On Wednesday, June 14th, Amazon's Dave Barth will be conducting a webinar for users of Amazon's S3 service. The webinar will start at high noon PDT and will run for one hour. There will be an online presentation and ample time for questions and answers.
Details on how to attend the webinar can be found here. Since you will need to install the Webex Java client application, it wouldn't hurt to start getting ready 10 to 15 minutes ahead of the scheduled starting time.
Come prepared to learn and to ask questions. This should be an interesting and informative event.
In September I will return to the UK for the d.Construct conference.
As always, I am more than happy to meet with developers, aspiring developers, and entrepreneurs on each trip as time permits. I expect to have time to speak to several user groups on both of my visits to the UK. Drop me an email and we'll get it all set up.
Here are a couple of cool things that I've run across in the last couple of days:
CrossAmazon is a
Greasemonkey script that adds links to all of the Amazon international
sites (Canada, Japan, Germany, France, and the UK) to pages served up
from the US (Amazon.com) site.
The Amazon S3 Plugin for Eclipse makes it really easy to get started with S3 using Java and the Eclipse IDE. Load up Eclipse, install the plugin, and follow the directions to create a simple S3 application.
Relate-a-zon makes a game out of finding related Amazon products.
The Mashup Matrix lists dozens of mashups which uses one or more of the Amazon Web Services, and many more which use other services. Here's an idea for you: after you use the matrix to find mashups of your favorite services, wrap your brain around those empty spaces between the mashups
and come up with something new!
If you build an application using the E-Commerce Service and you join the Amazon Associates program, you are now an affiliate marketer. If you are new to the world of affiliate marketing, you should definitely check out the Affiliate Program Tip Blog. They publish all sorts of helpful guides and articles, starting with Affiliate Marketing 101.
Speaking of affiliates, the Affiliate Summit conference is coming up in July and I will be there.
RSS feeds are a perfect way to keep track of data that changes on an irregular or infrequent basis. Instead of visiting the data source yourself as time permits, you can simply use RSS feeds to subscribe to an update stream from a site or from an application. The original use of RSS was to package or encapsulate the headlines
from news-oriented sources. Later, it became a perfect way to represent
the newest postings to a blog.
An RSS feed, represented by a URL, can be plugged in to a wide variety of headline reading tools and online applications. The feed is then polled on a regular basis and the reading tool will notify you when new content is available.
Several years ago, developer (and Amazon Hacks author) Paul Bausch created a tool to build RSS feeds for certain searches. The tool was quite handy, and has apparently gotten some pretty heavy usage.
Never content to rest on his laurels, Paul has just announced the newest version of the Amazon RSS Feed Generator, and it is a very worthwhile upgrade. Using the generator you can easily build feeds which search any Amazon store for a keyword, then sort it. You can also use the Power Search syntax for extra style points if you are so inclined.
The new feeds also include the product's image, description, and details (as available).
In a perfect example of how one developer's creativity spurs another developer to go even farther, Paul's blog notes that this work builds upon Alan Taylor's recent work, part of which involved the creation of some fairly complex XSLT style sheets.
RightCart allows you to embed an ECS-powered storefront directly into any blog or web page. The site provides cut and paste HTML snippets for a shopping cart and for individual products, making it very easy for you to sell products based on, for example, blog entries. There's also a full sales tracking system.
Behind the scenes, RightCart stores product images and other media content using Amazon's S3 service. In fact, the RightCart screencast is itself stored in S3.
Rankforest tracks and can graph the sales rank of Amazon products over time, with graphs available over all time, 90 days, 30 days, 7 days, or a single day. Many graphs are available for free; some others require a free account, and a final few require paid membership.
There are also hourly and daily RSS feeds for each product.
The site also supports the creation of product collections or baskets, which could be used to track multiple competing or complimentary items.
Finally, there's a simple way to create a "badge" with the current sales rank for any product.