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Helene

New Amazon Mini-Store Link

26 posts in this topic

Amazon.com now has a "build your own store" feature, and we're testing it out.

We can highlight up to nine DVD's, CD's, books, etc. from the amazon.com catalog. We can change these as more DVD's and books come up in discussion.

The purpose is convenience, so that you don't have to search the amazon.com site for DVD's that we talk about here and are available for order/pre-order. (Which sometimes is tricky, especially when they spell the subject of the DVD incorrectly.)

The advantage is that we've done the searching for you.

The disadvantage, or maybe the advantage to our budgets, is that only those items, and the "recommended" items that appear to the right of the store, can be added to the shopping basket. "Continue shopping" is on the mini-store only.

Clicking "Checkout" will prompt you to sign into your amazon.com account, and the order page will be displayed, with default shipping address, default credit card, and the cheapest paid shipping option pre-selected. If you want to change the shipping address, payment method, or select "Free Shipping," you must change your selections on the page.

Since the selections will change over time, it's important to refer to the link at the top of the page in posts about different DVD's. A hard link will disappoint if it's obsolete.

Please tell me what you think and if you have any problems/encounter any errors with the new mini-store.

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How do we find BT's store, Helene? I just clicked into Amazon, and there was a tab designated as "Carley's Store" once I'd logged in, but Iwouldn't know how to find the BalletTalk store.

Thanks! It does sound like a great convenience!

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Look on the light blue bar at the top of your screen where it says Rules and Policies, Calendar, Blogs, etc. On my screen, I could just see the tail end of BT Amazon Mini-Store peeking out from under the Search Amazon box. By making the size of my window larger or smaller, the words moved out from under the box. If this is a problem for a lot of people, maybe Mini-Store could be moved over next to Rules and Policies.

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What browser do you use, Mrs. Stahlbaum? On IE, I've never seen this, because the logo banner expands in height automatically to adjust to the amazon.com box, but on Firefox, at least on my Mac, the amazon.com box "dips" into the toolbar. The board software is optimized for IE.

carbro: I apologize -- I accidentally deleted the line which told people where the link was located from my original post.

I moved it over to appear to the right of "Rules and Policies", directly under the logo. This should make it partly visible because the width of the logo should be fixed, regardless of screen size, and the amazon.com box appears to the right of the logo. However, the end of the link may be obscured by the amazon.com box. Thank you to Mrs. Stahlbaum for the suggestion.

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I was able to see the mini-store, and I think it's a great idea. :crying:

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I use Safari on a Mac. I know very little about computers, so I hope my explanation was clear as I had to guess at some of the terminology.

I can see BT Amazon Mini-Store now.

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Please tell me what you think and if you have any problems/encounter any errors with the new mini-store.

Helene,

Thanks for setting this up.

I took it for a test drive and it worked just fine for me

Richard

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This is a great idea--just what I've been looking for to build a ballet DVD/book collection. I wonder if we could have our own Netflix store as well for recommended DVD rentals! (I'm enjoying a Netflix copy of "Napoli" at the moment.) Thank you, Helene.

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I use Safari on a Mac. I know very little about computers, so I hope my explanation was clear as I had to guess at some of the terminology.

I can see BT Amazon Mini-Store now.

Since the software is optimized for Internet Explorer (IE), which no longer has a Mac version, I'm afraid we Mac users have to deal with the sub-optimal for Firefox and Safari :wallbash:

I'm glad you can see the link now. Many thanks for your suggestion to move it to the left.

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Since the software is optimized for Internet Explorer (IE), which no longer has a Mac version, I'm afraid we Mac users have to deal with the sub-optimal for Firefox and Safari :wallbash:

Apart from the minor annoyance with the Amazon search box, I find Firefox to be much better than Internet Explorer for browsing these forums, because of its "tabbed browsing" feature. I usually search for new posts, and for each topic which sounds interesting, I right-click on the title, and open it in a new tab. It's an especially useful approach for "BalletTalk for Dancers", where there's a high volume of posts.

Therefore, you can consider me "motivated" to help get this working with Firefox. :foot:

I downloaded the HTML "source" for the front page of the website, along with a couple of the images, and did some experiments. Obviously, I couldn't experiment with the actual website, but I was able to try things out on a copy on my computer, and see how they might look.

I don't know how much control you have over the code in the website, but the page appeared perfectly, in both Firefox and Internet Explorer, when I made the following (minor?) changes:

1. Find where it says:

#logostrip{

background: #3860BB url(http://ballettalk.invisionzone.com/style_images/1/tile_back.gif);

border: 1px solid #FFF;

height: 68px;

margin: 0;

padding: 0;

}

2. In the above code section, change the height to "90px", to match the height of the amazon logo.

3. Resize the image file "tile_back.gif", from 68 pixels high to 90 pixels high. I used a very crude method to do this, and it ended up looking badly aliased. You just need to replace the image file with any other one which would make a suitable background, and is 90 pixels high.

4. Optional - resize the BT4logo.jpg to 90 pixels high, too, so that it matches the Amazon logo in height.

I guess you have this forum hosted by Invisionzone, and you might not be able to update "tile_back.gif", or the height of "logostrip" yourselves. But hopefully this will give you enough information to ask the invisionzone folk for help, without wasting too much of anybody's time. (If you're interested.)

Tyler.

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:wallbash:

I find Firefox to be much better than Internet Explorer for browsing these forums, because of its "tabbed browsing" feature. I usually search for new posts, and for each topic which sounds interesting, I right-click on the title, and open it in a new tab.
The latest versions of Internet Explorer are tabbed. It's not my browser of choice. I use AOL's new Internet Explorer (available to AOL-ers and all others), which is IE-based and also tabbed :foot: , a feature I find indispensible.

For some reason, Firefox won't install on my computer. :dunno:

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1. Find where it says:

#logostrip{

background: #3860BB url(http://ballettalk.invisionzone.com/style_images/1/tile_back.gif);

border: 1px solid #FFF;

height: 68px;

margin: 0;

padding: 0;

}

2. In the above code section, change the height to "90px", to match the height of the amazon logo.

This was easy to do, once I poked around and found where it was located.

3. Resize the image file "tile_back.gif", from 68 pixels high to 90 pixels high. I used a very crude method to do this, and it ended up looking badly aliased. You just need to replace the image file with any other one which would make a suitable background,and is 90 pixels high.
Not so easy; it requires FTP'ing into the site, which I'll have to learn.

Do you know what "tile_back.gif" is?

4. Optional - resize the BT4logo.jpg to 90 pixels high, too, so that it matches the Amazon logo in height.

This I can do from work, where I've got the logo.gifs stored.

The strange thing is that sometimes the amazon box only extends into the darker bar below the logo, and other times obscures the links bar. Not being particularly technical -- I know enough to be dangerous -- I'm not sure why this happens.

But many thanks for your help, and I'll pursue a permanent fix.

In the meantime, per carbro's suggestion, I've saved a few spaces by changing the "and" in "Rules and Polices" to an ampersand.

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1. Find where it says:

#logostrip{

background: #3860BB url(http://ballettalk.invisionzone.com/style_images/1/tile_back.gif);

border: 1px solid #FFF;

height: 68px;

margin: 0;

padding: 0;

}

2. In the above code section, change the height to "90px", to match the height of the amazon logo.

This was easy to do, once I poked around and found where it was located.

Huh, what do you know -- I can see you've just changed "68px" to "90px", and that's been sufficient to make it work with Firefox. Can anybody else confirm this?

I was trying to keep the number of changes required to the bare minimum, I must have missed this combination.

As for tile_back.gif, you can see what it is if you paste this URL into your browser:

http://ballettalk.invisionzone.com/style_i...1/tile_back.gif

but I wouldn't advise you to change it, if you don't have to!

If you're happy with the way BalletTalk now looks on IE, Firefox and Safari, maybe someone should make the same update to BalletTalk for Dancers?

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If you're happy with the way BalletTalk now looks on IE, Firefox and Safari, maybe someone should make the same update to BalletTalk for Dancers?
It's done on BT4D.

By making the change, a darker blue bar appears under the logo to fill in the vertical space. That's a lot easier than trying to match the logo to somewhere in the graded background, and I didn't even have to do anything more to make it happen :wallbash:

Many thanks for your help.

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I love the idea--I've ordered a bunch that have been discussed here, and this does eliminate some searching--and it's easy to see when I check for new posts. (One can get back to Amazon's home page by clicking on their logo at the bottom of the mini-store listings.)

Question, though--does BT benefit from clicking on the mini-store like it does when one clicks on the Amazon bannerhead at the top? I would like my shopping to benefit BT whether or not it's a ballet-related item I'm looking to purchase.

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Question, though--does BT benefit from clicking on the mini-store like it does when one clicks on the Amazon bannerhead at the top?
Yes, it does. Unfortunately, if you want to buy something other than what's in the mini-store, you have to use the search box next to the logo for sales to be attributed to BT.

Just be careful not to place two separate orders if you want the free shipping option and two separate items don't add to the minimum purchase needed to qualify.

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:wink: Clicking on the box isn't enough? I always click on the box to enter Amazon, but haven't ever initiated a search from it. :huh:

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the little store is . well, I nearly said "cool,' but the phrase is something musty.

But WOW! the dvds that pop up are very appealing, and the prices are great. In n Out!

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Unfortunately, if you want to buy something other than what's in the mini-store, you have to use the search box next to the logo for sales to be attributed to BT.

Looking at the aStores review I quoted earlier, when I originally suggested you could make one of them for BalletTalk:

review of Amazon aStores

you can see they managed to add a search box to their example store:

Reviewer's example aStore

I think it's something to do with "adding categories". (See the review.)

The reviewer's store seems to be narrowing down the categories of search you can do to fairly specific things ("Dead Trees", "Movies for Geeks", etc.) but it seems you can also make broad search categories ("DVDs", "VHS", "Books", "CDs", etc.) judging by this randomly selected aStore:

Another example aStore

For example, I think you can configure fairly restrictive categories to search such as "Balanchine", and/or you can have broad, flexible categories such as "DVDs". Whatever seems suitable.

I'd start off with some broad categories, and perhaps add some more focussed categories ("American Ballet Theatre DVDs"? "Paris Opera Ballet DVDs"? "Ballet Biographies"?) to give people ideas, beyond the nine featured items.

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Thanks to tylers's suggestion, I reinstated the search box, which I somehow disabled when I first set this up. (It did seem like an odd business model to restrict sales to nine items, even though that is a bit like the impulse purchase gum display on the supermarket checkout line, in which sales are diminished when there are too many choices.)

The choices are to search by categories, and the results will be added to the mini-store shopping basket, or if you want to buy things in the categories that aren't searchable -- lathes, bath salts, granola bars -- there's a "Go to Amazon.com" link that will navigate you to the main store, with the BT purchase code passed along to the amazon.com site.

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A question not specifically about the the mini-store. To save on shipping, I accumulate items in the shopping cart until $25 is reached and then place the order. Does BT still get the credit for saved items if Amazon.com is always entered through BT?

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A question not specifically about the the mini-store. To save on shipping, I accumulate items in the shopping cart until $25 is reached and then place the order. Does BT still get the credit for saved items if Amazon.com is always entered through BT?
As long as you navigate to the amazon.com site using the search box next to the logo or the mini-store, and, stay within the same browser session, the Ballet Talk code is retained with the order, and BT gets credit for the purchase.

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I really wish BT still had an option to get straight to Amazon. With that it would recognize me and have my address book and record of purchases, so that I used to be able to buy gifts while crediting BT. But I cannot find a way to do this anymore.

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It's still there, where it always was! You probably have to log in separately, but when I just clicked the Amazon logo on the banner, it tried to sell me underwear, which, I assure you, is not in our mini-store!

If you go into the mini-store to shop, and then you want to buy other items, you can scroll to the foot of BT's mini-store page and click on the Amazon logo there. You're in the middle of the main floor, instead of the little boutique.

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