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Best Practices: Google Base, RSS Feeds, RSS Readers

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					1000 M ARKETS

B EST PRACTICES
Google Base, RSS Feeds, RSS Readers

Information intended to help 1000 Markets merchants expose their products and blogs to search engine tools, such as Google Base. Also explained, is how use RSS feeds and RSS Readers.

Alyson Button Stone

BEST PRACTICES

Google Base, RSS Feeds, RSS Readers

GOOGLE BASE, RSS FEEDS, RSS READERS
A TECHNICAL PRIMER FOR OUR MERCHANTS WHAT ARE RSS ―FEEDS‖ AND RSS ―READERS‖?
Search engines and other services constantly patrol the internet, looking for the latest and most up-to-date information. An RSS “feed” is one of the many ways in which the internet distributes updates of Web content (news sites, blogs, and shops). RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and you can think of it is a way for you to broadcast all of the latest changes you make to your product inventory or your blog. When someone adds a blog entry, or adds new products to their online shop, the feed updates and broadcasts the updates to subscribers. For a shop, this is called a “shop feed,” for a blog, a ―blog feed.” You view these feeds by ―subscribing‖ to them on an RSS Reader—software that permits you to see updated information in one convenient place. It’s like having a mini-Web tailored to your interests. Let’s take an example. Say you are interested in cooking. You follow six cooking blogs on the internet, and shop at the 1000 Markets Foodcrafters Market, in a shop named Whimsy & Spice. Each morning you want to read only the new entries on all the cooking blogs, and you want to know when Whimsy & Spice has added new, delicious items to their shop. Rather than going individually to each of these sites every day, you can ―subscribe‖ to their ―feeds.‖ Whimsy & Spice has a ―shop feed,‖ and the blogs have ―blog feeds.‖ The feeds are sent to you in one convenient place—your RSS Reader.

HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE TO A SPECIFIC SHOP FEED OR A BLOG THAT I WANT TO FOLLOW ?
Once you have signed up at reader.google.com for your RSS Reader1, you can subscribe to content that interests you either by typing the URL address into the subscription box at reader.google.com, or by clicking on a little
Google Reader is merely one of many RSS readers that are available for your use – most of them for free. Another really neat one is PageFlakes at http://www.pageflakes.com
1

BEST PRACTICES

Google Base, RSS Feeds, RSS Readers

1000 Markets

orange subscription icon ( ) you will see on blogs, in the address bar of your browser, or on online shops. You just click on this icon and the content will be sent to your RSS Reader.

HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE TO A 1000 MARKETS SHOP FEED ?
At 1000 Markets, we follow a specific protocol. To subscribe to a 1000 Markets shop feed, enter this string in the subscription box in your RSS Reader account: http://www.1000markets.com/users/[shopname]/products.rss where [shopname] is the name of the shop whose feed you wish to subscribe. You can discover the shopname by navigating to the shop home page on 1000 Markets and then examine text in the address bar of your browser. For instance, if you wanted to subscribe to the Whimsy & Spice shop feed, you would look in the address bar for the shop name (shown here in yellow) while you are viewing the Whimsy & Spice shop:

From the text in the address bar, it is easy to construct the corresponding shop feed: http://www.1000markets.com/users/whimsyandspice/products.rss

WHY ARE RSS FEEDS IMPORTANT TO YOU AS A MERCHANT ON 1000 MARKETS?
RSS feeds are like a constantly updated catalog of our merchants’ products and blog entries. They help move traffic to our shops. The process also makes it easy for our customer base to remain connected with and engaged in the 1000 Markets culture and experience. The more merchants who participate in making their 1000 Markets shops visible to the Google search engine, the more traffic we will experience. Google Base makes this possible.

BEST PRACTICES

Google Base, RSS Feeds, RSS Readers

1000 Markets

WHAT IS GOOGLE BASE?
Google Base is a huge database. Google Base is used to submit all type of online content (e.g. your 1000 Markets products, or your blog posts) to the database. Your content will then be found in the Google search process. People can see your updated information using their RSS reader.

HOW DO I PARTICIPATE IN GOOGLE BASE?
One of our merchants has written an excellent tutorial. But first, in order to make sure that everyone is seeing the same information at the same time, there are just two preliminary steps for you to take.
First Things First – Set Up Your Google Accounts

1. If you do not already have a Google account, go to www.google.com and register with Google. Keep your username and password in a safe place. 2. Using your Google sign-in, set up your Google Reader (RSS Reader Software) Account There are many RSS Reader applications. We are using Google Reader as our illustration because it is popular and easy to use. Go to reader.google.com. Sign in to Google Reader with your Google account. Fill in the very simple form and press the button to create your Google Reader account. Now you can subscribe to feeds that interest you. To see how this works, just choose one of the customized ―bundles‖ as a way to get familiar with how Google Reader works. The subscriptions that you have chosen will show up in the left sidebar. You can now add subscriptions that interest you, or remove ones that you don’t want. Try Google Reader out by adding a subscription. Click on ―Add a Subscription‖ at the top of the left sidebar. Enter ―1000 Markets‖ in the search box. You will see all the blogs and shops you can choose from.
Now You Are Ready to Set Up Your 1000 Markets RSS Shop Feed.

At this point you should be: 1) registered with Google; 2) signed up at reader.google.com; and 3) know how to subscribe to RSS feeds. When you go to

BEST PRACTICES

Google Base, RSS Feeds, RSS Readers

1000 Markets

your Google Reader account, any updates to your subscriptions will appear in one convenient place. You can add or delete subscriptions as your needs change.
Setting Up Your 1000 Markets RSS Shop Feed

Getting these technical processes completed can seem intimidating, but we believe that we have streamlined the process for you. One of our merchants, People’s Bank Building, has written an excellent tutorial—a step-by-step set of instructions that will lead you through the process. This tutorial has been tested by merchants and staff, and it works well. Just follow the clear instructions step by step, and you will be able to list and schedule your products in Google Base. Take it slow and be precise, and all should be well. Be patient after you complete the process. Google can take some time to report back to you about the status of your updates. For a blog, this is the convention:
http://www.1000markets.com/users/[shop name]/blog_posts?format=rss

Go to the Google Base tutorial now.

BEST PRACTICES

Google Base, RSS Feeds, RSS Readers

1000 Markets


				
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posted:6/15/2009
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Description: Best practices document for merchants about google base, rss feeds, rss readers, including tutorial by People's Bank Building