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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    Recommended Software for Datafeeds
    I am considering buying SMG. Any advice or recommendations?

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Well I actually recommend creating your own "TOOLS" for using datafeeds..

    But if your looking for a good program that is available and has GREAT SUPPORT..
    Try WebMerge... Especially if your just getting started.. It's easy to use and like I said they have good support HERE ON THIS BOARD.....

    Try this forum and talk to Richard:
    http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=194

    It's really nice to ask the guy actually working on the program about your results and get speedy answers and feedback..

  3. #3
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    Any comment on SMG vs WebMerge?

  4. #4
    Newbie
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    Well, I'm curious what SMG stands for...

    Spray Masking Gel?

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by Succeed
    Any comment on SMG vs WebMerge?
    I'd be happy to see what I could contribute if I knew what "SMG" was. Got a url?
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  6. #6
    Full Member markschok's Avatar
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  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Found this:

    http://www.market-soft.com/smg/

    In just seconds, you can instantly create thousands
    of high-content sales pages from affiliate program
    data feeds that search engines love to index...and
    build yourself auto-pilot income streams!

    I find it funny that they say "search engines love to index" because that's absolutely false. Search engines are doing everything in their power to stop indexing sites like this. Anyway, their marketing language is aimed at somebody who knows nothing about affiliate marketing and the implementations I saw look horrible. This in no way creates pages that are useful or helpful to the average shopper.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
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    Oh my! It's one of those mile long pages with the yellow highlighting that always look like a sham to me. Do people actually buy from pages like this? These style pages always make me hit the back button. I don't know, maybe I should promote my affiliate products like this and see if it works. Do people actually read all the stuff on these pages? Tell me, I want to know.

  9. #9
    Ms Dumb Ass ... but, *NOT* Today! westgroup's Avatar
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    I have been using SMG for my datafeed sites. It takes less then 30 seconds to generate several thousand pages & upload them to the server.

    SMG is installed on your server so it does the work, not your computer

    The only time it takes, is deciding which company you want to earn money with. I am satisified with SMG and my customers don't seem to mind it either.

    I would also like to try a demo of Webmerge sometime to see what the differances are.

  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by westgroup
    I would also like to try a demo of Webmerge sometime to see what the differances are.
    Taking a brief look at their site, it seems the main difference is that SMG works on the server while WebMerge works locally. That difference will go away with the release of WebMerge Server Edition, in development now.

    I haven't worked with SMG in-depth, and would appreciate any other useful comparisons you find. Our server product will cost far less, and it would be nice to deliver more features as well.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager
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    I have used both programs and they both have good benefits.

    Main difference: SMG works server side and WebMerge works client side.

    If you are building sites with thousands of pages that get updated often it can be kind of a pain FTPing that many pages regularly. This is where I like SMG. Just upload a new datafeed and hit go and the site is rebuilt in a few seconds.

    SMG is also a good start for beginners. They have some premade wizards and templates that make building a site very easy. If you actually want to make money with your sites you will need to move beyond these templates and wizards though. More than anything they just give you an overview of the program. I have created quite a few successful sites by utilizing my own templates and customizing everything.

    WebMerge is in many ways a bit more "polished" and more professional looking. It is also a bit cheaper. I have built many sites using WebMerge and I have never really had any problems with it.

    The biggest reason I liked SMG over WebMerge is I almost always have something wrong with a site the first time I build it. Either I forget to put a tag in, have an extra space in a link, or some small stupid thing like that. When I was building a big 30K page site with WebMerge I would build the site, FTP the pages, and then see the error. I would then have to go rebuild the site and FTP again and then find another error. This isn't due to WebMerge, just my own stupidity and oversight. With SMG I could just upload the new template and rebuild the site very quickly.

    Both programs are good. It just depends on what you are looking for.

  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by drcool
    I have used both programs and they both have good benefits.

    Main difference: SMG works server side and WebMerge works client side.

    If you are building sites with thousands of pages that get updated often it can be kind of a pain FTPing that many pages regularly.
    The incremental update feature being developed for WebMerge v3.0 will take care of that: it'll keep track of which records have changed, and generate replacements only for new ones.

    In the meantime, since everything can be automated using WebMerge is a hands-off affair -- the FTP may take a while for larger feeds but it's the machine that's doing the work, while you kick back and enjoy a beer.

    And of course with WebMerge Server Edition there will be no need for FTP at all. It'll be priced a bit more than the desktop version, but far less than SMG.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by FourthWorld
    the FTP may take a while for larger feeds but it's the machine that's doing the work, while you kick back and enjoy a beer.
    Yeah, the machine does the work but I still have to wait for an hour or so to see what I screwed up. Quality control and attention to detail have never been a strong point of mine and usually I find the errors once the site is live.

    For smaller sites it isn't a problem becuase it takes maybe 5 minutes to FTP but when I get into 30K sites it can be a bit frustrating.

    I am looking forward to seeing the server side version. It should be a great program.

  14. #14
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by drcool
    Yeah, the machine does the work but I still have to wait for an hour or so to see what I screwed up. Quality control and attention to detail have never been a strong point of mine and usually I find the errors once the site is live.
    You don't use the Preview button when it's done generating?

    I added it to help folks check for just those sorts of issues.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  15. #15
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    While the preview button (which I use a lot) does help spot the dead-obvious, page-crashing type of errors, I too have often found things--usually errors in the visible text rather than the coding--after the site went live. Not that the preview didn't function, I just don't always *see* the error until it's uploaded.

    And, of course, there are the times that I'm tired or want to do something else, so I go ahead and hit the Cool button...

    (But NO, before you even ask, I would not want to "have to" run a preview, that'd be worse There *are* some sites where I really am sure that I don't need to preview, for instance if I've been using the same template for ages.)
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  16. #16
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    Upgrade pricing for Server Webmerge
    Richard -

    Server side Webmerge! YIPPPEEE!!!!! When????

    What does the upgrade pricing look like (there is going to upgrade pricing?)?

    Peace,
    White Wolf
    Blessed Be,
    White Wolf

  17. #17
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    While the preview button (which I use a lot) does help spot the dead-obvious, page-crashing type of errors, I too have often found things--usually errors in the visible text rather than the coding--after the site went live. Not that the preview didn't function, I just don't always *see* the error until it's uploaded.

    And, of course, there are the times that I'm tired or want to do something else, so I go ahead and hit the Cool button...
    My thoughts exactly. Like I said, it usually isn't errors with tags or the program itself. It is usually a misspelled word or an extra comma or something like that which I wouldn't catch with a quick preview.

  18. #18
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    WebMerge vs SMG
    Hello,

    brand new here... what a great forum and resource site ! looking forward to learning and growing a lot here. and giving back as I am able.

    back on topic...

    I'm considering which or both of SMG/WebMerge to invest in as well, and one diff I have noted in the available sales info that hasn't been mentioned here yet (so I'm testing this assertion, please clarify if it's wrong):

    SMG seems to be designed to handle up to 15 levels of category/subcat indexes simultaneously. It lets the user specify a different template for each level, and it can gen the entire site in one swell foop.

    WebMerge seems to be designed to handle a category and a detail level. There is a great tutorial that shows how to generate a few variations of multi-level catalog sites by running webmerge once for each level, specifying the appropriate templates for each new run to gen the next level of subcat pages. lather, rinse, repeat until the site is fleshed out.

    I don't have any hands on with either tool, so in practice this may not be an issue during development (building the site and verifying it layer by layer). Updates would seem to go quicker if you could clean and feed the new data in and press the button one time to regen an entire site.

    can anyone speak to webmerge capabilities for multi-level sites ?

    thx,

    -- khipu

  19. #19
    Affiliate Manager
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    I can't speak for SMG, but with WebMerge you can queue any number of settings files to run in one automated batch, so once you're set up it's really just a matter of double-clicking the first settings file.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  20. #20
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    Richard

    Theres a fellow that uses Webmerge, creates datafeeds and somehow converts them into RSS feeds.
    He must use some type of a scraper.
    How hard is it to do this.
    Thanks
    Mick

  21. #21
    Affiliate Manager
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    When I've asked my customers about RSS generation, the reply I get most of the time is that they entries they're looking to deliver aren't drawn from the feeds they work with, but instead they intend to deliver custom hand-written content.

    Add RSS output from feeds would not be too hard to do. On large feeds of course you wouldn't want an entry for each record. How would you envision selecting which records go into the feed?
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  22. #22
    Dream Cruise megatonloh's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I had download the free webmerge to see how it works, but it seems that I could not even get the first step working. I followed the tutorial right to the dot but it cannot produce anything. I had written to webmerge enquiring about the problem but it's more than two weeks and I have yet to hear from them

    I am planning of purchasing webmerge but I need to know how it works as I know next to nothing about data.
    As Richard mentioned "release of WebMerge Server Edition, in development now" I guess I will wait for the server edition which may be easier to handle.
    The pricing of SMG is a little steep for me now.

    So Richard any time indication when the server edition will be coming out?

    Thanks

  23. #23
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    SMG looks good guys, and a nice discussion. I use custom softwares/tools for processing datafeeds, and that to me is the best solution so far.

  24. #24
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by megatonloh
    Hi,

    I had download the free webmerge to see how it works, but it seems that I could not even get the first step working. I followed the tutorial right to the dot but it cannot produce anything. I had written to webmerge enquiring about the problem but it's more than two weeks and I have yet to hear from them
    I'm sorry to hear that, but have you considered that maybe the email didn't arrive? Thanks to spammers some 5% of the world's email never gets to its intended destination.

    I post my toll-free number on my Contact page: 800-288-5825. Feel free to call anytime you don't get a timely reply via email.

    Quote Originally Posted by megatonloh
    I am planning of purchasing webmerge but I need to know how it works as I know next to nothing about data.
    I'd be happy to help. You can post your questions in the WebMerge forum here on ABW:
    http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=194

    Or give me a call anytime.


    Quote Originally Posted by megatonloh
    As Richard mentioned "release of WebMerge Server Edition, in development now" I guess I will wait for the server edition which may be easier to handle.
    The pricing of SMG is a little steep for me now.

    So Richard any time indication when the server edition will be coming out?
    No specific release date quite yet, but registered users of the desktop version will get a _very_ substantial discount on the Server Edition.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  25. #25
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    I agree with AddHandler, create your own tools to work with datafeeds. You will be able to avoid the monotony of the one second glance at your site to realize it's a affiliate datafeed site. You'll be able to add value to it by combining multiple datafeeds or using only portions of datafeeds. Cookie cutter affiliate datafeed sites don't see the return visitors that a site with value does. It takes more time but the earnings and lifespan will be better.

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