Newbie with an Ethernet Shield

I'm using an Arduino to act as a servo, and will be communicating with it through an Ethernet Shield.
The idea is to send instructions to the Arduino, then have the Arduino send responses back, all through the Ethernet Shield.

What protocol should I be using?

So far the ugly part is proving to be initializing the shield. Is there any sample coding available explaining this?

There are TONS of examples.. and even some built into your Arduino IDE.

Check them out..
come back with code and questions on where you are stuck.