Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Week 11 - Web 2.0 Moving and expanding the Web
Hey Everyone yes this week we are talking about something that I'm sure most of you enjoy
from time to time, web 2.0 applications.
How many different applications can you spot in this photo.
First of all I should explain what Web 2.0 is to those who aren't sure what it is.
The term Web 2.0 was coined in 1999 to describe web sites that use technology beyond the static pages of earlier web sites.
Originally in the first years of the internet, websites acted like online brochures giving information on products/services that could be printed off.
This was quite common with car brand websites that promoted their new cars.
Q1. Exercise - select five applications that you have not heard of before from Popular URL's, or the webware awards and describe how they could be useful to a business.
This list cover the difference between what was web 1.0 and what became its replacement as web 2.0.
blogging - e.g Blogger
upcoming.org and EVDB
domain name speculation
search engine optimization
cost per click
content management systems
Like many important concepts, Web 2.0 doesn't have a hard boundary, but rather, a gravitational core. You can visualize Web 2.0 as a set of principles and practices that tie together a veritable solar system of sites that demonstrate some or all of those principles, at a varying distance from that core.
Figure 1. shows a "meme map" of Web 2.0 that was developed at a brainstorming session during FOO Camp, a conference at O'Reilly Media.
It's very much a work in progress, but shows the many ideas that radiate out from the Web 2.0 core.
Five applications useful for business
1. Google adsense - an application that makes advertising online simple, you upload your marketing content, and then pay a variable price, that depends on the quantity and quality of exposure that you are seeking for your business.
2. Napster - While websites like Napster, free convert and download websites or even torrent sites are seen as illegal, these websites get a lot of hits for their free service.
These high traffic websites are ideal for advertising on, but can however cause moral or ethical issues, depending on whether or not the site pays royalties.
3. Wikipedia - Many businesses have their name and bio listed in Wikipedia.
This especially useful for potential customers that are looking for information on a product patented by your company.
4. Blogger - Why not share with the world the story of your business, the more in depth information you can provide about your the business, the more interest your business will acquire. This is also an interactive format where people can leave comments or ask question, creating another layer of connection with consumers, under relationship marketing.
5. LinkedIn - an important tool for any business to be listed on.
It gives you perspective on your competitors, possible business customers, possible suppliers and supporters.
Many users of LinkedIn create alliances through networking, where positive recommendations are a mutual two way practice.Thanks for looking if you would like to donate to Allstar's blog for future posts and blog Click the Paypal donate button.
Week 10 - Trust in the Digital world
Hey everyone this week we are talking about trust in online business.
1) What is meant by the following statements?
Trust is not associative (non-symmetric)
(A.) Trust is not associative (non-symmetric) - if an individual trusts someone, the individual they trust may not necessarily trust them back.
In terms of buyers and sellers; the amount of trust for each party, isn't always equal.
The seller may have a high amount of trust that the buyer will provide the money or good agreed on for the good they are selling.
While the buyer however may have less trust in the seller that they will provide the goods or service agreed on.
(B.) Trust is not transitive - the relationship extended to one domain is not automatically extended to any other domain that is trusted by that domain.
If your boss trusts you in your workplace to take care of money, that does not automatically mean that he/she will trust your brother or nephew with that same responsibility.
(C.) Trust is always between exactly two parties
Trust needs to involve two parties.
This means trust cannot happen unless there is an exchange at least between two parties .
(D.) Trust will involve either direct trust or recommended trust
Direct trust is created by the free and deliberate act of the parties involved.
Recommended trust is placing trust in an individual because a third party outside the transaction has indicated that they are trustworthy.
2a) Have a look at the following websites. What are some of the elements that have been incorporated to increase your trust in the sites? If there are also some aspects which decrease your level of trust describe them as well.
Ebay are a good example of trust, their pay-pal system covers any losses up to $20,000 (US)
Being one of the big four banks means that ANZ have high security measures.
The webpage measures up as a bank website should, consistent format, programmed in HTML secure.
A widely recognised and discussed website that provides security for financial transactions.
At the bottom of their homepage is a customer certified badge that indicates they are a legally recognized, and trustworthy organization, moderated by a website monitoring committee.
Well like eBay it sets the bar for security amongst websites across the internet.
2b) Find a web site yourself that you think looks untrustworthy.
A website that looks untrustworthy.. Amazon, hahaa, just joking but seriously don't buy shares in Amazon unless your a risk taker.
However there are some smaller websites that link themselves to Amazon which are actually scams, using the appearance of being official by using the Amazon name.
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Week 9 - Channel Conflict
Hey everyone this week is all about channel conflict between brands and their sellers in the modern age.
One major channel conflict that headlined the news last year (2012) , was one between Acer and Microsoft, concerning a new line of products to compete with Apple.
click the link to read more http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/06/21/us-acer-idINBRE85K17Y20120621
Despite the initial criticism from many in the industry, in the long run Microsoft made a long-term decision that resulted in the expansion of their services and products.
It also provided potential to increase consumers in the market of portable computers.
Microsoft's decision empowered consumers to a degree by offering a option different to the portable products of Apple.
Channel conflict is evident in everyday life with many things, predominantly that of fast food and fast food chains. This is visible in Pizza Hut/Dominoes along with smaller businesses, McDonalds/KFC.
Especially the Burger King and Hungry Jacks joint venture in Australia, originally Burger King was willing to let the franchise hungry Jacks open stores in Australia with their products, but then they changed their mind, went behind their backs and tried to steal their business , to which Burger King were determined to terminate the franchise agreement.
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Week 8 - Online Auction
Hey everyone this week we are talking about online auctions, looking at how they operate, and how they can be profitable
Q1: eBay is one of the only major Internet “pure plays” to consistently make a profit from its inception. What is eBay’s business model? Why has it been so successful?
Ebay is the pioneer in person-to-person online trading business model.
Founded in 1995 by Pierre Omidyar, the company now provides millions of auctions, and hundreds of thousands of new items every day from which bidders may choose.
Ebay as a 'pure-play' business, means that the market sets the price (above some minimum). Auction-based pricing is sometimes referred to as "dynamic" or "fluid" pricing, where on the other end of the spectrum there is 'set' or 'static' pricing mechanisms.
Finding the right balance can take time, and indeed, one can continue to miss the mark as the market shifts and competition evolves.
With an auction, there is no guess work, this is why eBay is successful they don't have to set prices, that's up to the sellers to do, therefore they never miss the market because of price.
Q2: Other major web sites, like Amazon.com and Yahoo!, have entered the auction marketplace with far less success than eBay. How has eBay been able to maintain its dominant position?
Being the first to start a new category of business helps, but what has really set eBay apart is two things...
1. Ease of use - eBay's customer interface makes it easy to make several transactions at once with their shopping cart function.
On top of this the customer interface has stayed fairly consistent over the years, meaning that customers know what to expect and don't have to re-learn how to move through the website.
2. Security - Paypal is a fantastic payment scheme clearly endorsed by eBay as a safe means of paying for purchases, and is widely recognised.
So if you pay for your item with PayPal and it's significantly different to its description or you don’t receive it at all, you may be eligible for up to $20,000 in free PayPal Buyer Protection. http://pages.ebay.com.au/securitycentre/buyer-protection.html
eBay also uses widely recognized credit card institutions adding a level of security and familiarity.
3. What method does eBay use to reduce the potential for fraud among traders on its site? What kinds of fraud, if any, are eBay users most susceptible?
One of eBay's main method of reducing the potential for fraud is their Guide to prevent fraud.
see link http://www.ebay.com/gds/All-Ebay-Members-READ-THIS-Guide-to-prevent-FRAUD/10000000002375941/g.html
Everything you need to know about protecting yourself while buying and/or selling on ebay
One of the largest frauds that customers are susceptible to on eBay, are private auctions.
Sellers who make private auctions under anonymous names tend to be scams, and therefore should be avoided.
Q4: eBay makes every effort to conceptualize its users as a community (as opposed to, say “customers” or “clients”). What is the purpose of this conceptual twist and does eBay gain something by doing it?
Karp (2009) states that eBay is a community of buyers and sellers, a complex social system of which users are active members.
In order to be successful on eBay , you need not only the technical skills of buying and selling, but also be effective in communicating to other ebay members, and contribute to the eBay community in a positive way.
What do eBay gain? A network of empowered buyers and sellers, its a community where if 'you scratch my back I will scratch yours'.
Feedback comments on eBay is a system that shows customer responses to a seller that they made a transaction with.
These comments can be positive, negative or neutral and add to the status and credibility of a seller.
If you network with other sellers and leave positive feedback on transactions you have made with them, then they will be encouraged to give you positive feedback and recommend you to others.
Q5: eBay has long been a marketplace for used goods and collectibles. Today, it is increasingly a place where major businesses come to auction their wares. Why would a brand name vendor set-up shop on eBay?
In the book "the ebay billionaires club" (pg.47) Yaskulka a business owner, explains in an interview why ebay was his preffered option, its a "combination of having access to a large audience of customers without needing to scale any of your operations."
This next question is the lecturer of this subject talking, not myself
Q6. "I have a few businesses, and I have used eBay for about 12 years on and off. Currently I have about 600 books listed on eBay (seller name ozrural). I stopped selling on eBay for a few years but they changed the rules this July and it is viable again (for me)". "What do you think changed?"
Honestly how is anyone suppose to know why it is now feasible for him, perhaps they no longer have usage fees like they did, some websites make you pay if you want to add more photos, or maybe they made keeping track of your transactions easier than before, with their updated account interface.Thanks for looking if you would like to donate to Allstar's blog Click the Paypal donate button.
Sunday, May 26, 2013
Week7 - Digital automata
Hey Everyone this Week we are talking about a subject that has got me excited,
digital automata... automated programs that do tasks for you!
1) What is Cyber-Twin?
Cyber twin is a program which uses artificial intelligence to make decisions in the way that you would make a decision.
A program that is designed to perform tasks and answer questions from an intelligence database collected on a person.
Does it work? ah yes, is it accurate? well not quite but it is getting there, if this type of program was near to perfection than it would be more popular.
The problem is that human logic is not ordered or consistent, like a mathematical formula.
2) Write a one paragraph describing the Turing test and another paragraph describing an argument against the Turing Test, known as the about the Chinese room.
The Turing test is a proposal for a test of a machine's capability to demonstrate thought.
Developed by Alan Turing (1950) from his paper Computer Machinery and intelligence.
The Chinese Room
Searle asks you to imagine the following scenario : There is a room. Sometimes people come to the room with a piece of paper which they slip into the room through a slot.
Then they wait a while until the same piece of paper comes back out of a room through a second slot.
You soon discover that the people slipping the paper into the room are native Chinese speakers who are sending questions into the room.
Let's imagine that they have written the following question:
Fig 1: This question in Chinese means " What brings happiness?"
When the paper is later passed out of the room, the Chinese speakers discover that an answer has been written below the question.
The answer is also in Chinese and the native speakers determine that it is, in fact, a wise answer to the question. (We made up the question, but we borrowed a line from The Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu hoping for a "wise" answer.)
Out of curiosity , you want to know what is in that room, what technology and/or operators, create such an answer to suit the person/s that has asked the question.
You bust down the door to find a man inside, he speaks english, he doesn't know Chinese, nor has he studied chinese culture or history.
Behind him is a shelf full of books that contain codes and symbols.
Let's say his name is Average Joe, he explains that his job is a simple, all he does is refer to the 'database' of books, finding the correct response to the data given.
Average Joe opens up a book on his desk and shows you to the page that was used to respond to the last (question) paper that came in, the one from the native chinese speakers.
The book that he is reading in this picture is a book written in English.
Note that the only sentences on the page are sentences that you, as an English speaker, can understand.
This book is one of countless volumes that together tell this operator what output (in the form of Chinese symbols) should be given in response to virtually any input (of Chinese symbols) that comes through the slot into the room.
Each volume covers only a small percentage of the possible inputs. That's why there must be so many volumes.
This particular volume tells what output to give in response to virtually any input of Chinese symbols that begins with the first two Chinese symbols written on the piece of paper.
Average Joe does not recognize any of the symbols.
They are simply meaningless shapes to him. For all he knows, they may be nothing more than patterns for making wall-paper and not a language at all.
As it turns out, the symbols do have meanings.
They are Chinese symbols, on top of that , they are questions in Chinese being asked by intelligent speakers.
The books function as a computer program.
Each page gives instructions for how to manipulate symbols.
The instructions at no point make any reference to the meaning of the symbols.
(That is, nowhere will you find a sentence that gives the English translation of any of the Chinese symbols.)
None of these books is anything like a Chinese-English dictionary.
3) Can virtual agents succeed in delivering high-quality customer service over the Web?
The problem that prevents virtual agents providing high quality service, is the program's ability to cater for individual differences.
This theortical agent would need to understand not only the needs of the customer, but also, would need to keep up to date, with slang, and words that continue to have new meanings.
The other problem is that automated programs can not relate to how people feel, how would a program apologize an inconvience to a busy soccer mum, compared to a busy restaurant owner.
A response made to the mother may need to be intimate, empathetic and personal.
Although this may not be an appropriate response to a restaurant owner, involved in a business transaction, where the appropriate response would be a sense of responsibility and professionalism.
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Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Week 6 - Digital Markets
a) What experiences have you had with shopping online?
Haha well I'm a big window shopper even online, I don't buy much online at all, some of my family members buy me gifts from online places and those have all been good experiences.
I did however recently buy a Kogan simcard, on Kogan.com.
It was fairly quick process, but I was then annoyed to find out that the average standard shipping time was six to eight weeks!
Like what the heck!
But seriously Kogan probably have one of the best phone usage deals going around in Australia.
For $29 a month they give you unlimited calls and text and 6gb of internet download, (maximum of 400 mb a day) and they operate on the Telstra network (the provider with the best phone coverage/reception in Australia).
b) Describe a good experience.
A good experience? well I haven't had one, I've had a decent experience.
I bought a Wii U from JB Hi-Fi online.
They gave a special pre order price so I thought it would be good to save some money.
It took weeks to work out, their administration system was slow to confirm transactions, unlike Ebay or Kogan where it instantly withdraws the amount from your account.
When the Wii U came out in JB Hi-Fi stores the first week, it was the same price as the pre-order price, I was really ticked off but I learned a valuable lesson, do not believe JB-Hi-Fi's pre-order price marketing scheme,
if you walk into their store on the first week they stock the new product, then you will get the same price.
JB Hi-Fi say their offer a lower pre-order price in order to increase early demand, which will increase flow of inventory.
However JB Hi-Fi betray customer trust by offering the pre-order price in the first week the product is available in store.
Another reason this is a problem is because JB Hi-fi online is slow compared to their larger competitors because much of their online administration and inventory management is
performed manually, instead of automatic and instantaneous macros (automatic programs that perform a whole series of actions - http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/M/macro.html).
This means that some pre-order customers have to wait longer to receive their product , compared to first week sale customers, because of their slow online store system.
Transactions are completed every second or third day,
which means the money to pay for your online purchases isn't withdrawn from your account until two working days after you have confirmed purchase, unlike Ebay, Amazon or Kogan where payment is instantaneous.
JB why should I bother waiting around for it to come in the mail, when I could get it in store in the first week for the same price!
But I was happy once I had it in my hands and got to test out, so the product itself and its perfect condition, prevented me from seeing it as a negative experience.
c) What did you like about the online store you used?
Well Kogan I believe did a pretty good job of making the transaction process easy, similar layout to Ebay , but one difference is that Kogan clearly ask for feedback and evaluation.
d) Describe a bad experience in online purchases.
Most of my experiences have been bad or at most slightly positive, I bought an album card that had a download code for a pay drop box, I used the code, downloaded the zip file and then my computer crashed, and when I checked my downloads all that was there was an empty link.
I can tell you what though that wouldn't have happened if I was using iTunes instead.
e) What problems did you have with the online store?
Getting back to talking about my order with JB Hi-fi online,
my problem was that it wasn't as responsive as I had hoped.
I was expecting the transaction process to be as fast as Ebay or Kogan.
But no it seems JB Hi-Fi have their employees do the process manually which is why it took three days for my transaction to be processed.
It took longer than that though because I had to make sure I didn't spend too much from my account within that time period, the order had to be re-processed several times because of this.
So I was dissapointed by their system to compete with Kogan or Ebay they need to have a faster transaction speed, it needs to be more sophisticated and automatic.
f) What features make an online store more appealing?
A simple transaction process and a quick money withdrawl.
g) What features make an online store less appealing?
Like I said a store that is slow to confirm purchase and ship product.
Also a store that makes a transaction seem overly complicated, and pop up advertisements that get in the way of eyesight when purchasing a product.
h) Should we expect to see the prices of goods and services rise or fall due to the migration of consumers online?
It will fall, physical retailers can't compete price wise, Kogan have a saying for this "Cheaper than Harvey Norman or JB Hi-Fi guaranteed or it's free!"
If Online stores like Kogan can torment large retailers like JB Hi-Fi by saying they stay competitively cheaper than large retailers, than these trends can only continue.
a) The dispersion of prices (that is, the spread between the lowest and highest price for a particular product) will narrow.
Let's look at buy.com a website considered to be an epicenter for online shopping.
Buy.com use their large and fast search systems to compare and analyse prices for products across the web, to bring the consumer the lowest price on the web.
The use of technology to search and analyse prices will become more widely available in the future, although the internet already provides sufficient price transparency.
Such a quick response rate to price updates through increased internet speeds and automated programs will cause retailers to have to stay up to date with price changes to compete.
b) The importance of brand names will decrease.
There will always be a place for brand name position, however there will be a reduction in sales for leading brands, due to the mass copying and replication of products by mass producing countries like China and Taiwan.
This is already happening, here is an example: Are you shopping for a TV?
Which brand came first, Panasonic or Palsonic?
c) Price competition will make all products cheaper.
There will always be a few to the exception, products that are original and have a patent will likely continue to market at the price they want.
Such examples are, Brooklyn Freerider and the Yike Bike, their unique and original patented design removes most of the pressure to lower their price to substitute products.
d) Digital markets will become dominated by a handful of mega-sites, like Amazon.com.
This is true many small business are drawn to the power that sites like Ebay and Amazon hold.
Only businesses that have a unique product for a niche market (e.g. the Yike Bike) will contain the rest of the digital market in a small percentage.
Small business must be aware that sites like Amazon have giant search engines that are constantly comparing and analysing prices of every other competitor in the digital market.
e) How do you think the balance of power between buyer’s and seller’s will change?
The will is being swayed to the buyer's side, however sellers are coming up with new ways to increase profits, one way is by setting a non negotiable postage cost, unique bids auction system, and offering extended warranties.
Once a buyer has a made a purchase the seller can entice the buyer to buy more, for example you have just bought a laptop from Kogan.com, once you have completed the transaction it shows you accesories you can add to your laptop.
Cases, speakers, mouse, battery life extender,
you initally were only going to buy the laptop, but the website has shown you attractive add on products right after your purchase, this is done to try and prolong your interest in browsing through their store, the longer you browse the more you spend.
f) Prices are clustered online.
Yes this tends to be the case, name brands still need to make a profit and so do their dealers, so price will start from a minimum price, as seen with the ipad mini. http://www.macrumors.com/2012/10/20/ipad-mini-pricing-to-begin-at-approximately-329/
g) Online prices are elastic. ( i.e. immune to change up and down with demand)
Prices online are seasonally elastic.
Price for popular products always rise in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
Why? because retailers know that there is always more demand around Christmas time.
The reason retailers can be assured of increased demand during this season , is because there is a relatively stable cultural pressure, and urge to buy people gifts for this holiday season.
h) Online prices are generally transparent (the extent to which prices for a given product or service are known by buyers in the marketplace.)
Like I said earlier prices are transparent online due to online technology.
Anyone who has common sense does not put a product online without showing a price.
You can not logically put a product for sale online without showing its actual or negotiable price.
Trust is much more sensitive online than a physical store, a person browsing a product that is for sale online without a price tag could assume its a scam.
It's simple no one will hand over their credit card without knowing the amount that will be taken out.
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