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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    I've heard all the talk going on about datafeeds - loading up thousands of pages in the wink of an eye, pulling the data right from the merchant. Well, for those of who have no idea how this is done, could someone give us just the basics of what knowledge, software, etc., that is needed to do datafeeds. You know, what do wee need to know or learn to even try this.

    Thanks!

    Ron - 7 Days A Week Marketing

    Every day is a chance to learn something new and a opportunity to teach someone else.

  2. #2
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    I currently use a dell biz datafeed for my dell store.

    http://www.bigvaluezone.com/dell_store/index.php

    I use php and mysql to load dell's information.
    if you need a primer on either try the following urls

    php:
    www.php.net
    www.phpbuilder.com

    mysql
    www.mysql.com

    As for a process

    I use a load script to pull the feed from dell, and load it into a staging database, by using a LOAD DATA query. I then parse the data from dell, and convert it into a useable format. I then load it into my dell database, where I then have the procust category, pricing, availability, product names, product specs and skus.

    Well thats the 50k foot high over view, anyone use other mwthod?

    Oh one last thing this is on a Linux server running apache

    partners@bigvaluezone.com
    ------------------------------
    Let us show you where the best online deals are!
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    http://www.bigvaluezone.com

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador cusimano's Avatar
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    Most datafeeds are just data. You need some software to process that data to create HTML webpages (or processes that data on-the-fly and dynamically generates the webpages).

    We have software that works with these merchants:

    - amazon.com (XML)
    - allposters.com
    - gocollect.com
    - photorazzi.com

    See details about our software at www.c3scripts.com

    Yours truly,
    Cusimano.Com Corporation
    per: David Cusimano

  4. #4
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    If you are looking for a little taste of the power that a datafeed enabled site can provide I highly recommend David's scripts. I'm currently using three (amazon.pl XML, allposters.pl, and photorazzi.pl) with plans to purchase and implement gocollect.pl soon.

    I've spent months of pain staking labor to hand build a few hundred pages...but I built thousands in minutes with David's scripts. I'm not myself a programmer by nature so I am grateful that there are a few individuals stepping forward with some apps/scripts to help the rest of us out.

    Also I've spent quite a bit of time looking but as of yot haven't found any additional scripts (of any quality) that perform in a similar fashion (converting a datafeed to HTML). And several merchants that I have approached concerning datafeed files have mostly said 'we're looking into it'.

    BTW - there is a danger...you may never want to build links by hand again after using a datafeed [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

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  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador CrazyGuy's Avatar
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    7-Days

    I think there are probably 3 broad directions to go in:

    1) Load the DF into a database and create a front end that presents that material.

    2) Generate a static site/structure from the DF.

    3) A combo - static pages as spider food with a search engine backing it up.

    For 1), PHP as scripting language and MySQL as the database are almost inevitable and commonly available on web hosting accounts. Which is why the relevant Dummies guide is my current bedtime reading.

    For 2), (which is what I'm doing now) it's hard to better Perl for handling the flat files the DFs are supplied in.

    In both cases, there are some mandatory basics required, but the devil - as always - is in the detail, especially creating a solution that caters for the vagaries of the DF. And hard decisions to make about how detailed you make your solution when you're not in control of the data. You could create a system that does all kinds of specific things dependent on which category is being viewed, only to find that the category names change next week. So building in safeguards and fall-backs is something to consider.

    I'd recommend getting one of the cusimano scripts as a first step - you won't be able to see what the script code is doing exactly, but managing the variables, ini files, templates etc will show some of the stuff you have to be thinking about.

    Are you Crazy?

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the advice. I can't wait to try this.

    Ron - 7 Days A Week Marketing

    Every day is a chance to learn something new and a opportunity to teach someone else.

  7. #7
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    Since it is obvious that the interest in datafeeds is there it would seem to me that those that stand to benefit the most (the merchants) would step up with some sample datafeed files (small sample dozen with a dozen or so entries) and some simple sample scripts (especially PERL) for handling the data.

    I love the work that David does since it generates static HTML pages (read - spider bait) but he's just one man of affiliate opportunities.

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  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador cditty's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Stanley Holtsclaw:
    Since it is obvious that the interest in datafeeds is there it would seem to me that those that stand to benefit the most (the merchants) would step up with some sample datafeed files (small sample dozen with a dozen or so entries) and some simple sample scripts (especially PERL) for handling the data.

    I love the work that David does since it generates static HTML pages (read - spider bait) but he's just one man of affiliate opportunities.

    http://www.collectablecrazy.com {} http://www.collectiblecrazy.com {} http://www.etmac.com {}
    http://www.exchangereview.com {} http://www.seek360.com&lt;HR&gt;&lt;/BLOCKQUOTE&gt;

    That is a pretty good idea, but I don't think the merchants will release that info. They would probably be afraid that a competitor might learn something. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] I don't know about the perl script. I would think that the merchants would open themselves up for all kinds of issues(both support and liability).

    On the plus side, I am working on creating some php scripts that will download, import, and create pages on the fly. I have 2 datafeed sites done and live and am working on 2 more. I hope to have the scripts availble for sale soon.

    Chris

  9. #9
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    @Chris,

    With those 2 sites you have scripted, how are they doing?

    IamJaloppy

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador cditty's Avatar
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    It all really depends on your SE optimization and meta tags, but 1 site is doing ok for me. Esp since I haven't had to touch it in about 2 weeks. Everything is automated. I avg about 200ish hits/day on it and that is with no SE optimizing.

    The other site is so new, ie... last week, I can't really say yet. But, like I said, both sites are automated and require almost no work on my part.

    Chris

    ----------------------------
    Scriptsforyoursite.com
    Datafeed scripts and more.....
    Coming soon

  11. #11
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    How many Unique visitors are on those sites?

    IamJaloppy

  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager
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    Here are a couple programs I found that will create flat files from databases. Flat files recreated about once a week is what we have seen the best results with.

    http://www.cnctek.com/bizdb-html/introduction.html (Perl, haven't used it)

    http://www.cgiscript.net/cgi-script/...=viewone&id=13 (cgi, have not used it)

    http://www.flattext.com/ (have not used)

    http://fourthworld.com/products/webmerge/index.html (I have used this one- great support- he answered my questions at 11 PM I like this product, It's not incredably flexable- but is well worth the money for many sites)

    Jessica Hutson
    Manager of Affiliate Relations/Development
    Interactive Affiliate Network
    http://affiliate.travelnow.com/affiliates/home.jsp

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador cditty's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by IamJaloppy:
    How many Unique visitors are on those sites?

    IamJaloppy<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I hate to put you off on this question, but that all falls down to how well you have your SE optimization done and your metatags. That doesn't have anything to do with the datafeed importing of the sites.

    Chris

    ----------------------------
    Scriptsforyoursite.com
    Datafeed scripts and more.....
    Coming soon

  14. #14
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    Jessica -
    Thanks for the links...I'm downloading WebMerge (Trail)...at least it gives me a starting point!

    Chris - I'm looking forward to see what you've developed!

    Nice to see some constructive feedback...I've been to other forums where when you ask questions either they are ignored or you get treated like your an idiot 'cause you don't 'know'PHP, PERL, or whatever...

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  15. #15
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    Stanley- let us know how it goes. I played more with WebMerge last night- I like his work...

    Jessica Hutson
    Manager of Affiliate Relations/Development
    Interactive Affiliate Network
    http://affiliate.travelnow.com/affiliates/home.jsp

  16. #16
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by cditty:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by IamJaloppy:
    How many Unique visitors are on those sites?

    IamJaloppy<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I hate to put you off on this question, but that all falls down to how well you have your SE optimization done and your metatags. That doesn't have anything to do with the datafeed importing of the sites.

    Chris

    ----------------------------
    Scriptsforyoursite.com
    Datafeed scripts and more.....
    Coming soon<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I asked that question, for if you are going to sell this DB extraction tool, you should have some weight to back it up. What I was trying to get at, is how well your process works and creates html pages in relation to SEO and pagerank. If you have a site, that you developed with an automated Datafeed, that has a high SE ranking, and high CTR and purchase ratio, you have something to sell. If you have all that, but no traffic, are you going to sell it? Maybe, but you could charge more if you have a site to point people to, and it is quite popular/successful.

    I am only trying to help you out.

    IamJaloppy

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador cditty's Avatar
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    I am afraid I don't understand where you are going with this. I just mentioned that I have written something and that I hope to have it released soon. SE ranking and CTR do not have anything to do with datafeeds or dynamically generated sites. If my SE ranking methods stink, it doesn't matter if I am using datafeeds or coding by hand. The only thing that matters is that the scripts work and are dependable.

    Chris

    ----------------------------
    Scriptsforyoursite.com
    Datafeed scripts and more.....
    Coming soon

  18. #18
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    Don't assume using a datafeed will allow you to spew out 10,000 search engine friendly pages in a heartbeat.

    Just as using datafeeds requires you to step up a couple rungs on the web page development ladder, it requires a couple steps up the search engine optimization ladder.

    Try plopping 10,000 pages on the web and see if the search engines will even index them, let alone give them any meaningful rank.

    Anyway, datafeeds are the way things are heading, so get with the program or find some really obscure nitch to hunker down in.

  19. #19
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Jessica - IAN:
    Stanley- let us know how it goes. I played more with WebMerge last night- I like his work...
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I've 'played' around with WebMerge some now myself after an exhaustive search for any scripts that work like David's (I really like the static HTML that David's scripts produce) but allow you to use your own data. The main problem I'm having with WM is I can't figure out a way to have multiple tiers ( IE: INDEX -&gt; SUBCAT1 -&gt; SUBCAT2 -&gt; PRODUCT ). Unless I'm missing something WM is more for a simple two tier setup ( INDEX -&gt; PRODUCT )

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  20. #20
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    SE ranking and CTR do not have anything to do with datafeeds or dynamically generated sites.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    There are exceptions. For example, Miva Merchant and some other shopping carts generate page content dynamically, but the URLs they require are generally too long to be followed by indexbots. A good many of our WebMerge customers are using the product specifiically to get around that limitation, and have reported significantly improved SE rankings.

    --
    Richard Gaskin
    Fourth World Media Corporation
    Developer of WebMerge 2.2: Publish any database on any site
    ___________________________________________________________
    Ambassador@FourthWorld.com http://www.FourthWorld.com
    Tel: 323-225-3717 AIM: FourthWorldInc

  21. #21
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Stanley Holtsclaw:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Jessica - IAN:
    Stanley- let us know how it goes. I played more with WebMerge last night- I like his work...
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I've 'played' around with WebMerge some now myself after an exhaustive search for any scripts that work like David's (I really like the static HTML that David's scripts produce) but allow you to use your own data. The main problem I'm having with WM is I can't figure out a way to have multiple tiers ( IE: INDEX -&gt; SUBCAT1 -&gt; SUBCAT2 -&gt; PRODUCT ). Unless I'm missing something WM is more for a simple two tier setup ( INDEX -&gt; PRODUCT )
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    As a tool that generates pages from tablar data, WebMerge is indeed well optimized to work with the INDEX-&gt;DETAIL model as you noted.

    But you could set up a different WebMerge settings file for each level of your hierarchy, effectively expanding the model for multiple levels.

    And with WebMerge 2.0 or later you can run multiple settings files as a batch, so you should be able to set thing up to generate with one click.

    I try to get to this forum as often as I can, but if you have questions about how to solve a particular problem in WebMerge you'll get faster results by just dropping me an email.

    --
    Richard Gaskin
    Fourth World Media Corporation
    Developer of WebMerge 2.2: Publish any database on any site
    ___________________________________________________________
    Ambassador@FourthWorld.com http://www.FourthWorld.com
    Tel: 323-225-3717 AIM: FourthWorldInc

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