Friday, May 20, 2005

The Long Tail...

For some reason, anytime I heard the phrase the “Long Tail,” I always thought of those damned Yellow Tail adds with the kangaroo. Aaaanyway, the long tail is a term that is used to describe the end part of a graph that displays a company’s sales. This is the type of graph that I am referring to. Amazon is primarily an online bookstore. Now borders books, a chain of book stores, makes most of it's money off of the head of their sales. They make money of the best seller and the other books that are popular at the time. Amazon, on the other hand, makes more money off of the long tail. Amazon has an infinite amount of books that would be considered best sellers. These books are still wanted by at least someone. So, people can go online and find the books that would be sold in bookstores. Basically, Amazon makes money off of quantity sold rather than price of product.

Julia talks about how companies need to carry a larger inventory in order to focus on the long tail. The problem with actual stores doing that is space. Stores don’t have enough space to hold every little thing that someone could want. The Internet however, allows for companies to offer a product and still keep it in a warehouse.
The brilliant part about companies that utilize the long tail is that they don’t really have to do any work. Most companies focus on the head of their sales. They have to figure out what is popular or what can be popular. They have to display and advertise it. And there’s always the chance that a company can focus it’s sales on one thing and be wrong about it’s potential popularity. Long Tail companies just offer a huge selection of a product. The only aspect of advertising that they have to do is to promote the large selection of products, rather than the actual product itself.

Not every company can use the Long Tail to their advantage. Chris Anderson talks about how Nexflix is able to take advantage of The Long Tail because it has an abundant amount of storage space to keep popular and unpopular movies. Now a regular movie rental store doesn’t have enough space because their storage is limited to just the store. Right now Internet companies are have to best advantage when it comes to benefiting from the Long Tail. Jessica talks more about this.

I hate blogger... But folksonomies are pretty nice

Ok so first let me define metadata. Metadata is information about information. Folksonomies are a form of metadata. By using words to describe a piece of data, a folksonomy allows for that data to be organized so that everyday people can find what they are looking for. Many people know what keywords are. When someone uses google or another search engine, that search engine will go through millions of websites and find keywords, or tags, that match what that person is searching for. When using a site such as Flickr or Delicious, one can enter metadata about their blog or picture site or what have you. So for example, if I made a flickr account, which I did check it out, I would enter tags or keywords about the picture that are on my site. So now if you want to see a picture of me trashed at a party, all you’ll have to enter into the search would be the word, moron. Meghan can explain folksonomies a lot better than I can.
A folksonomy is a good way to organize information, and it is becoming more popular. Now with new services offering users a way to organize their data by keywords, more and more people are utilizing the amazing result that a folksonomy can provide. In organizations for example, folksonomies are helpful for sharing information and researching data. It costs nothing for users in terms of time and effort. Organizations often use some sort of complex hierarchical system for organizing data. This often gets confusing because people have to learn a new system every time they get a new job or the company decides to change their system structure. A folksonomy is often easier for the user because they don’t have to learn that new system. Now people can organize things in a way that they can understand.
A folksonomy allows for an efficient organization of personal information. It can also be used as a way to communicate and share information. Since folksonomies are incredibly easy to use, they will become more popular in the near future. Alexis spoke more on how folksonomies can benefit an organization.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

"Talk is Cheap"...? NICE, cause I only got $3.23 to my name and i was hoping to get 2 Bacon Double Cheeseburgers and a 5 Piece Nugget from Wendys

Upon reading the first paragraph of the third chapter of The Cluetrain Manifesto, I realized that Mr. Levine and myself share something in common. He spoke about how his father was a potter and he taught young Levine what it was to be passionate about one's craft. Growing up as a kid, my grandfather made a living as a metal worker. A couple of times I was fortunate enough to watch him mold that metal with his bare hands. To this day, I have a six inch statue that he made, bare handed, not even the slightest need for gloves, sitting in my room. His proudest achievement was knowing that he was a man. When I was 8 years old I was working with my grandpa and I told him how I wished to become a man like him someday. He replied, in his thick Slovakian accent "Know your job, do it well, and offer it everything you are..." Those were days of integrity, honor and pride. As I learn more and more about my generation, and the generations that surround mine, I don't really hear those words anymore. We've been born into Corporate America, raised to believe that money is akin to success. Those who disagreed would not be wealthy. And without money, they’d have no power. And without power, they’d have no control, no say. To the Corporate Leaders, they were just consumers. But now, with the maturing of the Internet, new forms of communication are spawning. The power is changing hands, from the corporations to the people, to the consumers.

Levine spoke on several new forms of communication that the Internet allows for. With these forms of mass communication, consumers don't need to rely solely on the information that the corporations supply. Corporations can and will survive. But they need to accept and make use of the fact that consumers no longer want to listen to "The Company." I agree entirely with Levine on this. People don't want cold formalities. People don't trust something that has no voice. Levine states "Voice is how we can tell the difference between people, committees, and bots. An e-mail written by one person bears the tool marks of their thought process... Much of what passes for communication from companies to costumers is washed and diluted so many times... that the live-person hints are lost." The times of PR, advertising campaigns, and corporate slogans seem to be coming to an end.

While reading I came across a lot of familiar "conversational modalities" as Levine put it. I eventually came across something that i hadn't heard of for some reason. Webzines and e-zines caught my eye right away. Simply put, they are publications that are mass emailed to their subscribers. In Elena's last blog, she discussed the benefits of mass emailing. Izines can be used as a very powerful tool. With relatively no production cost, anyone can create and maintain them. And since most of these are not for profit, and are normally written by someone who is more focused and more idiosyncratic than those major corporations, people trust and listen to what they have to say.

The people who have the most influence on consumers, thanks to the abundance and popularity of web blogs, are now the same people I opened my blog with. Honest people, who take pride in their work, are being sought out for their expertise and opinions. Miss M recently blogged about Rick Levine and Christopher Locke, two writers of the book, The Cluetrain Manifesto. She compared the two writer's materials and soon admitted to preferring Mr. Levine's selection. This is the result of Levine's tale of his childhood. Levine spoke of making pots with his father. He spoke of passion and he spoke from the heart, and that gave him credibility. Some companies are picking up with the trend. Bill Scoble continuously updates his blog from inside of Microsoft. Scoble is a mid level guy and he tells the good with the bad, so people trust him. Microsoft is making a brilliant move here by allowing Scoble to continue his blog. Since Scoble has gained the trust of his millions of readers, anything good that he has to say about Microsoft will be ten times more affective than any ad campaign that they could have mustered up.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

We Live

We Die. This was an interesting choice for the beginning. I find it funny that many of my fellow classmates had a hard time getting over that statement. Julia saw this statement as "a little bit of a cheap shot to grab people by manipulating them emotionally..." I didn't read a single blog that commented on the fact that he ended the chapter with "we live." Amusingly enough, this captures the point that Christopher Locke, one of the authors of The Cluetrain Manefesto made within the first several paragraphs. Many people today focus on the fact that "we die." They spend lifetimes looking for the answers on how to live. Just live. I was born and raised to believe that someday I would be sitting at a desk from nine to five. "Desk jobs pay well." I'm beginning to realize that I live in a society that is gradually changing. Wait, it's not though. It's not gradual. It's truckin'.
Many things that Locke says about corporations, I did not know. I knew of intranets. 4 years of business classes took care of that. But I didn't realize that this was threatening corporations. I didn't realize the power of the Internet. All I knew was that I spent most of my time on it and if I wanted to know something that my school didn't feel like teaching me, I could find it there. As a society, we have created something remarkable. We've created the all knowing. We look back at the Egyptians, at the pyramids, and marvel. To think, centuries from now, we will be looked upon, and our internet, marveled.
Many of my classmates had some interesting blogs. Laura mentioned dreams in her entry. "We aren't dead, but asleep. In a sense, many people in the world spend most of there time dreaming of what they wish they had or wish they knew. Our dreams are where we try to build our knowledge so we may one day be able to wake up and understand..." Interestingly enough, I have been pondering the relationship between dreams and communication a lot lately. I've realized that communication brought death to the life that had no distinction between dreams and reality. A life without comparison, without society. Not a life of evolution and growth, but rather a life of contentment. Jean Jacques Rousseau wrote many essays on the topic of man's evolution into society. And as a society we chose not to be content. We chose to evolve. Yet, so many people today are striving to be "content." There is an abundant amount of focus on reality. My father, the cpa, always reminded me, "Dreams aren't real." A common thought in today’s society, but not one to live by. The Internet can provide endless amounts of communication. An abundant amount of knowledge and dreams. We create dreams, we can share em, we can mold em, and with em, we can create reality.
A point that Locke did not cover, is something that I have come to realize. The internet is beginning to create and maintain millions of "Know it all"s. These people have been around since the birth of easily obtained knowledge. They listen to what you say, only so they can spit out something that they read in a magazine, saw on a commercial, or in this case, saw on a website. Most of the time, they do not know everything about that topic, just small bits that they piece together. This creates generalizations and lack of credibility. Dinison Memorial Library has a website about evaluating the information found on the web. Not to say that this "creation of Know it Alls" is a major negative of the internet, I just wish those people didn't exist. The internet is a source for so much great information, but it is also full of the crap that those people like to spit out. I've found that if you use th internet long enough, you begin to become familiar with credible sources for information that you can go back to regularly.
Finally, I feel like testing out Locke's theories, so I am asking, please help me. Comment on this blog about your thoughts on anything that I have said, feel free to send me links on relative or even just random information, thanx.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Making it "Unmade in America"

In the article, “Unmade in America” written by Barry Lynn, many topics on outsourcing are brought to the table. Today’s economy relies heavily on outsourcing. From all the blogs that I have read, I would say that a lot of people believe this is a bad thing, which it is. That being said, articles like “Unmade in America” often bring about certain paranoia amongst people. I believe Anthony is very correct on this topic. Although an extreme amount of outsourcing can be bad, outsourcing in itself can be used quite well to help a company run quite smoothly.

Barry Lynn discusses how many companies have fallen victim to a devastating financial hit, due to too much reliance on outsourcing. Although this reliance can cause problem, the elimination of a company over seas may not necessarily prove fatal. Many companies are set up all over the place. Alexis discusses how our country relies on other places for the production of our goods, what Alexis doesn’t realize is that some companies rely on outsourcing because they can't afford the production. Many fortune 100 companies do this. ALthough a company may have a factory in Tokyo, they also have branches in other countries as well. This creates a web. While a bombing or tsunami in another country could hurt a company’s production, if all the factories were in America, a simple bombing or earthquake or tornado could devastate the economy. If one spreads out their production, they reduce the chance of a fatal blow to the company due to a disaster at one of the factories.

Articles like "Unmade in America" and other interesting topics can be found at Find Articles.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Some good blogs to check out

So while looking through some other blogs a found a few that made me laugh. Tony's comments on movies are frickin hysterical. If you want to hear someone rate movies honestly, go there. I hate having to work for a boss. If you have the same problem, then you might want to check out Cheryl's comments on how no matter who your boss is, you usually hate them. I wasn't really into the whole speed dating thing that the radio station did. No offence to Marymounts fine program, speed dating just isn't my thing. If you were and still are interested in speed dating at marymount, check out Jean's post.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Bored?

If you're bored out of your mind there are a lot of great sites that just take up your time. Ebaums is a site that has a bunch of video and games and just funny stuff. College Humor is another site that has really funny videos. It's just basically a bunch of stupid college kids taping stupid things and sending them in. Really Bored people can click on this link and go to a site with a million clips of funny things from tv and what not.

Monday, January 01, 1990

The MoMA

Ok so I started as a group leader. We did a project with an art professor. Cheryl did a great job with the recording. So good infact, that it was done after one day. Given that our project was done about a week after it was assigned I had nothing to do. I was going to edit the piece, but it was so good that I didn't need to add or take anything away. Gilbert added some music to it, which gave it a pretty nice flow. I also worked with another group who needed actors to do voices for paintings. If you want to hear what I did with it then drop a little comment on this blog and I'll send you the file. Don't bother looking for it using ipodder cause it didn't make it into the final product. I have a dry sense of humor about some things, and I guess The Bather painting that I spoke about was one of them. I had a great time in this class and learned a lot more than I thought I was going to. Have a good summer everyone!