Microformats and RDFa

The technically inclined might want to check out this article on Google’s newly announced support for certain types of semantic data. This should have an interesting impact on e-commerce, especially complex e-commerce products which have a great deal of options and attributes like promotional products.

Essentially, Google is looking to index information in a more meaningful way so that computers can understand it and provide better results to users. Right now, when Google looks at something like a product page, it really doesn’t know the difference between something like an imprint area and an imprint method, because they are both simply textual information. Google may understand them in the sense that they are similar to other terms in other places, and it may be able to help you find something using that similarity, but at the root, Google doesn’t really know what those terms mean.

XML gives us the ability to structure data in a meaningful way, but it isn’t necessarily available to Google in an html web page. It is only meaningful within a system or when exchanging data with another system.

RDFa attempts to structure and label data in a way that in meaningful to a computer. The development of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) pointed web content in the direction of semantic markup, but RDFa takes this much further by explicitly defining the structured content in a web page for the purpose of indexing and understanding.

If all this is making your head spin, think of this: What if you saw an event on a web page, and could automatically add it to your calendar, with all details correct, with just a single click? What if you could compare the lead times of products across many different websites just using a search engine – say, to find the vendor that has the fastest turnaround time for a given product?

That’s what Google is shooting for, and we will be testing these features and incorporating them into storeBlox over the next few months. We’ll let you know how it goes.

Categories: Articles, General

eBlox launches Mondo Tees

Mondo Tees homepageWe’re proud to announce the launch of Mondo Tees, a consumer e-commerce website specializing in movie-related apparel, posters, DVDs and collectibles.

Mondo Tees is operated by the fine folks at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, another great Austin company. showcases two great strengths of storeBlox: Complete design customization and apparel management. eBlox also built a JavaScript-based dynamic image slider for the homepage that loads thumbnails for all the products in the site and then allows a visitor to quickly scroll through them.

eBlox also developed custom listing styles for categories and searches, and used the storeBlox Banner Management system for rotation of header images on every page load.

The result? A dynamic, appealing merchandise site with a lot of visual “wow!” Check it out!

Categories: General, Launches

Corvest and 3M win PPAI Web Awards

PPAI announced today that eBlox designed and developed sites Advalite and 3M Promotional Markets won Silver and Gold Web Awards. Advalite took Silver in the Technical Innovations/E-commerce category, and 3M Promotional Markets was awarded the gold in the Marketing/Branding category.

We’re very proud of both sites (and many others!) and are happy to see storeBlox-driven sites take these big honors from the premier association for the promotional products industry. Both sites are products of much sweat, hard work and intensive collaboration with the clients.

Both sites showcase the extensive customization capabilities of storeBlox, as well as a wide variety of custom-developed distributor tools that enable both suppliers’ customers to market, sell and purchase their products easily.

Please check them out at and You can view the Web Awards winners here.

Categories: General