Archive for September, 2007

LicensePlateShirts – One Plate at a Time

September 13, 2007

When we started our LicensePlateShirts gallery on Zazzle, we actually used the Zazzle API to create an external website where customers could choose a state, then type whatever text they want to appear on that state’s license plate. They would then click over to Zazzle’s design tool with the license plate and custom text already loaded. (See

This approach works well, but contains a few drawbacks. First, there is a huge time commitment in designing and coding up a website. Even if you already have a website, you’ll need to write some code to add your products. Also, once the user lands on Zazzle, they are dealing with a single product design, and how to change to a different design (another license plate, for example) is not obvious.

Show Me the Buffet
So how do we make it easier for both contributors and customers? For contributors, we need to remove the difficult barrier of writing web code. And customers need to be able to customize an entire buffet of products at once, without jumping through hoops.

Enter project “Template Buffet”…the internal code name for this new feature. Here’s how it works:

1. A contributor creates a set of template products (see documentation)

2. The contributor creates a new gallery product line and publishes these template products in that category.


3. From the Create-a-Product API page
, the contributor selects to create a category link. In three easy steps, the contributor generates a web address to this product line. (Visit LicensePlateShirt’s category link)


4. Navigating to this address takes customers to a simple page that shows all the products, and allows easy customization.



No programming needed by the contributor, and no back and forth by the customer to get the right design on the right product. Dinner is served.

What's in a Button name?

September 12, 2007

Overheard in a Zazzle internal email thread about new button objects. Had to share…

Annette: What's a better unambiguous name for z2 Buttons?

Ed: How about HTMLButton (since that's really all it is)

Chris: How about ButtonButton, since it uses a BUTTON tag?

Ben: How about BenButton since I'm so vain?

Annette: BenButton.GetLint()

Ben: That would return Lint.Empty :-)

Rich: if (aBenButton.GetLint() != Lint.Empty)
          throw up;

Ben:if (aBenButton.GetLint() != Lint.Empty) {
          aBenButton.NeedsToBathe = true;
          throw up;


Build Those Links!

September 10, 2007

Reach a broader audience, rank higher on search engines, and sell more products with link building! What is link building? It’s all about getting your gallery linked from 3rd party websites out there, so that more eyeballs come across your gallery and products. What do you have to do? Not much really, one easy way is simply to add a text link or a banner image to a link building site. There are a bunch of ‘em out there, here are a few options that I’m already aware of to get your gallery going:

Also – bonus – here’s a useful blog that talks about Zazzle and has a bunch of helpful info:

Finally (does this guy ever just shut up?), you can get more information about all this stuff in the promote your gallery section of the forums, so check it out. It’s free and more fun than twiddling your thumbs.

WARNING!!: Random Thumb-based Aside…

They have thumb wrestling competitions!? Must learn more…
thumb wrestling champ


Fake Mascot Contest Winners Announced

September 7, 2007

The winners of the Fake Mascot contest have been announced on the Zazzle Contest Page! Congrats to Wislander and all the entrants of this contest. We had a huge number of excellent entries and it was really great to see everyone’s interesting and off-the-wall designs for this contest.

Grand Prize Winner

Prize: $1,000 Cash


Honorable Mention Winners

Prize: Their entry on us ($25 in Zazzle Credit toward their next purchase)

International Honorable Mention Winners


Burning Man 2007 – The Twice Burnt Man

September 6, 2007

I just got back from 7 days at Burning Man deep in the Nevada desert and all I can say is, WOW! This year will go down in Burning Man history…


Burning Man 2007

It’s hard to put the experience into words, but let’s just say I shed several tears throughout the event – which, of course, quickly turned into mud from all the dust on my face. Muddy face and all, here are some of the highlights:

1. Crazy sand storms tore through the camps. Yea, I’m sure you’re thinking the same thing – awesome!

2. A lunar eclipse on Tuesday, the 2nd day of the event. This happens, what, once every 42 years! Actually, it’s more like twice a year, but still, pretty sweet that it happened during Burning Man.

3. Later that night a guy climbed up the Man with homemade napalm and torched it. Insane! You gotta love the crazies making homemade napalm. No worries, though. The people rebuilt a new Man by Saturday. Kudos! Those guys interested in a job at Zazzle? :)

4. I had the honor of shooting for the Solar Flare Conclave as they performed in front of 1000’s of people right before Burn.

5. Right after all of the Solar Flare performances, the new and improved Man burned gracefully and then exploded into a small fire ball!

Soooo, all is done, time to pack up and go home, right? It would have been, if it hadn’t been for the unplanned events that went down next….

The Oil Rig Burn…yes, this thing exploded. Not a small, “make a funny face” type explosion…I mean, this thing really exploded! We’re talking a 400 – 500 ft mushroom cloud of fire, which in my opinion, eclipsed the actual burn of the Man. It was great.

Burning Man 2007

All in all, the whole experience was unbelievable. Take a look at my photos – I hope they can do it justice and can describe my Burning Man experience more than words can. And of course, if you were there next to me in the desert, I would love to pass the torch (get it!) and hear your stories as well. Take care.

Photos here: Burning Man 2007

Time lapses here: The Oil Rig Burn, The Second Burning of the Man

Also, check out what the Valley Way, and official Burning Man Blog for more info on the 2007 Burning Man.


Bebo “Back to School” T-shirt Contest

September 5, 2007

promo_bebo.jpgFor all you Bebo lovers out there, it’s time to get excited! We’ve teamed up with Bebo to launch a “Back 2 School T-shirt Contest”! The submission deadline is September 28th at midnight and the only rule is that the design must include the Bebo logo. The Grand Prize winner will receive 10 free t-shirts with their design on them and a $200.00 gift certificate on Zazzle. The Honorable Mention Winners will receive $100 gift certificates on Zazzle.

P.S. Don’t forget that the deadline to enter the Talk Like a Pirate Contest is September 16th at Midnight.


International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

September 4, 2007

Talk like a pirate dayThe world famous International Talk Like a Pirate Day is only two weeks away so you know what that means, time to brush up on your pirate talk (usually reserved for Halloween and bad parties)! Ok, I’m a little rusty but here goes:

Ahoy you salty sea-dogs! The 19th day of September be nearly upon us, and the seas be swaying and turning to black cause they be knowing what day that be. It be the “Talk Like a Pirate Day!” You Jim-Lads that be a bit too wet behind the ears may not be hearing about this before, so then listen to the Pirate Day tale here, lest the leviathan be taking your heavenly soul that day. Aye! It be a dangerous day, so don’t be gettin’ caught with yer bloomers around your boots. Instead, head to Zazzle’s Talk like a Pirate Day gallery, it be the port with all yer Pirate needs! The winds a carried a message to me, that there be a collection of Pirate shirts greater than the Queen Anne’s buried treasure. Plunder one for yer harties today!

Hark! That not be all the story me have for you lads! There be plenty of booty to be won in Zazzle’s new Talk Like a Pirate Day Contest. Design a pirate shirt fit for the crew of any sea farin’ vessel and you might be getting some gold for your purse! So strap on yer eye patch and grab your saber, it be a wild squall ahead! Savy?


Pirate Contest

September 3, 2007

Note: This contest is now over. Winners will be announced after Monday.


Hey everyone! We hope you’ve been enjoying our last two funny contests. Get ready for this one because the competition will get dangerous. Good luck!

Translated to Pirate Speak:

ARRRGH! Ahoy thar me hearties. We hopes ye bin enjoyin’ arr past two hoho contests. If ye dare enter this contest, be prepaaarred ‘t sail the high seas ‘cause no landlubber, scurvy dog, or scalawag shall plunder arr booty. May the winds be at yar backs.


View Entries » | Go Create »



The submission deadline is 11:59 PM (PST) on Sunday, September 16, 2007.


Avast ye! As you may know, this contest takes place in celebration of Talk Like A Pirate Day on September 19th, 2007. Yarrr! We encourage any pirate-related entries – pirate-speak is not a requirement. So man the ships, set sail and start designing! Thar’s a storm a brewin! Only a proud few will brave the weather to find the buried chest of 1,000 coins and 10 other treasures! (a.k.a. the grand prize of $1,000 cash and ten additional prizes, see below for details) So down your whiskey and practice your seaman’s swagger to boot. Let the most fearsome pirate win!


1. Grand Prize Winner (1 winner)

  • $1,000.00 USD – COLD HARD CASH

2. Honorable Mention (10 winners)

  • Get your contest entry on us! ($25.00 credit toward your next purchase on Zazzle)



How To Enter:

Submission deadline is 11:59 PM (PST) on Sunday, September 16, 2007.

  1. Create your design and place it on a product (can be any product type … t-shirts, mugs, posters, stamps, you decide!). Make your product.
  2. Publish your product to the Zazzle marketplace with the tag “PirateContest2007” (find out how to tag your product). If you have already published your design prior to the start of this contest, simply tag it “PirateContest2007″ to submit it.
  3. You’re almost done! To give yourself added publicity, don’t forget to leave a comment below with a link to the product page of your entry.

IMPORTANT: You may only enter one design (on one product) to the contest. You may NOT enter the same design on multiple products and you may NOT enter multiple designs. If you do, only your first entry will be eligible to win. View the contest rules.

Learn more about the contest





Winners of Fake Mascot Contest

September 3, 2007

Well folks this contest has been a long crazy ride, but finally we have the winners for ya! So without further ado… *Drum Roll* the winner of the 2007 Fake Mascot Contest is Wislander’s Rabid Squirrel Kung Fu Shirt! Congrats to Wislander and all the entrants of this contest, we had a huge number of excellent entries, it was really great to see everyone’s interesting and off-the-wall designs for this contest.

Grand Prize Winner

Prize: $1,000 Cash


Honorable Mention Winners

Prize: Their entry on us ($25 in Zazzle Credit toward their next purchase)











International Honorable Mention Winners




For those that just can’t get enough of contests on Zazzle, check out the Pirate Contest that is now running! Again, thanks to all the Zazzlers that entered and participated, this contest really belongs to you.


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