Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Monday, February 26, 2007
Sunday, February 25, 2007
My guess is that if these practices become wide spread we will see them quickly banned. The language used makes this almost ineivitable. "Discrimination" has a neutral connotation in economics-- not so for customers or politicians.
What's interesting is that Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook turned down a $ 1 billion offer from Yahoo last year. Newscorp paid $580 million in 2005 to buy MySpace. Google paid $1.76 billion to buy Youtube.
How much is social networking worth? How to monetize it? What industries (and companies) are likely to be impacted by this trend?
In a related note, here is a software that helps you plot and understand social networks. Some of you may find it interesting and useful.
Friday, February 23, 2007
I realize that Web 2.0 is the wave of the future but I would question whether the inability to harness revenue from new and innovative ideas will eventually lead to a decline in the number of companies entering the marketplace. Although I imagine it would be a nightmare to implement and enforce globally, could we see the entrance of government regulation to protect new ideas in the form of short term patents?
Although MySpace has topped Yahoo! to be the most viewed sites in December last year, its ads revenue is far behind Yahoo! (75M vs 1.5B). As we have discussed in class, the reason is that it has difficult showing advertisers how can member profile pages add value to the advertisers. They have to charge a much lower rate for those ads because of that. By using this new technology, News Corp hopes it can increase the value to the advertisers by allowing them targeting to a specific group of members and so can charge them a higher price.
Moreover, by acquiring this company, MySpace may substantial reduce the reliance (and so the importance) of Google to them as Stategic Data Corp is doing exactly the same thing (to show more relevant ads) as Google is doing for MySpace.
source: WSJ online: News Corp Buys Technology Firm to Boost MySpace
Thursday, February 22, 2007
This is an article about a recent problem with Flickr. A database problem caused random (and often pornographic pictures to be downloaded instead of the picture that was requested) It is interesting how fast customers shared information about the problem in the blog and how vocal they were about their displeasure.
Great blog written by Don Hinchcliffe with a lot of Web 2.0 content. Definitely worth checking out. The blog includes Web 2.0 commentary on social media, product development, revenue generation, and more. Included on the right is the graph showing the explosion of MySpace as discussed in class.
Founded in 1999, with the vision of developing collaborative online communities, Communispace has radically changed the way businesses connect with their customers today. Because our orientation is different. It’s not about software. It’s about people.
Our technology connects people-to-people. Driven by the research and experience of anthropologists, facilitators, trainers, and other individuals committed to studying and promoting effective social networks, Communispace’s patented technology delivers a unique and vibrant experience. Our product design places special emphasis on creating a social environment that has people coming in frequently, engaging each other, sharing their interests, passions, and life stories in both formal and informal ways.
Our service connects you to your customers and to the vital insights that drive business growth and innovation. Our dedicated and experienced team pulls from the best practices of dozens of client engagements and ensures your information and research needs are met, every step of the way.
The full text of the article can be found here:
Google to Sell Online Software Suite
Visit some of the swickis already created or try the IS714 swicki I've create for our class blog.
Here is an interesting blog that deals with the challenges of navigating multiple relationships that may be necessary to develop robust business models in the network era.
MySpace and Google entered into a relationship in 2006 when Google became the exclusive provider of text ads on MySpace (although the deal apparently has not been finalized yet). It appears that Google is protesting moves by MySpace to pursue other relationships that may be seen as weakening Google's position relative to MySpace.
The blog makes important points as below. The issues each company faces:
1. MySpace wants to empower their user base and become more of a centralized hub, by allowing "peer commerce" with eBay's PayPal mechanisms.
2. eBay is facing negative backlash from investors, who are looking not only for growth, but to stay ahead of competition from Google's new payment system Checkout.
3. Google has a hard time sharing ad space. They certainly don't want to share MySpace with eBay, when they're trying to steal market share with Google Checkout.
What options (including alliances) should MySpace pursue to develop a robust winning business model?
The 1st search term will be “definition of net present value.”
Google: 3, Yahoo: 6, Live: 7
The 2nd search term is “definition of CRM system”
Google: 10, Yahoo: 9, Live: 6
The 3rd search term is “definition of current ratio”
Google: 8, Yahoo: 8, Live: 8
The 1st search will be “dollar sign”
Google: 10, Yahoo: 10, Live: 10
The 2nd search will be “Kanji”
Google: 10, Yahoo: 10, Live: 9
The 3rd search will be “Boston University seal”
Google: 3, Yahoo: 7, Live: 0
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
RICH IN DATA. Senior News Corp. management is working to bring MySpace's business model up to scale. Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin announced a big step in that direction during a speech on June 13 in which he outlined the company's new online search strategy. Search is a driver of traffic and advertising revenue for other major Web destinations, but it's a largely untapped source of growth for MySpace and other Fox Interactive Media (FIM) properties such as online gaming site IGN and sports site Scout (see BusinessWeek.com, 5/2/06, "News Corp.'s New Net Bets").
Given MySpace's power, Google (GOOG), Yahoo! (YHOO), and MSN (MSFT) are expected to compete fiercely for the right to be the search engine of choice for MySpace and the rest of Fox Interactive. News Corp. won't say how much money it expects to derive from a deal, but industry experts say it could conceivably boost MySpace's annual revenue several times over. "The deal will probably be worth hundreds of millions of dollars," says Chris Sherman, executive editor of Searchenginewatch.com.
The punchline to the segment above is that MySpace now features Google Search. Here's a follow up article.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
There is an article in WSJ talking about the changing role of CIO in corporation.
The computing systems they manage have long been seen as an essential resource but also an operating cost to be controlled. Now, technology is increasingly being recognized as a vital tool in corporate strategy -- and CIOs are helping to wield it. Web sites, for example, have evolved at many companies from the equivalent of corporate brochures to huge direct-sales channels that must be skillfully designed and tightly managed.
According to recent CIO polls from research firm Gartner Inc., 50% of CIOs surveyed said they now have duties outside of core technology, such as helping to craft corporate strategy. That is up from about 20% three years ago, says Mark McDonald, a Gartner analyst.
"Companies are requiring CIOs to be more thoughtful about strategy," says Reynold Lewke, a partner in the Palo Alto, Calif., office of recruiting firm Egon Zehnder International who leads the firm's CIO practice. "Many CIOs have become business partners."
In recognition of this job shift, more CIOs are now reporting to top executives such as chief executives, chief financial officers and chief operating officers than to other parts of an organization. Last year, 74% of CIOs surveyed reported to a CEO, chief financial officer or operating chief, up from 69% in 2003, according to Gartner.As IT becomes more and more important in a corporation, the role of CIO has shifted from purely supporting the internal IT infrastructure to helping to craft corporate strategy and drive company growth. Knowing technology is not enough to be a successful CIO nowaday.
"The CIO title is misused, frankly," says Mr. Ehrlich. If all a CIO does is oversee tech systems, "they should be named a tech manager. A CIO should be enabling a business to grow."
For those who have access to WSJ online, here is the link of the article.
source: WSJ online: CIO Jobs Morph From Tech Support into Strategy
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Breakdown charts can be seen here:
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Here is a tribute to web 1.0 that is worth taking a look at to understand the key sites that were popular just few years back.
I am sure you remember some of these sites.
7. Network Solutions
Any other web 1.0 site that you remember as being significant?
Friday, February 16, 2007
"Mobile-phone and security companies in this safe Asian nation sell phones and school bags with GPS devices to help parents overcome fears." Read the article here.
This is in alignment of technology leading us to the ubiquitous network and Web 3.0 with the convergence of, what has now become, utility devices such as cellphones and GPS technology. Throw in WiMAX and you've got the platform for what could (and will) become an improved way to stay connected. With companies like Softbank providing content for children on portal websites like Yahoo! Kids, I think this is a very good example of responsible companies mitigating the risk associated with having sensitive information about children available online.
Here is a site worth taking a look at. http://www.activegrid.com/
Specifically, take a look at the demo section (I am sure you will find the demo on GoogleZon.com intriguing in light of the EPIC 2015 video).
The PR news release is available here.
The following is from NY Times (Feb 15, 2007).
The New York Times
February 15, 2007
Times Company Forms Alliance With Job-Listing Web Site
By MICHAEL J. de la MERCED
The New York Times Company and Monster Worldwide, the operator of the popular job-listing site Monster.com, announced yesterday that they were forming an alliance to share brands on the newspaper company’s career sites.
The deal is the latest collaboration between newspaper companies and Web sites to form partnerships to battle other rivals. For newspapers, it means making deals with companies once seen as enemies that were undercutting print classified advertising revenue. For online companies, it offers a way to tap local job markets as well as link with highly visible brand names.
Last November, Yahoo reached a deal with seven newspaper chains that integrates their job listings with the company’s HotJobs search technology. Three of the largest newspaper chains — the Tribune Company, the Gannett Company and the McClatchy Company — own CareerBuilder, among the largest help-wanted sites. And Yahoo’s archrival, Google, has signed a deal under which it will sell advertising space in 50 newspapers, including The New York Times.
Beginning in March, 19 of the Times Company’s properties, including The Times, The Boston Globe and its various regional papers, will introduce Web sites featuring the Monster brand. Beyond sharing search technology and databases of résumés, the companies said they would introduce features like “click to print,” through which employers can have their online job postings published as ads in Times Company newspapers.
“The combination of technology, reach and expertise created by this strategic alliance is extraordinary,” Janet L. Robinson, the chief executive of the Times Company, said in a statement.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Abbe Serphos, a Times Company spokeswoman, confirmed that it included a revenue-sharing component.
Shares of the Times Company rose 59 cents, or about 2.3 percent, to $25.75, on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday, and Monster gained 91 cents, or about 1.7 percent, to $53.63 on the Nasdaq.
Douglas E. Klinger, president of Monster North America, said that his company first approached The Times last fall as part of its broader effort to form alliances with major media outlets. Since last summer, Monster has struck deals with more than 60 daily newspaper sites and 8 television properties, he said.
The deal allows Monster to tap into local markets, which are still one of newspapers’ strengths, while giving consumers better access to nationwide job opportunities, Mr. Klinger said.
“When you combine the leader in media with the leader in Internet job sites, you’ll get great results,” he said.
Both the Times Company and Monster have played down the threat of free job-posting sites like Craigslist, focusing instead on the extra offerings and relationships with employers that their sites bring.
“This alliance is about the strength of the New York Times Company brand and local market penetration combined with Monster’s expertise, recruitment tools and brand strength,” Ms. Serphos said. “This is part of our long-term strategy to build our online recruitment product offerings and revenue.”
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Google's satellite map is decent. From this angle of view, it may not help you figure out what SMG building looks like, but it is good enough to help you find where SMG is. In addition, it seems faster than the other two sites.
Here are some articles that give you more detailed comparisons.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
The NY Times article provides the list of the sites.
Here is an interesting video that I saw about Gmail.
The site, Threadless - T-Shirts, is really Cool and Cute. The site is collecting ideas about Slogan/ Pattern/ Charts from all over the world and printing it on the T-Shirts. It is another good fusion of business model and idea from users.
Thinking about this potential conflict reminded me of Wal-Mart and their legendary bargaining power that allows them to dictate the relationships they form with their suppliers. This power stems from their sheer scale as well as having superior information technology to track consumer behaviour [i.e. better than their suppliers]. At what point will Google have too much scale and knowledge about the consumer that even a prestigious magazine such as Time will not be able to resist them without shooting themselves in the foot?
Where I think it becomes interesting is that Wal-Mart is sometimes credited with starting the global outsourcing movement. An interesting article on this can be found at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/walmart/secrets/shots.html Taking a fairly shallow view of global outsourcing being nothing more than the elimination of excess value capture from the supply chain, it would seem that if Google were to hit a critical mass, that they would be poised to dictate the terms by which traditional media companies supply information to them.
If this were to happen, could this spur a global “outsourcing” of media content creation similar to the manufacturing outsourcing that Wal-Mart helped drive? Assuming that any difference in quality between high cost and low cost content is rapidly converging toward zero, why would somebody pay a premium for a news story based on the agency it came from?
20 years from now, will the New York Times have "All the News That's Fit to Print" in one corner and "Made in Malaysia" on the other?
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
If you go to the "Mashups" menu at the top of the main page, you can select "Mashup Matrix". This gives you a matrix of which APIs have been been combined and provides a link to the mashup. You can also search the mashups based on popularity, release date, etc.
An example for the skiing fanatics out there is Ski Bonk, which allows you to "view real-time ski conditions for ski resorts all over the world on Google Map along with webcams, resort information, trail maps and weather forecasts. Snowcast feature predicts which resorts will have the best snowfall in next 24 hours."
If you have extra cash and want to earn a higher return or if you need instant money and couldn't access a bank, you may want to try this. (But don't call me if you have any problem with that)
GOOGLE MAPS MANIA
This site has pretty much anything you would want to look for on Google Maps, from Mooninite Sightings to Restaurants and Apartments in Boston and beyond.
Mash-ups are developed using the Google Maps API or found online, and then shared via this blog.
Visitors can leave comments, or get Google Guidance.
Monday, February 12, 2007
Not just another site: Trulia has the similiar setting with Zillow but better supporting Safari - the Mac OS X web browser. Trulia also provides user to create contents for the site. In addition, Trulia has its own blog.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
He also added that, “The Internet is a wonderful place to be and we’re leading the charge there.”
This statement comes on the heels of the New York Times heading into year five of declining profits at the Newspaper behemoth. Also, within the past couple of weeks, the Boston Globe suffered a $540 Million dollar loss related to declining subscribers.
Many believe the writing is on the wall as the New York Times has 1.5 Million daily readers to its website versus the 1.1 Million daily readers for its print addition.
Finally, the world’s oldest newspaper, Sweden's Post-och Inrikes Tidningar newspaper, is going internet-only! I’m sure Queen Kristina, Sweden’s ruler in 1645 who founded the paper to communicate affairs of state to her subjects, is rolling in her grave…
Saturday, February 10, 2007
I found a list of top 100 web 2.0 sites online which was published by Web 2.0 Magazine on January 1, 2007. I was not surprised that wikipedia and youtube were in the list. But I was confused that skype, linkedin and even gmail were listed as web2.0 sites. So, what are the key characters of a web2.0 site?
Besides my confusion in the concept of web2.0, I am also not clear how web2.0 can add value to business. When some classmates presented web2.0 sites in class, in most cases we couldn’t tell the business model of these sites. I know web2.0 does give more freedom to end users, but what that means to companies? Do we already find some ways to apply web2.0 to companies' IT strategy or we are developing some ways? I hope if my boss asks me how our company can benefit from web2.0, I can give him a satisfactory answer.
MS-MBA Class of 2007 is graduating at the right time, perhaps!
Friday, February 9, 2007
...There is a new profession of trail blazers, those who find delight in the task of establishing useful trails through the enormous mass of the common record. The inheritance from the master becomes, not only his additions to the world's record, but for his disciples the entire scaffolding by which they were erected.
...[Man] has built a civilization so complex that he needs to mechanize his records more fully if he is to push his experiment to its logical conclusion and not merely become bogged down part way there by overtaxing his limited memory. His excursions may be more enjoyable if he can reacquire the privilege of forgetting the manifold things he does not need to have immediately at hand, with some assurance that he can find them again if they prove important.
The applications of science have built man a well-supplied house, and are teaching him to live healthily therein. They have enabled him to throw masses of people against one another with cruel weapons. They may yet allow him truly to encompass the great record and to grow in the wisdom of race experience. He may perish in conflict before he learns to wield that record for his true good."
Bush, Vannevar. "As We May Think" Atlantic Monthly July 1945.
At the turn of the century, the American and parts of the European economies were described as Laissez-faire from the French, “let do, let go, let pass.” This described a free market economy with little influence or interference from the government.
A doctrine of this early American economy was the term Caveat Emptor meaning, “let the buyer beware.” A buyer could not recover from any defects in the merchandise sold from the seller.
History does repeat, and as we have seen with the internet explosion, the late 1990’s and early 2000’s saw this laissez-faire style of little government involvement. Although charges of monopoly against Microsoft were dismissed after a lengthy lawsuit, and the Supreme Court continues to see rulings on file sharing cases; (only now to have Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs suggest in a memo that trying to prevent sharing of music is the wrong way to go), government has lagged when setting policy or regulations for growing economy. Like the early economy of
As more information propagates on the internet, and indexers like Google choose not to filter or regulate but simply sort information for users, it is up to the user of that information to make the determination on whether it is “good” information or not. For example, a user searching for lowest fares can try www.farecast.com to estimate the best and lowest cost, but it is not necessarily accurate.
I feel that the exaggeration of the video Epic 2014, where Googlezon or Amazoogle defeats the New York Times will never happen. When it comes to trusted sources of information, there is more credible reliance from a source such as the New York Times than that of a blogger or other unknown. When the risks are not high, such as for restaurant reviews, we rely on new sources to test their validity and add to our personal strategy for filtering information. When things are more critical, such as weather reports or medical information, we tend to value resources with higher levels of professional backing that have existing filters, that we can not apply, already in place.
However, it remains to be seen if the internet will follow the path of
Caveat Emptor has now passed from products to the service realm of information on the internet, potentially requiring a new phrase Caveat Colligor, “let the acquirer (of information) beware!
Yahoo Pipes is an online app that allows users to create their own mashups via drag-and-drop, currently using RSS and Atom feeds. They hope to expand to other technologies in the future, allowing users to combine multiple online calendars, Google Maps, news feeds, blog feeds, etc. into a single data center.
Tim O'Reilly called it "a milestone in the history of the internet."
I tried it out last night, and while it's not the easiest thing to to figure out, I see the potential.
Thursday, February 8, 2007
Craigslist is running into issues related to issues in today's discussion regarding identity security in the digital age:
Many issues are raised through this news item, but included are:
- Who has the right to post/disseminate your personal information?
- Should content providers be responsible for information pulled from their sites – especially as Web 2.0 pulls more content from more sources?
Del.icio.us is the “original” social bookmarking site and was bought by Yahoo in 2005. It allows you to keep track of all your favorite items on the web. Tags are a huge focus of the site; every post/bookmark features tags to make it more accessible. You can also share your bookmarks with family and friends.
Digg is a news- and story-based site where users get to decide what gets shown. Stories are “dug,” which allows the most “dug” stories to be showcased on the homepage. You can get the latest dug stories with RSS and create an account to post your own stories to be dugged. Stories can also be tagged for easier searching; the site is launching some new features like DiggSpy, a tool that allows you to see what people are digging and writing before they even post anything.
I don't know exactly what that means, but it sounds interesting. The website is slated to be "online" this month. I don't use my Myspace account very often, but when (or if) I do, maybe I can jack up my page to the next level.
However, this is a scary time to be an equity holder in Planzo, Google Calendar entered the market in 2006 and I think their ability to bring more users to their site will tip the scales in their favor.
One of the biggest criticisms of Skype seems to be that it utilizes a proprietary rather than open standard. As a result, it makes it more difficult for other developers to mesh well with Skype. It will be interesting to see how the competition will play out in the near future.
Check out the website for more details. http://spotscout.com/
If Web2.0 applied to cars…
1. They would only be available in Lime Green, Orange, Hot Pink and Deep Blue. All of which also in gradients.
2. Manufacturers would all be named ‘Chryslr’, ‘Mercedoodle’, ‘Dodg3’ or ‘Toyo.ta’
3. They wouldn’t blow smoke, they’d blow clouds.
4. You would be able to drag and drop the dashboard components with your index finger.
5. The car would go smoothly, most of the time, hey, it’s a BETA version after all.
6. Your vehicles manual would be written in 24pt Trebuchet. It would also come with 43 bookmarks.
7. Your radio would have a clickwheel, and you’d subscribe to feeds, not stations.
8. Your only instruments would be the speedometer and fuel gauge – less is more, right?
9. Car accidents would start to be called Mashups.
10. Talk about sleek curves – the whole body would be a collection of rounded corners.
11. They would work fine on all standard roads – an old potholed road may not support them well. Indeed, your whole car could shift 100 pixels or so into the wrong lane.
12. When new models came out, you’d need an invite to even see them.
13. You’d be able to upgrade the engine wirelessly, using your PDA whilst sipping a latte.
14. Ajax would bring out a car cleaning product.
15. Most major highways would install rails.
16. Lots of small car manufacturers would start up, but GM (GoogleMotors) or Yahoowagon would buy them out.
17. Indicators wouldn’t blink, they’d fade in and out.
18. Car Clubs would be called Social Networks.
Mobile 2.0 or Mobile Web 2.0, as defined by Dan Appelquist (sounds like someone important):
"...closed mobile application and services, available only through one operator, are Mobile 1.0. Mobile 2.0 applications and services are open and available to anyone to download, install and/or put to use via the mobile Web. In my mind, the Mobile Web is a big part of Mobile 2.0. Mobile 2.0 also builds on the ideas voiced by Tim O’Reilly and extends those to the Mobile platform and its capabilities...
In short, Mobile 2.0 takes the Mobile platform to where the Internet is today, and shows us how the mobile phone can become a first class citizen, or even a leading citizen, of the Web. What Mobile 2.0 does not mean, at least in my mind, is more sophisticated, but still essentially closed, mobile applications and services. Openness and user choice are essential components of Mobile 2.0."
"Here are some rough extensions of the O’Reilly Web 2.0 set of examples applied to Mobile 2.0:
SMS -> IM (e.g. Yahoo! messenger for mobile)
MMS -> Media sharing (e.g. ShoZu)
Operator Portals -> Mobile Web and Search
Premium SMS billing -> Mobile stored value Accounts (e.g. Luup)
Java Games -> Embedded Applications (e.g. Blogger application)
Presence & Push-To-Talk -> Embedded VOIP applications
WAP sites -> .Mobi sites
WAP push -> RSS readers
Location services -> Google maps application
Time or volume-based pricing -> “All you can eat” data charging
Content consumption -> Content creation (e.g. mobile blogging)"
All these characterics of Harnessing Collective Intelligence, blog, tag shows that why LEGO is web2.0 company and how offline company can be a web 2.0 company.
If you interested in, visit http://mindstorms.lego.com
VW Vortex (Discussion forums)
The Car Lounge (Discussion forums)
Edmunds - Inside Line (Reviews & Blogs from editors)
Left Lane News (Latest news in blog format)
I haven't been able to find many web 2.0 type sites focused on the automotive industry, perhaps making it prime for some new entrants. I did find this one site that does provide increased interconnectivity among existing services and technologies, but I feel that it's not yet executed to its full potential.
What makes it web 2.0? It is independent of any dealer networks yet has the ability to search for used cars across the nation. The Used Car section encourages user input and reviews of how dealers treated customers. Google maps is incorporated to locate the car and visitors can read reviews of that particular make and model. The videos section is linked to youtube and it allows you to utilize drop down menus to find videos specific to a make or model (functionality not offered on YouTube in their Automobile section - it's a pain to sift through rubbish home videos of burnouts, etc. when all you may want to do is find video reviews while shopping for a new car). Overall the site provides a simple one stop portal but it seems like it has not caught on enough - not many user generated dealer reviews and a limited database of used cars. If anyone knows of other web 2.0 auto sites - please let me know!
It was founded in 1995 by Craig Newmark for the San Francisco Bay Area. After incorporation in 1999, Craigslist expanded into nine more cities in 2000 (all of them in the U.S.), four each in 2001 and 2002, and 14 in 2003. As of November 2006, Craigslist had established itself in approximately 450 cities all over the world.
As of 2007, Craigslist operates with a staff of 23 people. Its sole source of revenue is paid job ads in select cities ($75 per ad for the San Francisco Bay Area; $25 per ad for New York; Los Angeles; San Diego; Boston; Seattle; Washington D.C., and paid broker apartment listings in New York City ($10 per ad)).
It serves over 5 billion page views per month, putting it in 34th place overall among web sites world wide, 8th place overall among web sites in the United States, to 10 million unique visitors. With over 10 million new classified ads each month, Craigslist is the leading classifieds service in any medium. The site receives over 500,000 new job listings each month, making it one of the top job boards in the world. The classified advertisements range from traditional buy/sell ads and community announcements, to personal ads and even "erotic services".
Although the company does not disclose financial information, journalists have speculated that its annual revenue approached $10 million in 2004.
Rumors have floated in the past about Craigslist being an acquistion target for Google.
Below image is their headquarters, a classic internet company office.
This is an example of web 2 point 0h because it simplifies and consolidates your instant messaging in one single program accessible from anywhere and because it is a great way to have your messaging capabilities on machines where program installations are regulated (i.e. bu computer lab).
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
"What makes Travel 2.0 different from the first, booking-oriented wave (e.g. Expedia, Kayak, AA.com) is that it is fully interactive and expands via user-generated content. A Travel 2.0 site is structured to allow users to easily contribute words and images, reviews and travelogues. Consequently those who visit a Travel 2.0 site can glean multiple insights about a destination, hotel, or other aspect of travel.
Several Travel 2.0 sites encourage visitors to add their own videos. Travel wikis, mashups, and blogs that enable comments also are considered Travel 2.0. For contributors there is no compensation involved, other than the satisfaction of seeing one's words or images on a public Web site." About .com
Web 2.0 Becomes Travel Standard
I know Google seems to be a popular choice, but its the one that i think does inspire the concept of 2.0 as well as anyone.
Not only do we have blogger and earth, we have calendar.
How many times have you wondered when people are free and your only way of finding out is to give them a call, send them an email or track them down via another way? Google Calendar solves these problems with a quick easy concept. (Assuming people update their schedules)
With Web 2.0 collaboration is key, and what else needs more collaboration than trying to figure out who is available and when they are available.
On a second note, I not sure if everyone saw this on CNN, but it was an interesting take on Zillow and its effect on Real Estate. It also talks a little how the key to the continuing growth of this might be added accuracy. Thought it was interesting given our conversations yesterday.
Jobster Web 2.0 start-up that is meshing job search/networking with a MySpace touch. Essentially, there are companies that list positions as well as a networking side that allows people to publish their web personality in a professionally focused locale. Using this network you are able to refer friends and collegues directly into the HR group at these companies with a special recommendation.
I was one of the earlier users on this product and it was very helpful to me in finding my summer internship. I was interested in Web 2.0 businesses and how they related to what I was learning in the MSMBA, so I kept up with developments at Jobster. I was later asked to do a testimonial video of my experience at Jobster and why I like the product. There is a companion to this video done by a HR guy from TIVO who talks about working with Jobster from the hiring point of view. The video was shown at a few Web 2.0 conferences this past fall. Enjoy the indulgence, particularly my scale relative to my surroundings.
and the company they talked about is http://www.prosper.com/
You can search for a specific Web 2.0 site or browse by category by clicking the "Select Tab" button at the top of the page. The resulting list of categories varies in font size. This is the same idea that Venkat conveyed with the Web 2.0 picture by Markus Angermeier on Tuesday. The size of the category relays the relative importance to the users, most likely based on the number of hits.
This website is very useful because it provides a summary of what each Web 2.0 site offers. Enjoy!
Tuesday, February 6, 2007
Visualizing Web 2.0
Thinking Beyond Web 2.0: Social Computing and the Internet Singularity
Source: Dion Hinchcliffe's Web 2.0 Blog
The USATF (United States Association of Track and Field) website integrates google maps for runners to create routes, with distances and elevations displayed. Users can choose from routes created by others, rate routes they've run, or create new routes to be shared.
Anyone interested in joining me on my 17 miler?
Fresh off of our discussion today, there is the glory of YouTube and its immense presence in the sharing and collaboration of the Web 2.0.
And while this quick video captures a lot the ideas of the possibilites of the format and its inspirations to the general population, it avoids much of the talk we had today regarding the signal to noise ratio.
But the video does a nice job of tying together the overall concept of the Web 2.0 as a shift in the way information is not simply formatted for print anymore...the information now has information and where we take that possibility is starting to evolve before our eyes into environments that spawn and grow with increasing network effects and shifts in the paradigms of how to absorb the content.
However, I'm not sure I'm
to comment on this article from Business Week, other than to say that one's enemies can use the web to do more harm than simply changing the Wikipedia entry for Al-Qaeda to cast themselves in a more positive light.
PS- Start your own Web 2.0 company here.
- Bandwidth Law: Verizon offers new mobile devices that can take advantage of the increasing digital bandwidth to deliver music and video content as well as text message services. Verizon has also used the Internet to improve processes like on-line bill paying for customers. The company has additionally added fiber optic data services (such as FiOS).
- Metcalf’s Law: Verizon has built a network of Verizon customers through cellular and VoIP technologies. Iobi (middle picture) is one example of a Verizon product that helps customers manage mobile communications by seamlessly sharing data across multiple devices.
- Moore’s Law: Many mobile devices are now looking less like phones and more like tiny computers with color LCD screens, keyboards and full featured operating systems. Moore's Law has also enabled consumers to access new mobile web applications (such as Mapquest) to change the way people access maps, find directions, look up stock quotes and search for sports scores.
Though I may not be an expert, I myself contributed to the Wikipedia article that we saw today in class on Boston University's Graduate School of Management by correcting a number of unfortunate typos and grammatical mistakes. While this may be more artificial artifical intelligence ala Amazon's Mechanical Turk effort than it is authorship, it does show the value of collaborative efforts.
Also significant is their business model, based on the try-for-free and pay if you like it model. They reinforce this by running a great blog, Signals vs. Noise, that focuses on innovation, agile software development, and their philosophy toward product design. It also gives customers a great deal of transparency into the company, a forum to be an active part of future development.
I believe that this is the little discussed but most important aspect of adapting to a Web 2.0 world. Understanding that information is not sourced on the Internet means that we have a responsibility to ensure that the information we consume has reliability. As consumers of information and members of the information generation, we all need to develop the skill to filter information ourselves, with potentially dire consequences if we cannot.
Unfortunately, as producers of information (from a personal or business standpoint), there is once again more work to be done to ensure that the information out in the world about your products and services is accurate.
In the long run I think it's impossible to stop a bias from forming if enough people post content leaning one way or the other on an issue. The real question is where does the truth lie and can we take a Wikipedia article at face value?
CNN Article about Microsoft & Wikipedia
According to Wikipedia's definition of Web 2.0:
Web 2.0, a phrase coined by O'Reilly Media in 2004, refers to a perceived or proposed second generation of Web-based services—such as social networking sites, wikis, communication tools, and folksonomies—that emphasize online collaboration and sharing among users. O'Reilly Media, in collaboration with MediaLive International, used the phrase as a title for a series of conferences, and since 2004 some technicians and marketers have adopted the catch-phrase. Its exact meaning remains open to debate, and some experts, notably Tim Berners Lee, have questioned whether the term has meaning.
The last, compact, definition of Web 2.0, according to Tim O'Reilly is this one:
To summarize, web 2.0 sites are those that utilize user-generated content and rely on network effects to increase and maintain their value. Sites such as YouTube, Craigslist, MySpace, and even Wikipedia itself, are all prime examples of web 2.0 sites. Of these, I think Craigslist fits the description the best. The site relies exclusively on user-generated content, there are social networking aspects to the site, and its value is directly related to the number of users using it. It serves over 5 billion page views per month, putting it in 34th place overall among web sites world wide, 8th place overall among web sites in the United States (per Alexa.com on December 29, 2006), to 10 million unique visitors. With over 10 million new classified ads each month, Craigslist is the leading classifieds service in any medium. The site receives over 500,000 new job listings each month, making it one of the top job boards in the world. The classified advertisements range from traditional buy/sell ads and community announcements, to personal ads and many others.
"Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform. Chief among those rules is this: Build applications that harness network effects to get better the more people use them. (This is what I've elsewhere called 'harnessing collective intelligence.')". 
- The matrix shows how Motorola fits into this model. Further details are listed below for each of the images.
- Bandwidth Law . . . a router that supports 870 MHz (product), a faster and more robust home network (process), and the ability to talk through VoIP (service).
- Metcalf’s Law . . . the new Qwerty with the ability to stay connected to all mediums all the time (product), the person-to-person interaction on the voice network using Motorola technology (process), and Motorola Mesh Broadband technology increasing the reach of the network (service).
- Moore’s Law . . . the portable workstation/laptop that is able to perform at higher and higher speeds and memory levels (product), the integration of Bluetooth technology into items such as these sunglasses (process), and Motorola iRadio (service).
Monday, February 5, 2007
For my example of a Web 2.0 product I chose Google Earth. The reason for this is the revolutionary way that Google has created a brand-new platform for collaboration, community and information gathering.
At first glance Google Earth seems to be just a 3-D mapping application; however, if you explore the additional functionality, you are introduced to a multitude of tie-ins. These are a sample:
- Layers: Using Google Earth Layers, a user can overlay information from a myriad of sources. Powered by Google search and other feeds we now have graphical drill-down access to information ranging from restaurant locations (think Ad Sense revenue!), community services, transportation, shopping to even historical volcano and earthquake locations.
- Wikipedia: Building on layers, the information provided by the Wikipedia community adds deeper-levels of knowledge to Google Earth, readily enhancing the quality of the service.
- Google Earth Community: A good deal of the application’s development no longer rests solely on Google. By leveraging a community model, individuals from around the world including GIS mappers, photographers and hobbyists are all capable of adding unlimited content (new layers, pictures and information) in a self-policing, on-demand manner.
Perhaps the most important feature Google Earth brings to the table is continued lifeblood to Google's core search engine product. Recalling my previous post about interfaces, Google Earth could be the way to contextualize the next generation of the web. Instead of being confined to 2-D text-based searches, we can now use graphics and images to crawl information previously hidden from view. In fact, as information databases grow, bandwidth becomes "infinite" and we start to look towards Web 3.0, what’s to keep Google from creating Google Moon, Google Mars or Google Milky Way?
Encyclopedia Britannica, Encarta, Yahoo, Mapquest, et al are woefully unprepared.
All that said there is one firm, which I love, that is getting it right. SalesForce.com started out as an online CRM tool but they have evolved into much more. In developing their product they also developed much of the infrastructure necessary to host these new “mashup” applications. SalesForce.com recognized this value and opened AppExchange, an online clearing house for third-party developed applications that run on, and integrate with, the SalesForce.com platform. Third-party firms have developed tools ranging from project management applications to inventory tracking systems. In exchange for hosting the applications and opening up the developers to their 400,000+ user base, SalesForce.com takes a percentage of the license fees.
They are now moving to the next level and have opened AppStore which some are calling the iTunes store of the business applications market. SalesForce.com has capitalized on, what I would compare to, the out-licensing strategy that firms across many industries have been employing for decades. Most firms have some patents or other IP that they are using in a specific industry. They’ve learned that there is additional revenue to be had by licensing use of their IP in other industries in which they don’t compete. SalesForce.com has recognized that their specialty is CRM, but they have a valuable set of core competencies that can be leveraged by other firms developing other applications for other business problems.