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COUPONGOOD Release Notes: 08/26/08

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4 days worth of Diet Coke

Need a bigger desk

We did another iteration on the site based on user feedback.  We hit the internal goal thanks to a Diet Coke-fueled 36 hour push at the end…

Categories:

  • People wanted a way to browse similar types of stores and find the best ongoing deals.
  • We added [very] broad Categories in order to start accommodating this request
  • Each Category page shows the top 100 stores and the top 25 coupons
  • http://www.coupongood.org/categories

New UI:

  • People were confused about how to use coupons
  • We responded by making the coupons a little smarter; now, coupons are customized by the presence of a coupon code (or not).
  • Also, we increased the clickable area for using the coupon code to make it more intuitive.
  • The header and general look and feel was also updated to reflect the tracking data

We hope you like the changes.  Please feel free to add your feedback in the comments of this blog post or you can always email us at:

  • 2cents [at] coupongood [dot] org

Cheers,

The Coupongood Team

Written by thetyson

August 26, 2008 at 7:59 pm

Posted in CouponGood.org

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COUPONGOOD Release Notes: 08/11/08

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As we gear up for our beta release and the start of the marketing kick (August 18th), we started digging into some of the coupon quality issues surrounding automatically scraped coupons displayed on the site.

We soon discovered some issues.  Two big ones were hurting coupon quality on the site:

  1. Linkshare re-uses ids for its coupons.
  2. Both Linkshare and CJ have occasional duplicate coupons with different ids.

We learned a valuable lesson: never trust the integrity of your data to an external data source, especially not one you are screen scraping!  We’ve spent the past few days re-architecting the way data is collected, stored and displayed in order to:

  1. Reduce or eliminate the possibility of redundant or duplicate coupons.
  2. Filter out all non-coupons (eg remove things like “Summer Clearance Sale!”).

Coupon Quality Controls

  • We added better grouped uniqueness checks to the db in order to eliminate duplicates.
  • Then, Tyson took one for the team and manually reviewed 3,254 coupons — making sure only the real coupons made it through to the site.
  • We’ll manually approve all coupons from now on to make sure the offers are actually coupons.

Site Performance

  • We added 13+ db indexes to improve site speed (should be 41%+ faster now).
  • Benchmarked the webservers to get an idea of the concurrent load we can handle — it all checks out.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed the “new comment create” and “new comment view” bugs

Next up…

  1. New UI
  2. New About Us content
  3. General Categories for stores
  4. Other marketing goodies…

Written by thetyson

August 11, 2008 at 6:42 pm

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COUPONGOOD Release Notes: 07/29/08

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First, thank you to everyone who submitted feedback on the last release.  We have worked hard to implement many of your suggestions.  Please keep ’em coming to 2cents[at]coupongood[dot]org.

Second, thank you to Renee Cafaro – my gracious host in NYC.  New York was really fun (and somewhat productive).

Third, a big thanks to Ashvin Kumar for the late night “phantom production bug” issues.

Browse Stores Tab: www.coupongood.org/stores

  • As requested — we’ve added a simple alphabetical directory of all stores.
  • Yay!

Submit Coupons Tab: www.coupongood.org/submit

  • Coupongood is a community-run site.  Since day 1, we’ve encouraged users to share coupons with the community.  Now, we’ve added a generic form to make coupon submission easier.
  • Now, you don’t have to add coupons from the individual store pages, rather you can just put the store url in the coupon form and the coupon will automatically be added to the store.
  • This comes in handy when you want to just hammer through a bunch of coupons in a row.

Share Button:

  • People have asked for easier ways to get the word out about Coupongood.  We’ve answered with the addthis.com 30+ social media sharing button. Its just crammed into the ui right now, but we’ll make it fit better when we roll out the new ui in a couple weeks 🙂
  • Now, you can easily share the Coupongood with your friends whereever they might be online.

Auto-Add New Stores:

  • Coupongood has 838 stores with active coupons.  Clearly, there are WAY more than 838 ecommerce sites on the web, so we have enabled users to create new stores on the fly.
  • Now, if you search for (or submit a coupon for) a store that we don’t have, we’ll create that store on the fly.  As soon as someone shares a coupon for that store, we’ll automatically activate it.
  • Its all you — get there!

Click Tracking for Popularity:

  • Our goal is to help people save money (and the world) when they shop online.
  • With more than 5000 coupons on the site, it is becoming increasingly more important for us to sort them so you can find the best deals that haven’t expired yet.
  • We’ve put the infrastructure in place to collect this data, and when we have enough info, we’ll begin rolling out popularity sorting to the site so the best coupons/stores are on top all the time

Administrative Stuff:

  • We built some slick back-end administration functions to help us more quickly edit and approve new coupons and stores.
  • If you’re crazy about Coupongood and you want to help us moderate the quality of the content being created, email 2cents [at] coupongood[dot]org and we’ll give you a shiny new administrator account.

Bug fixes:

  • FIXED: …/stores/xyz = random 500 errors
  • FIXED: …/coupon-codes/xyz = random 500 errors
  • FIXED: allow “-” in url searches

Written by thetyson

July 30, 2008 at 10:12 am

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COUPONGOOD Release Notes: 07/14/08

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I write this on very low sleep while surrounded by dozens of 5 year olds in the SFO airport en route to NYC.  Advil anyone?

Okay.  We’ve been busy adding more stores, but most of the work in this release was on the backend.  Very good stuff, though

Tell us what you think:

  • Comment on this blog post -or-
  • Send bugs to: bugs [at] coupongood.org -or-
  • Send feedback to: 2cents [at] coupongood.org

Linkshare scraper:

  • Screen scrapers are pretty cool because they navigate the web read the pages, pull info (like coupons) and store them in the db.
  • We’ve started scraping the Linkshare network and the first run of the scraper added 288+ stores and 2,000+ coupons to the Coupongood.org site.  Enjoy 🙂

URL-search navigation:

Improved error checking:

  • We had some rogue ‘server 500’ errors that forced us to turn off ‘Categories Sections’ a couple times over the past week.
  • So, we bit the bullet and added a bunch of error checking.  We should identify and resolve any major or phantom issues much more quickly in the future. 🙂

Bug fixes:

  • We found and killed the source of the phantom “categories 500 errors”

Special thanks:

  • Thanks to Les for the search discussion
  • Thanks to Phil for the advice

Tell us what you think:

  • Comment on this blog post -or-
  • Send bugs to: bugs [at] coupongood.org -or-
  • Send feedback to: 2cents [at] coupongood.org

Written by thetyson

July 14, 2008 at 9:33 am

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COUPONGOOD Release Notes: 06/26/08

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The latest release theme was “increasing indexed pages through automation”.

Created the COUPONGOOD.org blog:

  • As you can tell, we’ve kick started our blog in true minimalist fashion.
  • Stay informed by subscribing via RSS or email updates using the links in the top right corner of the page.
  • We’ll probably write about: social entrepreneurship, microlending, uganda, ecommerce, and coding
  • Additionally, we’ll update regularly on code releases and metrics

Added ‘FREE SHIPPING’ coupons:

  • We made changes to the scraper so it collects all free shipping coupons as well.
  • This has helped us tally 1,051 live coupons on the site at the time of this writing.

Automatic store activation:

  • Instead of having a bunch of stores posted with no coupons, we have set it up so the stores only show up if the store has an active “official” coupon or if a user adds a coupon for that stores.
  • There are still a few rouge stores that don’t have any live coupons (~10), but we are working on finding coupons for all stores…

Sitemap submission:

  • We submitted our Sitemap – that is list of all webpage addresses – to Google, MSN, Yahoo, Ask search engines.
  • This is really going to help get traffic.
  • Currently, Google is the only one that has actually indexed us (211 pages indexed at this time) and 98% of our traffic is coming from them.

URL re-routing:

Special thanks:

  • Thanks to Ash for DBIX help
  • Thanks to Les for MYSQL nested query help
  • Thanks to Jeff for 302 Redirect help

If you see any bugs or have general feedback, please contact us.

Written by thetyson

June 26, 2008 at 2:56 pm

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