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New: Amazon "Omakase" Banner


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#1 Fat Guy

Fat Guy
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 29,303 posts
  • Location:New York, NY

Posted 24 November 2008 - 03:10 AM

Last spring we implemented Amazon's context links program. For the duration of the program, Society members purchased US$104,885 worth of merchandise, which resulted in commissions of $7,138 for the Society.

Amazon discontinued the context links program last month and has replaced it with something called "Omakase." Periodically you'll see a banner in rotation at the top of the forums, suggesting food-related books and products from Amazon.com. If you click on one of these links and buy the book or product (or any other books or products in the same session), Amazon pays the eGullet Society a commission of about 5% of your purchase price. It doesn't cost you, the buyer, anything to make this happen. Amazon doesn't increase the price; the eGullet Society just gets a commission.

Our food-loving members and readers purchase untold amounts of merchandise from Amazon (the figure above is only what people purchased by following our links, which likely represents a fraction of overall purchases), with many of those purchases inspired by eG Forums discussions. A small portion of that revenue, directed to the eGullet Society, can go a long way towards enabling us to expand our scholarship program and improve our online services. Remember, once you follow one of these links to the Amazon website, everything you buy during that session will generate a commission for the Society. Or you can go directly to Amazon here to have your purchases support the Society.

To generate the "Omakase" banner, Amazon's software scans our pages and uses various algorithms to identify words and phrases that are relevant to products available on Amazon. We are only linking to books, housewares and food products (in other words, categories germane to our mission) as opposed to the dozens of other categories of merchandise Amazon sells (computer games, automotive, etc.).

In addition, we are asking that members link from their posts to Amazon whenever they discuss food-related books and merchandise that are available on Amazon. You can create a Society-friendly link to any item on Amazon so long as you know its 10-digit ASIN/ISBN number, listed on every Amazon product page. For example, if you look on the Amazon page for the Alain Ducasse pastry book, and you scroll down to "Product Details," it says:

    * Hardcover: 584 pages
    * Publisher: "Stewart, Tabori and Chang" (October 1, 2006)
    * Language: English
    * ISBN-10: 2848440163
    * ISBN-13: 978-2848440163
    * Product Dimensions: 12 x 9.5 x 2 inches
    * Shipping Weight: 7.4 pounds


The ISBN-10 number is what you want (for books it's the ISBN-10, for non-book products it's the ASIN).

You build the link like so:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/ISBNorASIN/ref=nosim/?tag=egulletsociety-20

So for the Ducasse pastry book, you put the 2848440163 in where it says "ISBNorASIN" in the above code example, and it looks like this:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/2848440163/ref=nosim/?tag=egulletsociety-20

For our members around the world, please note that both the "Omakase" and manually generated links all lead to Amazon US. Our arrangement does not currently provide for commission links to the Amazon UK, Canada and other international portals. We'll let you know if that changes.

With relish,

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)