Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Zazzlers: More powerful nIFTTTy Pids Scheduler released

This is the relevant section of the new nIFTTTy Pids Scheduler set-up tool page - see how the pids (top list) have been converted (bottom list)?
click the image to get to the set-up page

😢 It's bugged me for some time that the nIFTTTy Pids Scheduler could only handle 72 pids (pid = product id). It's because of a character limit imposed by IFTTT (IfThisThenThat) on the length of a feed url.

I spent ages a while ago trying to convert a compression algorithm I found to be useful in this case but it was too much (or the algorithm was buggy).

😎 Anyway, as my redecorating / refurbsishment is coming to an end (yaay!) I revisited the problem and came up with a solution (technical details at end if you're interested).

So now the (new) version of the nIFTTTy Pids Scheduler can handle up to 120 pids. It means you can have automated pinning/sharing that lasts for 10 days instead of 6 - so less work for you.

I've removed the old version of the setup tool page and replaced it with the new one - but don't worry, any nIFTTTy schedules you've already got set up as applets in IFTTT will continue to work. Once they run out, simply set up and make a new one and it'll automatically use the new, more powerful version. 😇


🤓 The techy bit, if you're interested

I ended up splitting each pid - each is 18 digits long - in two and converting each resulting "number" into it's equivalent in base 64. I checked with this converter, adding *! to the end of the character list used in the conversion. I chose those because they're safe to use in url parameters.

Each two-part converted pid is separated with _ and one pid is separated from the next with -

The feed generator simply reverses that conversion, recombining the resulting "number"s back to 18 digit pids.
Everything then proceeds as before.

What's base 64?

Picture your car's odometer - that's the one in your dashboard that shows you the miles travelled. Each "dial" has the digits 0 to 9 on it. When a dial goes past 9 it returns to 0 and the next one along to the left clicks over one position.
That's a base 10 set of dials. Base 64 uses a total of 64 characters on each dial so by the time the rightmost dial clicks over, you'll have done 64 miles. When it goes all the way round again, you'll have done 128 miles.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Crimson Phoenix Rising T-Shirt

Testing the new Nifty's blog autoposter

Crimson Phoenix Rising T-Shirt

Motivational series: A gorgeous crimson graphic of a Phoenix rising from the ashes. Beautifully contoured to give a 3d effect, the phoenix seems to be lifting off the t-shirt! Image code: phnx

-- click/tap to personalize and buy --

posted using Nifty

Just released: Filters for the Nifty Promo Control Panel

I've just released the new Nifty Promo Control Panel - now with filters. At the moment they're only used with the nIFTTTy Share Scheduler and the widgets.  
Update 8th Aug 2018: Same for Individual product sharers now.

Those filters will really come into their own when Zazzle fixes pulling from the market place. When they do, you'll be able to exclude those "create your own" products that always seem to come up.

Until then, it's probably just a novelty. I can see one valid use for it though when pulling from stores / collections and that's to filter out stamps. It could make sense, seeing as they're all unavailable to buy right now (and for the foreseeable).

This is what the filters set-up section looks like:
Filters set-up section

⚠️ As was always the case with the nIFTTTy Share Scheduler, now the widgets (edited to add:) and individual product sharers also use my referral id half the time, with yours being used the other half. All other tools use your referral id 100% of the time (for now, may change later).
As you probably know, web servers have to be paid for and using this approach helps with the cost. It means you still get the tools for free while we both share the chances of getting referral commission. Of course, if they're your products that get purchased, then you'll get all of the royalty on any sales.

If you find you're getting regular referral commission, pay for a subscription and keep 100% of any referral commission earned. Many already do and they report that they earn far more in referrals than the subscription costs!

Try it for yourself
Each filter can use a word or phrase and you can choose where to apply them - any combination of product titles, descriptions and tags. When you've got them set as you want, hit the apply filter... button.


PS The grid underneath the control panel will always show the filtered results but do remember that the individual product sharers, the product grid sharer page and the slideshow sharer page all ignore any filtering.

----------------------- For the technically minded -----------------------
🤓 In behind the scenes there's a new feed mechanism. In principle, what it does is:
  • take the supplied parameters and use them with Zazzle's rss feed mechanism to get a bunch of results
  • apply any filters to remove matching product designs
  • increase the page number and pull from Zazzle's feed mechanism again
  • replace any products that got filtered out with the freshly pulled ones
  • repeat until the number of products requested is reached (or no more are returned)
Quite straightfoward but a pain to code ;)

If you need the feed url for any reason, have a look at the piccy below

Here's an example of what you can get by copying that link. It's from a set-up I was playing with:
If you click the above link, you'll see an actual filtered feed. If you use Firefox, it'll look sane. If you're using Chrome, it'll show it as XML, not really aimed at humans to read.

Hopefully you can see that I've used two filters terms (lilac, red) and I'm filtering only on the titles.