Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Automotive Sector Continued..

Teenage car insurance is a big element of cost and cause for concern overall. Here is an initiative to better understand teenage driving habits and provide (constructive) feedback. Is this a good use of video technology or is it an invasion of privacy?

Monday, February 26, 2007

OnStar: Video Interview with Chet Huber

Here is a recent interview with Chet Huber that provides a good overview.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

IT to allow price discrimination?

Here is a nice article about the future of price discrimination using IT and related privacy issues. There are a few ideas about how businesses can get away charging different prices based on customer willingness to pay. One idea is to charge the same cash price, while throwing in different perks, based on customer information, such as frequent flyer miles: this has the effect of hiding the discrimination in the less visible flyer miles thereby preserving customer loyalty.

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.

Facebook and the Value of Social Networking

Here is an article that discusses the value of facebook. It is interesting to read in the context of our discussions on MySpace as well as our attempts at understanding different revenue models in the web 2.0 space.

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

Is Web 2.0 Anti-Competitive?

With the advent of Web 2.0, we continually see companies spring up using the power of network effects to disrupt traditional license model vendors. What we haven't seen is a shift to a sustainable revenue model aside from various forms of glorified advertising/market research. It strikes me that the very core of Web 2.0 is based on creating value by harnessing the power of networks but when companies attempt to extract value they either fail to do so or quickly become disintermediated.

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?

Boosting MySpace revenue

News Corp, the holding company of MySpace, acquired advertising-technology firm Strategic Data Corp. for a price that could reach $150 million. Strategic Data Corp is developing a technology that helps websites place and target ads aimed at specific audiences. By adopting this technology, News Corp hopes it can increase the ads revenue of MySpace in its member profile pages.

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

Flickr had a "wardrobe malfunction"

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.

MySpace Explosion/Web 2.0 Blog

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.

Communispace: a better model for social network effects

For those interested in jobs in Boston, I interviewed with this company and they appear to have a strong business model. They are taking the value of product development and marketing to the next level by eliminating the 'as it happens' factor from sites like Their vision is below, along with their website.

Our Vision

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.

Google to Sell Online Software Suite

Here is an article I read on Yahoo news today about Google's new online fee-based software suite (Google Apps Premier Edition) . The plan is to bundle online e-mail, word processing, spreadsheet, and calendar software. What is interesting is that they plan to sell it on a $50 per year subscription basis. This is obviously a substantially lower price tag than Microsoft's current Office suite, but the basic version of Google Apps has been available for free for the past six months. The Premier edition of Google Apps will now include a larger e-mail storage space and guaranteed 99.9% service availability and technical support.

The full text of the article can be found here:

Google to Sell Online Software Suite

Swicki: search engine meets wiki

In a effort to make search more useful and capitalize on the wisdom of crowds, the developers at Eurekster have enabled users to create a swicki, a mini-search engine whose search results can be edited and improved by its community of users. Eurekster sees the potential to monetize swickis and includes a worth calculator that returns an estimate of value based on revenue paid per ad click and market valuation.

Visit some of the swickis already created or try the IS714 swicki I've create for our class blog.

MySpace's Relationship with Google--is it Constraining Other Options?

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?

Search Engine Shoot-Out

In an attempt to gauge the performance of one search service versus another, I tried a series of searches across the top three search sites (Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft Live) and then attempted to gauge the relevance of the search results. The rating will be simple: if the result is relevant to the goal of my search than I will give it one point, non-relative gets negative one point, and so-so gets zero points. In each case I only looked at the first ten results.
As you can see the results were fairly similar. My guess is that the choice of search terms was too simple. My biggest surprise was with the low relative performance of Google, my preferred search. However, some observations on usability did emerge. Yahoo seemed to have much more relevant results towards the top of the list for definitions. Live did a better job with images by prividing a "bottomless list" of images. Try it out and you'll see what I mean. The results follow, if you're interested...

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

MySpace Strategy

Here's an interesting segment from an article about MySpace from BusinessWeek (June 2006). Just another example of the power and importance that search plays in the future success of the web.

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, 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

The punchline to the segment above is that MySpace now features Google Search. Here's a follow up article.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Changing role of CIO - From Tech Support into Strategy

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

Web 2.0 App Comparison

Interesting Comparison done by CNET touting the features of Google vs Yahoo vs Microsoft. They have compared Maps and Email. Personally I prefer Google Maps, but maybe when Yahoo is out of beta on its new mapping system they will have worked the bugs out.

Breakdown charts can be seen here:



Detailed Report



Saturday, February 17, 2007

Web 1.0: A Tribute

While we are focusing on web 2.0, we should not forget some of the important developments of web 1.0.
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.

1. Hotmail
2. Geocities
3. Altavista
4. ICQ
5. Netscape
6. RealPlayer
7. Network Solutions

Any other web 1.0 site that you remember as being significant?

Friday, February 16, 2007

Do you know where your children are?

MySpace and other social networking websites are currently struggling to keep their audiences engaged. When they were first launched, however, these sites had the opposite problem - they were too engaging. Especially for predators looking for young children. This has led to the creation of a large market that combines security companies and mobile handset manufacturers such as NTT DoCoMo, KDDI and Softbank.

"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.

Enterprise Mashups: Web 2.0

It is myopic to think that web 2.0 are only consumer-to-consumer or business-to-consumer applications. Increasingly, enterprises are beginning to recognize the value of web 2.0--especially web-mashups.

Here is a site worth taking a look at.

Specifically, take a look at the demo section (I am sure you will find the demo on intriguing in light of the EPIC 2015 video).

NY Times and Monster Aliance

I thought this news announcement was particularly interesting in light of our discussions of the challenges faced by traditional publishing and media companies.
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

The New York Times Company and Monster Worldwide, the operator of the popular job-listing site, 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

Which map is better for you

We talked about Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo's map services in class. Here is a simple comparison of their satellite map.

The bird's eye view of Microsoft Virtual Earth looks very nice with its high resoulution images. It even allows you to view the search result from four angles, but its data is a little old. See the apartment building at 580 Commonwealth Avenue in the map. It is still under construction? :)

Yahoo's satellite map looks blurry with low resolution images. They should have used a better camara and chosen a sunny day. :)

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

Sites that Pay for Your Videos...

One of the issues that we discussed was appropriation of value when users generate content that forms the basis for the sites to generate ad-based revenue. Here is a list of ten sites that seem to have mechanisms to share revenue with the creators. Clearly, the media landscape is transforming right in front of our eyes.

The NY Times article provides the list of the sites.

Gmail Video: A New Marketing Approach?

We all know by now that Google spends very little on advertising its services. Is it possible that we will see YouTube videos of their products to create viral communication of new services, new features and upgrades?

Here is an interesting video that I saw about Gmail.

Another Web 2.0 site: Threadless - T-Shirts

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.

The followings are some my favorite ones:


During the class discussion on 2/13/07, we talked about how Google may be walking a fine line as they increase their role as a news content aggregator. The example given in class was that if Google posed too much of a threat to a traditional media company such as Time magazine, a possible competitive response from Time would be to have their content pulled from Google’s data aggregation service.

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 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

Web 2.0 Mashups

I wasn't familiar with mashups until I took this course. After doing some more research, I found a website that is more or less an encyclopedia of mashups.

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."

How Web 2.0 is changing the Finance world...

Found an interesting site that allows people borrowing and lending money directly without involving any intermediates. People who need money posting their request amounts and max interest rate and people who are lending bid on the interest rate and amount. Although it is only for a small amount of money, if it turns out to be successful, it would definitely have a profound impact on the money market.

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)


Visual Map of Google News

Cool visual map of Google News using a treemap visualization algorithm. Newsmap is trying to "reveal underlying patterns in news reporting across cultures and within news segments in constant change around the globe."

Here's the link.

A Community of Google Map Mashups


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

Trulia Real Estate - Other than Zillow

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.

Apple iTunes-- Web 2.0 Style

Here is an interesting proposal (and speculation) on what Apple could be if it adopted a 2.0 model and be the orchestrator of indy music. If anyone is deeply into music, please do comment on the ideas and proposals.

Web 2.0 and Politics

An interesting piece of news on how presidential hopeful Barack Obama is adding a social networking feature to his website for his supporters to make use of:

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The "Vision" Come True!!!!

I guess we won’t have to wait until 2015 for the New York Times to go Internet-only in preparation for its "O.K-Corral"-like showdown with "Googlezon". In fact, it could be coming faster than you think! In an interview with the Israeli Daily, the owner, publisher and chairman of the New York Times, Arthur Sulzberger admitted that, “I don’t know if we’ll be printing in five years.”

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

Web2.0 and the value of web2.0?

Before 2007, I knew little about web2.0. The concept of web2.0 in my head was almost the same with the concept of blog. The only web2.0 sites I could speak out were wikipedia and youtube. Although some classmates had shown some interesting web2.0 sites in recent classes, I am still not sure how I can precisely define a web2.0 site.

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.

Domestic Flying: Virgin America Style

US Department of Transportation has not yet given Virgin America to fly but that could happen soon. Here is a peek into the services and the role of information technology.

MS-MBA Class of 2007 is graduating at the right time, perhaps!

Friday, February 9, 2007

Deja vu, Google.

"...Wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready made with a mesh of associative trails running through them, ready to be dropped into the memex and there amplified. The lawyer has at his touch the associated opinions and decisions of his whole experience, and of the experience of friends and authorities. The patent attorney has on call the millions of issued patents, with familiar trails to every point of his client's interest. The physician, puzzled by a patient's reactions, strikes the trail established in studying an earlier similar case, and runs rapidly through analogous case histories, with side references to the classics for the pertinent anatomy and histology. The chemist, struggling with the synthesis of an organic compound, has all the chemical literature before him in his laboratory, with trails following the analogies of compounds, and side trails to their physical and chemical behavior.

...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.

travelOtravel is a online travel services website which provies end to end solutions to the internet traveler. You can put on your preferences about travling and search flights by lowest fares or by seat availability, then it will show up different price of plan tiakets from different airplan company. Then you can easily buy your plan ticket online. Also, there is a huge inventory of over 80,000 hotels worldwide on this website, you can book different hotel in different country depends on your preferences. You can visit to see more information.

It’s all just a little bit of History digitally repeating. . .

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 America, this fostered growth, spurred governmental and business coffers, but at a cost to individual rights.

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 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 America’s consumer protection act, through government influence, or if the exiting model of self-management by the internet community at large will continue. Nevertheless, it does seem clear for the time being, that if an internet user (a gatherer of information) relies on information collected from different sources, they have little recourse if the information gathered was poor or incorrect.

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: DIY mash-ups

Yahoo actually released a product so ahead of the curve that industry analysts are shocked that Google didn't beat them to the punch and the site was overwhelmed with traffic and down for most of yesterday.

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

Security Identity while Laws Catch up to Technology?

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?

In case you think Web 2.0 might just be a fad....

The gents over at Go2Web2.o have a listing of just shy of 800 companies that are deeply engaged in the emerging space with a quick indication of what each company does.

EPIC 2015 Video

The video we saw in the class today is here.

Employers searching MySpace

There is a NYTimes article from last June about employers and universities checking up on prospective employees and students on sites like MySpace. Here is the link.

Web 2.0 Example


Bookmarking in Web 2.0

Digg and are two sites using the concept of social bookmarking. 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.

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.

An Example of Web 2.0

I just came across this sight yesterday. It is called Accorrding to their website, "VUVOX represents a dramatic leap forward for consumer personal expression by integrating the market’s first robust end-to-end digital media creation architecture with an online service. VUVOX consists of three modules: Collect, Create and Publish running within a standard web browser. Using an easy-to-use interface, customers collect their photos, video and music media from their PC, RSS feeds and websites."

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.


A great example of a Web 2.0 company is Yelp! This site is, at a basic level, a search site that allows you to find different companies by location or type. While this doesn't seem much more than Google Local or Live Local, it adds a very unique social networking aspect. Users can create accounts and review any restaurant/business that they have visited. In addition, they can communicate with other users, asking direct questions to people who have reviewed a particular establishment, looking for advice, or just to talk.

Second Life 2.0

If web 2.0 is defined by user created content Second Life may be the purest example. It is an entire world created by the users. The came just provides that space and the over 3 million players can program their own avatars and even make homes, vehicles and any other type of product. These virtual commodities even sell for real dollars spawing a lot of entrepreneurs to start businesses programming new stuff for the game. Here the users create not just content but a world and the community that populates it.


I thought Planzo was a good example of a Web2.0 company. They are an online calendar that allows you to share your events through the site, over blogs, and AOL instant messenger. You can even have SMS messages sent to your mobile so this could be a particularly useful site for those of you who are prone to forgetting birthdays and anniversaries. I think they represent a typical Web2.0 because they provide users with simple APIs to hook into the power of their calendar and add value to the network. Their focus on the value being the data and not trying to tie their users to a single device make them a prime Web2.0 example.

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.

Web 2.0 and....SKYPE

I was surprised (especially being from cohort B) that my example for a web 2.0 company hasn't yet been mentioned. I chose SKYPE as my web 2.0 company of choice because I think that it has provided yet another means of connecting people together - following the "always on" concept. It has entered a rather juicy segment in the marketplace, providing connection through a peer-to-peer network rather than a client-server one.

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.

SpotScout 2.0

The company I chose as my example of Web 2.0 is SpotScout. SpotScout is a company starting up in Cambridge that allows you to use the internet, whether from a PDA, cell phone or computer, to search for parking spaces. There are listings of garage spaces, available driveways, and even on-street parking (coming soon). The idea depends on the network effect of homeowners and business owners posting available spots on the website. Homeowners post the address and available time for their driveway or parking spot. Garages update their specific parking space availability as spots become available or occupied. As the model grows to incorporate on-street parking, people will be updating predicted departure times from parking spots and updating the site.

Check out the website for more details.

Therefore, my pick...

...for a 2.0 application is LOOPT (, a mobile application that turns your cell-phone into a friend finder, notifying you when a friend is in vicinity. Now is that cool or what!

Web 2.0 & Cars (part deux)

I forgot to post this somewhat funny list connecting web 2.0 & cars that I found on a random blog.

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.

source: (

Mo 2.0

If you thought 2.0 was a web thingie (what the .... is it anyway?), guess what. That little fella who goes gallavanting with you everywhere, sneakily communicating with his buddies from the dark, warm abyss of your pocket - yes, he just two.O'd himself.

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)"


My web 2.0 company is Lego "Mindstroms" and I found that it is very interesting that how web 2.0 can connect online and offline. This product targets Lego mania using one of web 2.0's characteristics, Harnessing Collective Intelligence. Product user can download software from company's web site and build virtual block map before they actually build it. Company offers web space for these project so that people can share their own experiences and product development. Once project is done, people can post their final product with product specification(what kind of part, tools are needed, etc). These projects are sometimes chosen by company and becomes actual product too. Also they asked project uploaders to add tags when upload so that people easily can find their interests.

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

Web 2.0 & Cars

As an auto enthusiast I read up on the latest new cars and reviews quite often. Here are some of the websites I visit that fall more into the web 1.0 side of things:
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!

Mailing list as Web 2.0?

Craigslist started simply as a mailing list and later added a web interface. It's the perfect example of a site that utilizes user-generated content and takes advantage of network effects. Its interface is simple and completely text-based. It's the de facto online classifieds site.

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.


Meebo is a website that allows you to use 5 different messenger services at the same time (google talk, msn, yahoo, aim, & meebo). The tool is AJAX based, and once running consolidates all the information so that you can be signed in to all 5 services at once, and work off 1 buddy list.

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

Web 2.0 and Healthcare

In an industry that is notorious for being behind in technological innovation, Web 2.0 seems to be trying to make its mark. NetMesh is a company that has "been working towards our goal to dramatically improve the usefulness of information and communications technologies for the individual" and developed a product called the NetMesh InfoGrid. The company has applied their product to use in healthcare, and they seem to feel that it will improve many aspects of delivery of care from healthcare providers.

Web 2.0 Travel

As someone who is interested in the tourism industry I find the trend of how Web 2.0 has become the new standard in travel sites a fascinating evolution.

"What makes Travel 2.0 different from the first, booking-oriented wave (e.g. Expedia, Kayak, 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
Hotel Industry

Web 2.0 Google Calendar

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.

Monster meets Web 2.0

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.

Web 2.0 - Peer to Peer Lending

I heard a story on NPR about people to people lending and it seems like a good example of a web 2.0 company. It reminds me of the micro lending Muhammad Yunus won the Nobel prize for. The NPR story can be found at
and the company they talked about is

Web 2.0 Directory

The following website provides links to various Web 2.0 sites.

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

Another Web 2.0 Interpretation

The following is on the Dion Hinchcliffe's site - Dion Hinchcliffe's Web 2.0 Blog. It actually provides more senses about what's different Web 2.0 could be and the one kind of structure implementation toward Web 2.0.

Visualizing Web 2.0

Thinking Beyond Web 2.0: Social Computing and the Internet Singularity

Source: Dion Hinchcliffe's Web 2.0 Blog

Web 2.0 - USATF Website

For all you runners out there...
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?

Web 2.0: A Quick Summary

Here is a quick (funny) summary.

Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us

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.

War and Web 2.0

My Web 2.0 company/community (like several other class members, I'm sure) is Google Earth.

However, I'm not sure I'm
a) ready
b) willing
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.

Reality as a Commodity

Matt Dixon spoke in class today about The Colbert Report and host Stephen Colbert's push for viewers to change the Wikipedia entry regarding the African elephant population. A caveat to this happened on Colbert's show last week when he discussed recent allegations against Microsoft that they were changing content on Wikipedia to cast a positive light on Microsoft and the company's products. Colbert described "reality" as a commodity - something that can be purchased by the highest bidder - and challenged viewers to change the word's definition on Wikipedia to reflect it. This way, when he referred to reality as a commodity and someone challenged him, he could say, "Yes, I'm right...go ahead and look it up on Wikipedia".

Verizon: Product, Process, Service matrix

  • 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.

Is Wikipedia more authoritative than we think?

Naysayers who feel that Wikipedia lacks credibility may be interested in an investigation that compared the accuracy of articles in Wikipedia with those in the Encyclopedia Britannica. Interestingly, the investigators found, that for a sampling of science articles, Wikipedia actually had fewer errors. The key, of course, is getting a critical mass of credible subject matter experts to participate in the effort so that we can leverage Surowiecki's "wisdom of crowds" which is really just what fellow blogger Tom Hamilton likes to reference as the "regression to the mean," the assumption being that the mean brings us closer to the truth. See the Nature magazine article for more details.

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.


Please take a look at Programmabelweb site. It has a good summary of all the major mashups. The blogs there are also useful.

Basecamp and Web 2.0

I like Basecamp, project collaboration tool, as an interesting example of some Web 2.0 trends. Based on the idea that projects fail due to lack of communication, the web-based software is dedicated to doing one thing (facilitating communication) and doing it well.

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.

Web 2.0 and the value of information

We touched on this theme in class, but I wanted to delve a little bit more into the idea of decreasing value of information in the "always on" world. The proliferation of huge amounts of information on the web, whether it is from Wikipedia, blogs, or YouTube, has created a situation that requires individuals to develop and hone the ability to internally filter information as it is encountered. Unfortunately the predominant approach to consuming information is still an "old world" approach, where you simply trust the information that you are presented with, because you trust the source.

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.

Wikipedia & Microsoft

I found it interesting that Microsoft landed itself in some trouble when it was discovered recently that they offered to pay a blogger to "correct" Wikipedia articles about the company. Apparently, while anyone can post and edit a Wikipedia article, the site does attempt to prevent those with a "conflict of interest" from posting content and "slanting" entries. They try to block content submitted by public-relations firms, campaign workers, etc.
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

The meaning of Web 2.0

According to Wikipedia's definition of Web 2.0:

Web 2.0, a phrase coined by O'Reilly Media in 2004,[1] 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.[2]

The last, compact, definition of Web 2.0, according to Tim O'Reilly is this one:

"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.')". [3]

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 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.

How Motorola fits into the matrix.

  • 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

Web 2.0 and Beyond - Google Earth

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. Web 2.0 done right

Tim O’Reilly, of O’Reilly Media, defines Web 2.0 as "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.” It is the transformation from static one-way delivery of web pages to dynamic, interactive content, pulling from a number of locations across the web. There are many examples of companies calling themselves Web 2.0. The majority are cool and flashy with all sorts of bells and whistles. But what really strikes me is the lack of a clear revenue model. It seems to me that the model most of these firms are going after is acquisition (e.g. YouTube).

All that said there is one firm, which I love, that is getting it right. 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. recognized this value and opened AppExchange, an online clearing house for third-party developed applications that run on, and integrate with, the 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, 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. 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. 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.