So about a week ago i was up far too early trying to shake off a particularly nasty red wine hangover, and feeling pretty sorry for myself. Nothing seemed to be helping so i plugged to term ‘Cats’ into some snazzy data feed creation code i’d been working on as a proof of concept for Coull. Thousands of funny gifs of Cats came back, putting a pretty big dent in the hangover.
A few Getter & Setter methods later, with a sprinkling of Scaling and Stat code thrown in, i had an API.
No need for API keys and exposing as much of the data as possible, it should be easy for anyone to plug Cat pictures into their website or Apps, and hopefully kick a few more hangovers into touch too. Give it a try here-> http://thecatapi.com
I love QR Codes, every time i see them it sparks ideas of innovative ways of utilizing them. The main draw back is of course – market take up. I would love to see an app come with every phone, or ideally built into the camera app not just on a phone handset, but in consumer point and shoots too.
Barriers in the way of this are the tools to create them, and add them to things like video and images. I was disheartended to learn that most people and agencies pay to have this done. So i’ve knocked up a quick and dirty way to create a QR code, and add it to an image.
Everyone must have heard of Groupon.com by now, the deal-of-the-day company that launched a couple of years ago, and due to an agressive expansion and pervasive online ad campaign is now worth over a billion dollars.
Joining the service and accessing their Deals via their API is straight forward enough.
The API is split into two main sections, one returning the availiable locations (or divisions) that offers are availiable in. And one that returns the deals themselves, passing to it a division from the former, a longditude/latitude or nothing and let the API try and work out your location for itself.
Pros & Cons:
My initial thought was that the responses from the API seem unnecessarily bloated, but after chatting with their technical team there is a partially documented feature with the deal API, adding a show parameter and then comma delimiting the nodes you wish returned will restrict the results to only return those nodes.
e.g. suffixing – show=title,dealUrl,largeImageUrl,pitchHtml – will return the basic information you need, in a much better size for Mobile usage where traffic size is a premium.
Divisions – AKA Locations – Only the North America is supported at the moment, with Deals in the U.K. being handled by AffiliateWindow and served through their own API.
On the whole though it is a nice and simple to use API, it’s just a shame about lack of Inventory outside of the US.
For referring existing Groupon users to Deals – between 2% and 5%.
For referring new users to Groupon, between 10% and 15%.
So there is quite an incentive to refer new members, meaning that while current areas (US & Canada, Brazil, western Europe, and Japan) may topout in terms of new signups in the near future, if you have any Apps or sites targeting areas not currently serviced by Groupon (China, India etc) it might be worth integrating Groupon as soon as they do. If past form is anything to go by then the rewards could be very lucrative.
Here’s a little Flash AS3 demo of the Groupon API in action. The code for which can be downloaded for free below.
N.B. It’s important to remember that when using a service like this some conditions may apply, in this case conforming with the Groupon Branding Guidelines. Whilst it may be easy to ignore them and assume no-one will notice, it is of course just as easy for them to switch off your API key, so save yourself the hassle.
This is really an update to an earlier post on how to use the Amazon Product API search and retrive products, all tied to your Amazon account. Using this information you can present information about each product, and drive traffic to the product page on Amazon. If the user then purchases the Product then you recieve a small amount of commission.
The problem with the old post was that Amazon changed their API requiring the request be signed and have a timestamp, so really the main new part is the included .php file, which you will of course need to edit to include your Amazon secret api key. To get one and see their documentation click here…
So if you can intergrate this information into a fun game or app and drive engagement through to the Product on Amazon in a way that is useful enough to your users that they then purchase the product, then you can make a few pennys. Well… maybe enough to buy lunch.
The source code goes into how to change the filter to search dvds instead of music, and there’s full API code to parse the XML for each Product into a Class instance to code against.
Every other Sunday i’m going to try and release some free code. Things like projects i thought had legs, got to the prototype stage but never had time to finish, or Actionscript libraries that i think other might find useful.
In this case i’m releasing my shape drawing AS3 class. This is mainly just an Actionscript 3 implementation of the hard work done by both Kevin Williams and Ric Ewing. I’ve also used a Minimal Comps Slider as well and included the slightly amended code for that which does not require the Flex SDK (makes it easier for people not familiar with it).
Any comments, suggestions, or shapes you’d like to add just comment or send me a mail.
Sidney de Koning has done exactly what i hoped and taken this on and made some improvements. Along with some nice speed tweaks, each method now takes in a reference to a Graphics instance instead of a Sprite class, improving the performance and making it move useful.
Nice work Sid, i’ve ammended the demo below to include his class and the associated source code. His related article…