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  1. #1
    Roll Tide mobilebadboy's Avatar
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    Random characters in IBS feed
    Taking a good look at quite a few products, I've started noticing the characters ?? inserted randomly in product names and descriptions. I only use the product names, and in the names it's mostly in place of where an apostrophe should be, but that's not the only place. Sometimes they're popping up where spaces would be too.

    Shawn Kerr (.com) | Disney World | SEC Football

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobilebadboy
    Taking a good look at quite a few products, I've started noticing the characters ?? inserted randomly in product names and descriptions. I only use the product names, and in the names it's mostly in place of where an apostrophe should be, but that's not the only place. Sometimes they're popping up where spaces would be too.
    Whoo Hoo! Finally, someone else noticed.

    I've posted about these characters a couple of times in another thread -- and I think in another thread which I started.

    Is anyone willing or able to clean up this feed?

    IBS holds a special place in my heart because, 1) I'm a former preacher/religious journalist who's used their products, and, 2) they were the source of my first two affiliate sales.

    Any help on these odd characters? (The datafeed characters, that is.)

    Gary the Writerguy

  3. #3
    Roll Tide mobilebadboy's Avatar
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    Shawn Kerr (.com) | Disney World | SEC Football

  4. #4
    Classic Rocker Mack's Avatar
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    Maybe this? (not sure....) Version 2.82 of the Affiliate Data Cleaner Tool

    http://amwso.com/affiliate_tools.php

  5. #5
    Outsourced Program Manager Affiliate Eagle's Avatar
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    The IBS staff has been out in Boston and is now in San Jose for Internet Retailer. I will forward this to them so they are aware. They are very good at getting back to us, therefore I hope to have an answer very soon.

    Thanks

    Emilio
    Emilio Yepez
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  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emilio-ARC
    The IBS staff has been out in Boston and is now in San Jose for Internet Retailer. I will forward this to them so they are aware. They are very good at getting back to us, therefore I hope to have an answer very soon.

    Thanks

    Emilio
    Emilio, I think you need a "keep up the good work" shout-out right now. So -- keep up the good work.

    Don't see how you, and Andy, and others even begin to get all this stuff under control. Must be a bit like trying to sweep up the beach??

    But, hey, have a great day and KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!
    Generate more fake news.

  7. #7
    Outsourced Program Manager Affiliate Eagle's Avatar
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    Thanks Writerguy,

    I really try to do my best. I've been in the affiliate marketing business for over a year and Andy has taught me that servicing our affiliates is top priority. Thanks for your patience.

    Emilio
    Emilio Yepez
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  8. #8
    Outsourced Program Manager Affiliate Eagle's Avatar
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    The merchant just got back to me and informed me that he would look at this first thing next week. Thanks again!
    Emilio Yepez
    Affiliate Program Manager
    www.lighthouseinternetmedia.com
    PH: 305 389 8955
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  9. #9
    Roll Tide mobilebadboy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update Emilio.

    Shawn Kerr (.com) | Disney World | SEC Football

  10. #10
    Roll Tide mobilebadboy's Avatar
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    Ok I will have to admit I have not updated the feed on my site since shortly after this post. It took me a while to go through and manually fix this and I was not excited about it nor excited about doing it again.

    I decided to check the latest feed and am happy to announce that the ?? issue has been fixed. I'm also sorry to announce the initial problem has been replaced with ??.

    And again there's no quick fix from the affiliate side because these characters appear in random spots (in place of spaces, in place of apostrophes, etc).

    Which means I'll continue to run a very outdated feed on my site.

    Shawn Kerr (.com) | Disney World | SEC Football

  11. #11
    Outsourced Program Manager Affiliate Eagle's Avatar
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    Let me forward this over to their team, I am so sorry for the issue.
    Emilio Yepez
    Affiliate Program Manager
    www.lighthouseinternetmedia.com
    PH: 305 389 8955
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  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador bettylou's Avatar
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    This is an issue when the character set of the html differs from the character set declared in the database table.

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bettylou
    This is an issue when the character set of the html differs from the character set declared in the database table.
    So, is there someway to code the script which creates the table in MySQL to delete/eliminate or otherwise make the improper character set which might be in the datafeed "disappear"?

    We'd love to hear how, as I know several of us here have been struggling with this issue in the IBS Direct datafeed.

    Thanks for any help you can offer!
    Generate more fake news.

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador bettylou's Avatar
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    To be honest, I haven't worked with this company's feed. I'm downloading a copy of the feed right now. Let me take a look and see if I can figure something out.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador bettylou's Avatar
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    Sorry, I misunderstood. I thought this was occuring AFTER you entered the feed into your database. They will need to switch the character set for the feed.

    The characters randomly appear for spaces, quotes, and apostrophes, but you already know that. You could do regular expressions to convert the characters yourself. Do a preg_replace statement for [a-z]??s to be replaced with 's, etc.

    I don't have ftp access yet from IBS, I signed up so I should be granted access in about a day. I can give it a better try then.

    Sorry I couldn't be of more help right now. I will keep trying.


    Bettylou

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bettylou
    Sorry, I misunderstood. I thought this was occuring AFTER you entered the feed into your database. They will need to switch the character set for the feed.

    The characters randomly appear for spaces, quotes, and apostrophes, but you already know that. You could do regular expressions to convert the characters yourself. Do a preg_replace statement for [a-z]??s to be replaced with 's, etc.

    I don't have ftp access yet from IBS, I signed up so I should be granted access in about a day. I can give it a better try then.

    Sorry I couldn't be of more help right now. I will keep trying.


    Bettylou
    Hey, thanks. I know I really appreciate anything you may be able to figure out. It's frustrating to have a good domain and decent site to use for this particular feed and not be able to get a good, clean feed. I know I'm not the only one who's been bringing this issue up over a period of more than a year now and so far no one's been able to resolve it.

    As a nearly total "newbie" at PHP/MySQL, I know I'll find anything you can do helpful!
    Generate more fake news.

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador bettylou's Avatar
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    Just curious. Does this bug you too?

    Product names like this:
    NASB Black Hardcover BibleIn single copies



    Wouldn't it be better to read:
    NASB Black Hardcover Bible -- Sold in single copies

  18. #18
    Member Sharan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bettylou
    Just curious. Does this bug you too?

    Product names like this:
    NASB Black Hardcover BibleIn single copies
    Yes, it bugs me. I may have a typo once in a while, but this just doesn't look good to me. I am new to trying to use php & mysql, but I have used datafeeds with an import script. I have wanted to use IBS, but have been reluctant because of the things already mentioned in this thread, especially the BibleIn thing.

    I haven't contributed much to this forum, but I have been busy lately reading the posts and learning. Someday I'll be able to put together a decent looking datafeed based site with all the information I have gathered here.

    Sharan

  19. #19
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    I used 6 querys similar to this last time, but I haven't tackled it lately.
    UPDATE ibs_feed_temp SET product_name = REPLACE(product_name,'??','\'');


  20. #20
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    When I finally decided to use the IBS datafeed, I spent three days writing code to massage the data. It was not hard but it was time consuming and a pain in the @&#. It would be nice to have a feed that you could plug in directly as an online database but as it stands I have to import the feed, run the filtering script, quickly proof read the 600+ entries in the new offline database and then move it to the online database. Not fun at all.

    bumpaw - you only needed 6 queries? I must be a dolt because I have over 100 lines of code (but I am reformatting the code on the fly too - not just removing garbage).

  21. #21
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Ok folks, thanks for the feedback, we have sent to IBS and unfortunatley, the back end can't be updated until end of December, begining of January. We totally understand and are on it.

    Good news is the new feed will be over 50K products and will be totally cleaned up....
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
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  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Rodriguez
    Ok folks, thanks for the feedback, we have sent to IBS and unfortunatley, the back end can't be updated until end of December, begining of January. We totally understand and are on it.

    Good news is the new feed will be over 50K products and will be totally cleaned up....
    OK -- 50K products???? What in the world have they been holding back from us to jump from around 700 products to 50K products??

    Don't get me wrong, I love the idea and I'm really looking forward to seeing the changes/improvements/additions!
    Generate more fake news.

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