Custom Affiliate Link Shortening

So in the hunt for doing some cool auto-tweeting and other social mashup related tricks, I found this amazing new service (currently in public beta) called dlvr.it. I’ll post more on this tool at a later time, but for now, I want to explain how I managed to use their API to create an custom affiliate link shortener for YogaHub.

It all stemmed from the constant need for affiliates to be able to create their own custom redirect links (which many services have already.)

I wanted to create something both elegant, yet simple to use and easy to understand, because many of the affiliates in the health and wellness space are new to the concepts of affiliate programs and doing a lot of fancy footwork with links isn’t their strong suit.

At the core of the YogaHub Affiliate program is an incredibly powerful affiliate tool called Post Affiliate Pro (PAP). Their link structure for a basic custom URL redirect looks something like this:

http://affiliates.yogahub.com/scripts/click.php?a_aid=[AffID]&desturl=[Full-Destination-Link]

So essentially, the click.php page is looking for a ‘desturl’ to redirect the visitor to once the affiliate cookie has been established.

So I setup a basic web form in php to first ask the user (the affiliate) where they want to send the traffic to (aka, what web page on the Network of YogaHub sites.)

Next, I pass this URL variable to step 2 of my php script, along with their [AffID] which I’ve already established because in order to use the tool, the user must first be logged into their affiliate account.

Then for security measures and to ensure everything is working, I have the affiliate double confirm their affiliate ID and then press the ‘Confirm ID & Create Short Link’ button.

From here, I then post the fully encoded PAP link directly to the dlvr.it API via a plain text post method and they shoot me back a nifty little short link like this:

http://dlvr.it/NxXW7

And finally, with a few quick DSN CNAME changes I was able to map my own custom URL producing a sweet affiliate link such as:

http://b.yhub.us/NxXW7

As far as I can tell, there’s no limits to the number of API calls I can make and with this community I don’t think we’d come close in either case.

CloudApp – Custom Domain Tools

I’ve been using CloudApp for about 6 months now and I’ve grown quite fond of it. So much so, I decided to throw them a little coin and upgrade for a 1 year Pro account (US$45). Mainly because I believe in the guys behind the project, but definitely to take advantage of their new custom domain mapping tools.

For those who haven’t used CloudApp yet or aren’t quite sure why it’s so efficient, keep reading for some basic use case scenarios.

I loved the idea of being able to map my own sub-domain to my CloudApp uploads. It’s like having my own URL shortening service with a simple DNS CNAME tweak.

I already had the perfect domain name (yhub.us) which I installed a rock start URL analytics service on last year (code name AFA – currently in private Beta) in order to setup quickly customizable short affiliate links for all the YogaHub.com speakers and faculty.

CloudApp simply gave me another way to spice up my already stellar domain setup by appending a sub-domain (m.yhub.us) for secure, quick keystroke image and url shortening.

CloudApp in a Nutshell

Basically, this sweet little ditty just sits up in your status menu bar waiting patiently for you to feed it bits and bytes of information. (more…)

SquareSpace to WordPress

So you wanna migrate away from Square Space to WordPress (a more robust, customizable solution) huh?

First off, I’ll warn you this was a royal pain when it truly came down to getting the job done right, without sacrificing data loss and abandonment of all my embedded image files.

When: March 31, 2011
From: SquareSpace.com
To: WordPress 3.0.1
Time: 30-45 min (+/-)
OS: Mac OS X (10.6)
Software: MS Excel, Apple Automator
+ TextMate (or the text editor of your choice)

Strategy Overview:

The basic premiss of this solution is to get your data out of SS, pass it through TypePad as the universal translator and then import to WordPress.

* Export your blog from squarespace in Movable Type format
* Create a free typepad.com blog
* Import your squarespace blog into Typepad
* Export your blog from typepad
* Import to your custom WordPress.org website

The biggest challenge is to get your images out safely as most people lose these in the transition process described above, however I’ll explain in detail how to ensure the safety of your images.
(more…)

Enter “The Matrix” iPhone Skin

On my recent hunt for some images to be used in our latest site upgrade, I happened to stumble upon what looks like a very cool way to deck out your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with a Matrix style skin.
(more…)

Speed MP3 Audio Player

[Archived from my original site at segoviasdiary.blogspot.com]

“Who else wants to triple the amount of audio content you consume in less than half the listening time…”

Are you looking for a way to speed up your audio MP3 files, audiobooks, podcasts, speeches and lectures?

Look no further.

Simply download a copy of my XLR8 Media Player and begin listening to your audio content at 2x, 3x, 4x, or even 5 times the normal speed of playback. And if you want to be able to load the audio onto your portable iPhone, iPod Touch, no problem. It comes with a built-in audio mp3 batch converter.

Features:
- Change speed of MP3 files
- Changes the speed without changing pitch
- Combine and accelerate audio from files together
- Batch file conversion
- Super easy to use, and many more…

Click here and download a free copy.

Ground Breaking Progress

[Archived from my original site at segoviasdiary.blogspot.com]

Wow! I’ve decided to crack down and create my own MP3 Player. I must have spent at least 30 hours searching and testing almost every piece of MP3 software and sound editing device on the market. None of which did exactly what I wanted.

You see there was a combination of about 3 different pieces of software that I’ve been using to this point. However they range from FREE all the way up to $299. So it wasn’t very likely YOU would want to be investing in these. Not to mention that some of them are so complicated it would be like taking your “Private Jet” just around the corner to the grocery store. It’s just not really necessary to have that many features. (more…)

The Search for a Quality MP3 Player Continues…

[Archived from my original site at segoviasdiary.blogspot.com]

So after spending almost an entire day searching online for a new MP3 player that had all the features I needed, I still didn’t find what I was looking for.

Oh, I came pretty darn close on a few occasions. I got so fed up with all the partial desciptions and reviews online. I just drove down th FRY’s and bought several different models and brands. (more…)

Recording Phone Calls (The Exact Device)

[Archived from my original site at segoviasdiary.blogspot.com]

Okay, I spoke about recording phone calls in an earlier post. Many people have said they were having a hard time finding the device needed.

So you can pick this up at www.RadioShack.com or phone a local store near you. (more…)

Posting on the fly….

[Archived from my original site at segoviasdiary.blogspot.com]

So I’m posting this message while I wait to see the next close up show
at the Magic Castle here in LA. What a cool place this is, if you ever
get the chance to go, I highly recommend it. Apparently it’s by
invitation only though.

I was recently in Salt Lake City working on some new software ideas to
help make mp3 conversion and acceleration much easier. I have a project
posted to RentAcoder.com so I’ll have someone developing it soon. I’ll
keep you posted.

Use Your Cell Phone to Capture Invaluable Testimonials

[Archived from my original site at segoviasdiary.blogspot.com]

Okay, this is something I’ve been doing for several years now but recently became much easier to duplicate and leverage for your own personal use.

Let me start with a case study.

As you can probably tell that I’m not only an information junkie but I also consider myself to be a major seminar junkie too! I was attending Mark Victor Hansen’s MEGA Speaker Empire event and at the end of the seminar I was asked to come on stage and explain to the entire audience that we were looking for testimonials to publish on the web site that was being launched to sell the recorded version of the entire event.

So, I essentially had everyone pull out their cell phones and write down the number to Marks Audio Generator testimonial line. Then immediately following the conference dozens of people went outside into the lobby where they were able to record a 60 second to 3 minute testimonial.

The power in this comes from the fact that they were Doing it in the MOMENT! While they were still jazzed about the 3 day event we just completed. Their energy was awesome and these make for the best kind of testimonials.

Applying this to your business:
Now you could do this on a similar level if you do a lot of public speaking in front of either a live audience or even on a teleconference. However let’s say you just happen to be attending an event or even simply having lunch with a client and want to get a single testimonial from one or two individuals, you could ask them to leave you a testimonial and then dial your number and hand them your cell phone. This works extremely well.

If you do not already have an Audio Generator account I suggest that you get one immediately. This would provide you with a toll free phone number to store in your PDA or cell phone, which allows you to record and digitally encode these voice messages for further use online.

Once you get back to your office you can then use your Audio Generator account to send these testimonials via email, audio postcards, or even publish them on your web site.

Audio testimonials like this are so incredibly powerful and can help to increase your selling power on a web site by up to 300%+.

Other Reference Materials:
The following is an article I wrote with further examples and other technologies to accomplish the same function. http://www.interplicity.com/articles/PhoneWiz.asp