A better Help Center

Wednesday, August 16, 2006 at 9:09 AM

By Preeti Uberoy, Senior Associate

We know that uploading content to Google Base is not always the easiest thing to do, and we're working on that. In the meantime, we thought we'd point out some recent improvements to the Help Center and bulk upload instruction pages that might make the process more intuitive. For one thing, we added a lot of screen shots to cut down on the reading like this illustrated view of how to change your default display name.

More importantly, we redesigned our bulk upload instructions. Now you can find specific instructions for different types of content: business locations, courses, events and activities, housing, and so on. We list the required and recommended attributes for each item type, and we've also provided sample files. When you click on a specific item type, you'll go to a unique instruction page where you'll find links to sample files in tab delimited and XML file formats. For example, here's a properly formatted RSS 1.0 file for a bulk upload of events and activities.

You can even download a sample Excel file for your item, fill in your information as shown, save it with your registered filename (don't forget to save it as a text file), and upload. We're still working on getting the last few sample files up, so we apologize if you find one of the few that's missing.

Don't think that this means we're discouraging custom item types - to the contrary. Maybe you'll surprise us with content that we haven't anticipated, and create new ways to use Google Base.