Affiliates: Heads Up on Mashups

Playing around with APIs and building mashups is becoming quite a popular online sport for webmasters and techies. Mixing products easily and seamlessly from places like eBay, Amazon, Yahoo! and Commission Junction merchants all together in one site–that’s mighty powerful stuff.

Looking at the Commission Junction API info provided on ProgrammableWeb:

Advertisers can now offer publishers enhanced access to their product catalog data feeds, enabling publishers to present the most up-to-date product information to their visitors in the most desirable manner. In addition, advertisers benefit from the ability to customize affiliate program sign-up and login areas, allowing for the creation of a truly branded experience for the publishers in their affiliate marketing programs. Publisher functionality includes direct access to advertisers Product Catalog data in real-time and the ability to perform searches based on keyword, UPC, manufacturer, model number, advertiser, SKU and more.

Appealing, yes?

So what exactly is a mashup:

A mashup is a website or web application that seamlessly combines content from more than one source into an integrated experience. Mashup (web application hybrid)

Take a look at some shopping mashup examples:

Shopping Mashups

Inspired yet? That’s some crazy stuff!

Great mashup ideas can be followed at sites like Mashable.com, Programmableweb.com and Webmashup.com.

Nice list of tutorials:

How To Make Your Own Web Mashup

API List:

ProgrammableWeb API List

The technical side to this is above my capabilities atm, but I can definitely see what an important tool this can be for Affiliate Marketers.

Any bets as to how long before the $97 Affiliate Marketers Mashup guru ebook or $500 cd training package comes out? đŸ˜†

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I’ve been trying to find my way online for more years than I care to admit.

3 thoughts to “Affiliates: Heads Up on Mashups”

  1. Okay… seems LONG overdue (access to APIs) but here’s the thing — affiliates still have little control. The model is one that forces them to, first, spend money on netting the customer and then, second, send them away — hoping for the best. The only control they have is picking what they believe to be an advertiser who can get the deal done (complete the transaction) enough such that their investment pays off.

    Affiliates remain in a “traffic-shuttle” environment which is one based on, effectively, arbitrage.

    In theory mashing things up sounds great and I’m sure some affiliates will have a chance to differentiate a bit using them but sooner than later copy-cats catch up. What does an affiliate have at the end of the day if its only asset is its ability to get customers on the cheap and hand them off hoping for the best?

  2. What does an affiliate have at the end of the day if its only asset is its ability to get customers on the cheap and hand them off hoping for the best?

    If someone is looking for a hands free method of earning money online, it can be a good fit for them to just be traffic hunters and pushers. Long term strategy? Not a great one.

    I do hear what you’re saying Jeff, and I think affiliate marketers in general (including me) don’t fully appreciate or realize just what kind of value their visitors really represent. If we did, we wouldn’t be so eager to push them off to every business on the planet without anchoring them to our sites first somehow (at the very least). Personally, I’d rather work on keeping traffic contained totally in-house for myself–but that’s moving in circles outside affiliate marketing.

    btw–you should be able to comment in real time now. Not sure why your comment got stuck in queue.

  3. Well, one use would be making sure that affiliate links you are using on your actual website are relevant if you don’t use PPC programs like AdSense. So they could come in handy to traditional webmasters as well and not just the singular affiliate community.

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