datafeeds Now Available"!

    You may want to contact them and say "as long as your sending out a million emails stating you now have datafeeds, can you mention WebMerge?" (make the AM's your affiliates!)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Indeed we have. A number of affiliate managers have jumped on board, and we sign up a new one each month. It's a great win-win for everyone.

    --
    Richard Gaskin
    Fourth World Media Corporation
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any database on any site
    ___________________________________________________________
    Ambassador@FourthWorld.com http://www.FourthWorld.com
    Tel: 323-225-3717 AIM: FourthWorldInc

  24. #24
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>After that jump in here with any specific questions you have and myself or one of the smart folks here will help you out.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I hope so.

    I somehow managed to get WM to generate an index page, using my own template. This index page then linked to five generated details pages, using my second template.

    Great. Feeling very clever.

    I made a change to the source.txt (can't remember what I did, added a few words probably) and now I can't replicate the success I had yesterday. The source file doesn't produce a list of links, just one link - the top product, but not the other four.

    OK - so there is something wrong with the source file. I've tried to recreate it, but can't. I've used Notepad, Access, Excel. I've saved in just about every format. No joy. The data column just shows the top entry, not the list of five entries. Sometimes it will show all five entries, but the index page will only create one link (the first product in the list) when I generate.

    The source file I'm creating is pretty simple. It says "product" at the top, then lists a new product on each line.

    ???

  25. #25
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by blackgrape:
    I somehow managed to get WM to generate an index page, using my own template. This index page then linked to five generated details pages, using my second template.

    Great. Feeling very clever.

    I made a change to the source.txt (can't remember what I did, added a few words probably) and now I can't replicate the success I had yesterday. The source file doesn't produce a list of links, just one link - the top product, but not the other four.

    OK - so there is something wrong with the source file. I've tried to recreate it, but can't. I've used Notepad, Access, Excel. I've saved in just about every format. No joy. The data column just shows the top entry, not the list of five entries. Sometimes it will show all five entries, but the index page will only create one link (the first product in the list) when I generate.

    The source file I'm creating is pretty simple. It says "product" at the top, then lists a new product on each line. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If it worked before the file was edited, the key is to identify what changes took place in the source file. I'll be able to help once I understand what changed between the time it was working and after your editing caused it to stop working.

    --
    Richard Gaskin
    Fourth World Media Corporation
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any database on any site
    ___________________________________________________________
    Ambassador@FourthWorld.com http://www.FourthWorld.com
    Tel: 323-225-3717 AIM: FourthWorldInc

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