AWS Official Blog

RSS Web Feeds for Tags at Amazon.com

by Jeff Barr | on | in Announcements |

Amazon.com just released a new tag-based RSS feed system. While not an Amazon Web Service as such (Amazon.com and Amazon Web Services are technically different organizations), it’s a very compelling mashup opportunity–especially because the feeds pass an Amazon Associate ID as a parameter, which creates a unique revenue opportunity for developers.

Often described as “Really Simple Syndication,” RSS web feeds are a way to surface content from Amazon.com on other sites. You can also aggregate Amazon.com web feeds directly in a news reader, letting you receive updates in your personal reader without having to visit the site. Subscribing to an RSS web feed is usually as simple as clicking on the link or dragging it to your feed reader of choice.

RSS Feeds for Tags
On most tag pages you will see an orange icon () and the label “RSS feed”. This web feed icon indicates that you can subscribe to and keep track of new products added to the tag or new discussions posted in the community.

Many people may not realize that you can already find tagged items by typing “http://www.amazon.com/tags/<Tag%Name>” — For Example, http://www.amazon.com/tags/Flying. With this new enhancement, mashups just became an even stronger Web 2.0 proposition, thanks to the revenue potential of these feeds.

To construct your own feed, you might build it out as follows:

Base URL:
http://www.amazon.com/rss/tag/

(note the addition of “rss” in the uri)

Search Term:
hip%20hop/

(note the use of %20 to escape the space)

New (optional)
new

(to only show new items)

Length:
?length=100

(to return the top 100 new items)

Associate ID:
&tag=bumperartcom-20

(replace with your own Assocciate ID)

The example above will look as follows:

http://www.amazon.com/rss/tag/hip%20hop/new?length=100&tag=bumperartcom-20

Note that if you leave “new” out, then remove the slash betgween “hip hop” and the question mark.

As an aside, if you set length to a shorter value–perhaps 10–most modern browsers such as Firefox 2.0.0.4 and IE 7 will render the XML on a best efforts basis. It took me a while to realize why XML looked like HTML :)

– Mike