How to Get Your Help Sources Rmarked
The Purpose of Rmarks
An Rmark is a bookmark that an Rbate Consumer account holds to an Rbate Help Source . Consumers can rate each of their Rmarks on either a 1-5 star or a not-helpful/helpful/very-helpful scale.
Consumers acquire Rmarks when they visit Help Sources on the Web, when they enter Rmark URLs they see in printed publications or in material given to them by Helpers, or when Helpers directly deposit Rmarks in Consumer Rbate accounts.
Consumers can annotate and search their Rmarks to help them with their product and other research. Consumers are also asked to cite the Rmarks they found helpful on a purchase when they use Rbate to claim a cash rebate for that purchase, which can earn you income and a higher ranking in Rbate's Purchasing Help Search Engine. Further, you can view the Rmark statistics of each of your sources, which allows you to compare the reception of a work with that of other work by you and others in the product categories in which you work.
Ways to get a Source Rmarked
- If your Help Source is on a website you control, or if users of the source can be easily directed to such a webpage, add an Rmark button to the source's webpages,
- If your Help Source is on paper, in a broadcast, in-person, or online where an Rmark button can't be placed (such as in an email, forum comment, social media post, or a non-HTML app ), provide a short Rmark URL, or
- If you can obtain a person's email address and permission from them to add an Rmark, or if you provide in-person help to someone with a device with either an NFC capability or a QR-code app, you can add an Rmark for them.
The Rmark button for Help Sources on the Web
An Rmark button can be placed on any webpage — particulary those that can influence a purchase, but also pages that concern non-product-related topics which users may like to add to their Rmarks. (These "other topic" Rmarks can still earn you Rbate income via donations and deferred fees.)
Visitors either click the button or make a gesture to both rate your material and add that material to their collection of Rmarks.
Unless a webpage includes a number of user comments, which can each have their own Rmark button, place only one button on a page.
The Interactive Rmark button
Although Rmark buttons can be simple text or image links (see below), the interactive Rmark button allows users to rate and Rmark your material without leaving your page.
An example of the interactive Rmark button is shown below.
The button is shown in a suitable size for touchscreen users, but you can make the button larger or smaller by changing the dimensions in the image style. The pop-up panel will remain the same size.
By clicking the button above and rating this page you can see the special behaviour of the button when a user/browser has never before Rmarked and rated a webpage. The pop-up window explains the system, and offers options to register with Rbate and to enable auto-Rmarking.
If the user enables auto-Rmarking, Rmarks to articles (but not forum comments) are added as soon as they visit one of the article's webpages. The only indication that the article is being Rmarked is a pulsing of the button. Articles and comments can still be subsequently rated. Buttons change colour to reflect the user's rating.
Include the following HTML where you want the button to appear, adding the appropriate parameters to the link href.
<a target="_blank" href="http://rbate.com/rmark"> <img src="http://a.rbate.com/b/rmarkb.png" style="height:15mm;border:0" alt="Rbate Rmark" title="Click to rate and add an Rbate Rmark to this piece" /> </a> <script src="http://a.rbate.com/b/rmark.js" defer="defer"></script>
The script tag can be safely moved to the page head section, and only needs to be included once, even if there are multiple Rmark buttons on the page. If you dynamically add Rmark button links to a page, call rbate.showRatings() to activate them as interactive Rmark buttons.
The script is loaded in deferred mode, meaning loading of your pages is never slowed, no matter how long it takes for a browser to fetch the script.
The interactive Rmark button is only enabled for about the 90% of users using modern browsers. Rmark buttons will remain ordinary image links for those using older browsers.
Rbate receives no information when an Rmark button is displayed. This means that Rbate only tracks your users when they add an Rmark either manually or automatically (if auto-Rmarking permission has been obtained). A user's Rmarks are only visible on the Rmarks Page of their Rbate account, or when the user makes a rebate claim. They are not used by Rbate for any other personalised purposes, including the display of advertising. Rbate users can permanently delete each of their Rmarks at any time.
Rating by Mouse/Touch Gestures
A rating gesture is a pair of clicks or touches on a webpage, the second vertically above the first for a very-helpful rating, the second vertically below the first for a not-helpful rating, and the second directly to the left or right of the first for a helpful rating. Clicks longer than one second apart, within 10 pixels of each other, related to a drag action, or within active page parts such as textareas, are ignored.
Immediately after a suitable second click, the Rbate disc image will appear for two seconds under the mouse or finger, coloured to reflect the chosen rating . If users click this image, a modal dialog will open that displays the Rmark they have just created or re-rated, allowing them to make edits such as adding notes. If you've already added an Rmark to this browser, you can try the gestures on this page. These will operate on the sample Rmark button above.
If there are multiple interactive Rmark buttons on a page, a gesture will activate a rating on the closest button to the gesture point. For example, if a forum page has an Rmark button for each post, performing a gesture on a post's text should activate rating on the Rmark button placed somewhere in the markup of that post.
When a person makes their first Rmark by clicking an Rmark button and choosing a rating, a window pops-up that explains the Rmark system. This window includes information about Rmark gestures. You are however free to also explain Rmarks and gestures in other ways, such as on an FAQ page.
Rmark Button Link Parameters
While the above HTML is sufficient for many cases, it is preferable, and sometimes essential, to add one or more of the following parameters to the link URL of an Rmark Button, in the standard way. Please ensure that all characters that can't normally appear in URLs are encoded when they are present in URL parameters.
The greater the quantity and accuracy of the information you can provide in Rmark parameters, the more reliably Rmarks can be made to the correct source.
|PARAMETER NAME||PARAMETER VALUE|
You can use the Rcode of a media-group source in the Rmark buttons of any source that has a URL that is within the media-group's URL. That is, the URL of the source is the URL of the media-group with appended path segments. If you do this, Rbate will automatically create the source in your account when it's first Rmarked (if it doesn't already exist), linking it to its parent. This prevents you having to pre-register each of your sources with Rbate to obtain an Rcode to use in the button — you only need to pre-register media-groups such as websites and website-sections. You will receive an email when a source is automatically created, asking you to check and set its attributes, such as its source type, product category, and the list of products mentioned. It's also advisable to replace the media-group Rcode in the Rmark button with the newly-assigned source Rcode.
Rcode parameters of Rmark buttons associated with user comments and comment threads must have the form "S-N", where S is the Rcode of the Help Source to which the comments are attached, and N is a string unique to the comment, which when appended to the comment URL prefix set on the source to which the comment is attached (or inherited from the comment prefix set on a media-group parent), forms a permalink for that comment (see below). The parent ("S") part of a comment's Rcode can be blank if it can be determined from URLs. This allows Rmarking of comments on automatically-created sources in media-groups: set the Rcode parameter to "-N" and ensure that the Rmark button on the comment is associated with the URL of the child source to which the comment is attached (not the media-group's URL), preferably by setting one of the URL parameters.
If an Rmark button's first_page_url parameter is missing, the Rmarked page is searched for a link or a tag with its rel atrribute set to "start", and if found, its href attribute is used. If no such tag is found on the page, Rbate uses various heuristics to infer the first page URL from the page's URL.
Even if you've set the first_page_url parameter, it's useful to also set the URL parameter to the encoded canonical URL of the currrent page so that a user can Rmark not just a particular multi-page source, but a specific page in this source.
Static link Rmark Button
The interactive aspects of the button will however be lost, including gestures, and Rmark creation will take place in a new browser window rather than in the background. You should still add appropriate parameters to the Rmark link URL.
Rmarking of User Submissions (Forum Posts, User Comments, and Comment Threads)
If a Help Source represents a discussion forum, or if a source otherwise allows user comments to be attached to it (for example an article), you can make it possible for your users to Rmark individual user submissions or threads of such submissions, rather than just the source as a whole. Rebate claimers can cite these submissions as helpful, earning you income, which at your discretion you can share with your user-contributors.
To make this possible, each comment and/or comment-thread needs to have its own permalink URL, at which the only significant content is the comment or thread in question (Permalinks of individual comments provided to Rbate shouldn't be page anchors). The title of the page to which a permalink points, or the heading on this page, can be either the title of the article or thread to which the comment belongs, or the title of the comment itself. The comment and thread permalinks you provide to Rbate for a given source need to have a common URL prefix, to which a unique and as-short-as-possible URL suffix needs to be appended. The Comment Permalink Prefix field in the source's edit form must be set to this URL prefix.
Then to display an Rmark button for a particular submission, you should include the normal Rmark link HTML, but set the rcode parameter to the Rcode of the source followed by a dash and the same unique suffix that appears at the end of the permalink of the comment or comment thread. The source Rcode can be blank if it can be inferred from URLs (that is, the Rcode can have a leading dash). Except on the comment's or thread's own page, use the source URL rather than the comment/thread URL in Rmark button parameters.
If a forum has a number of subsections that cover different topics, tags, product categories, or products, it's worth creating a separate forum source for each of these subsections, generating separate Rcodes and search engine listings. Use these section Rcodes in Rmark buttons on comments and threads in the corresponding sections, as well as on the section index pages themselves. Be sure to set the correct Comment Permalink Prefix and Product Category on these sources. To provide you with aggregate statistics you can also set the Parent Source to a source that represents the forum as a whole.
Because there are usually more that one comment on a page, user comments are never automatically Rmarked — users must manually rate them by either clicking the post's Rmark button or by making a rating gesture on the submission's text. Gestures are associated with the button that has the deepest common DOM ancestor with the clicked page element.
Whenever Rbate pays you, we give you a breakdown of the earnings for each Rcode suffix (comment and/or thread). This can help you determine any payment distribution.
- You cannot encourage users to Rmark comments/threads, unless you're telling them to do so if they found the comment/thread helpful.
- You must make a strong attempt to prevent users from Rmarking their own comments, preferably by not rendering Rmark buttons on these comments. (Use a secondary cookie that prevents this even when users are not logged-in to your site.)
- Your forum rules must disallow conspiracies to fraudlently Rmark posts, and you must monitor comments to ensure that such collusion is not discussed and is suitably punished.
- You mustn't give users any information about bonus offers.
Rmark URLs and Images for Off-Web Help Sources
If one of your Help Sources is presented on paper or in a broadcast, or if the help is provided personally and you can't reliably obtain the consumer's email address or deploy NFC tags, you allow your source to be Rmarked by providing your users with a short web address (URL) that they can enter into a Web browser. The URL can be accompanied by a QR Code image that navigates to that URL when the image is held under a smartphone camera running a QR reader app.
The Rmark URLs are grab.as/[rcode] or clip.as/[rcode] (your choice), where [rcode] is the Rcode Rbate has assigned either this source or a parent source of this source . The Rcode of a source is displayed on the Sources Page of your Rbate Helper Acccount, and is returned when you use the API to have your CMS automatically create a source before you publish an item.
If your source has its own webpage, on which you can place an Rmark button, you can instead direct users to this page to get the source Rmarked (and possibly auto-created).
For example, a broadcast may point users to the program's website, where users can find a page dedicated to that episode or story.
A source such as a salesperson can either place a grab.as URL and image on their business card or invoice, or you can give each salesperson a dedicated webpage that contains an Rmark button, to which customers can be directed.
A printed story can direct readers to its online version. However if the online version is only made available after a delay, you can allow all readers to Rmark the story by putting a short Rmark URL at its end, adding the URL to the source record at a later time. You can do the same if an online story is only viewable by subscribers, or you can place an Rmark button on the story-stub or subscription-request page that non-subscribers will see.
The optional 21x21 element QR code image should be at least 15mm x 15mm when printed so that it can be read by fixed-focus cameras, but can be made smaller once auto-focusing phone cameras become more common.
You can download QR Rmark images using the links displayed on the Sources Page of your Rbate account. You can also download QR PNG images for your sources at the URL
adding the following parameters in the standard way:
|PARAMETER NAME||PARAMETER VALUE|
Your API key. Log-in to see.
The Rcode that Rbate has assigned this source.
"clip" or "grab" (the default).
Image zoom factor. Default is 2 (42px x 42px). Maximum is 26.
Rmarking With Email Addresses
Beside Rmark buttons and URLs, another way to get a Help Source Rmarked is to obtain the visitor's email address (for existing holders of an Rbate Consumer Account, this must be the address they used for their account), which you either enter on the Add Rmark Page, or submit to Rbate using the API described below.
You can also designate a deferred fee, allowing users to access your source without the need to arrange an up-front fee or subscription, but allowing you to get paid for that access from any rebate that the user subsequently receives.
To programatically add an Rmark you must POST the following parameters to
|PARAMETER NAME||REQUIRED?||PARAMETER VALUE|
|key||Y||Your API key. Log-in to see.|
|rcode||Y||The Rcode of the source to be Rmarked, as displayed in the table on the Sources Page.|
|Y||The email address of the user. You should ask the user to enter the email address of their Rbate Consumer Account, or, if they do not yet have such an account, the email address they'd like to use for that account. The user will then be emailed and given the option to create that account.|
|deferred_fee||N||A decimal number which represents the deferred fee you wish to charge for access to this material or service. A deferred fee will only be registered if you have checked the "Deferred" box on the "Service Fee" line of the source in question (on the Sources Page).|
A three-letter string that represents the currency of the deferred fee. The following are valid:
A status code of 200 is returned if the Rmark was sucessfully added, otherwise a different status code is returned with an error message as the response body. The error mesasge Invalid email address is returned if the email parameter is not in valid email address format.
Using NFC to give Rmarks to customers carrying mobile devices
You can give those you help in person an Rmark to your source (which you can choose to be a staff member, department, location, region, or organization) by having your staff wear NFC wristbands encoded with an Rmark short URL. The staff member asks customers who have been helped to hover their mobile device over the band, which on NFC-capable devices will automatically give the customer an Rmark to that source. A backup for customers without such devices is to give them the Rmark short URL in for form of a QR-code (on the wristband or elsewhere), on a business card, invoice, or poster, or to ask for their email address.