Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Blog and its business model

As I am going through your blogs for some more quick feedback it struck me I may not have been as explicit on the need to add either the Google AdSense program or Amazon Associates program to your blogs. For many blogs, these programs provide the opportunity for the authors to earn revenue from their work, a business model not too disimmilar to traditional media.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Experiment Update: nworbxela

After day one there are still no results in google for nworbxela

Looking at the 'time-based' blog search engines I was surprised to find no results in technorati, but 15 results in google's blog search and three results in feedster.

Amazon and Wikis has recently launched ProductWikis. Another interesting example of how wikis can be used to engage the customer. I was just on amazon buying a couple of books and noticed the ProductWiki link for each of the products I was buying. Clearly there are very few edits thus far, but this might be an interesting use of wikis to follow.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Google Experiment: nworbxela

I am currently reading The Google Story and am fascinated by the 'power' google has acquired, from an internet marketing standpoint, in such a short period of time. For a fun and quick experiment in terms of getting listed in google, I am asking each of you to include the keyword nworbxela in your blog. You can do this as part of a blog entry about this experiment, include it in your keyword meta tag, or somewhere on your template. As of the time of writing this entry, and not surprisingly, no results were returned for this keyword search. I am curious to see if we can have all our blogs listed under this keyword by the end of the semester.

For the blog that is listed highest under this keyword, I will give the owner a copy of 'Google Story'.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Feedback on a wiki entry: Presentations

Each of you should have feedback on one of your wiki entries. I added a paragraph to the entry, with the header 'Alex's comments'.

Happy thanksgiving.

Don't forget, presentations begin next week and we have a tight schedule. Each presentation should:

  1. include a 3 'page' powerpoint presentation, which is e-mailed to me before 12 pm the day of the presentation (the one exception is the team of 4)
  2. include each team member who presents one wiki entry to which he / she created (this does not have to be the entry that I reviewed)
  3. be 10 minutes, and will be cut off at 12 minutes
  4. be presented in the order listed here. If your team is first, please come to class early.

I will be offline until sunday PM visiting friends in the UK etc.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Web 2.0 and your project work

Version 1.1
If I make content edits, it will be reflected in the version number above.
Added content to the Wiki section.

This article serves to put all your project work in true context. The goal of the combination of your work has been to introduce you to Web 2.0 technologies in an active fashion. For the purposes of your project work this includes blogging, RSS, aggregated news readers and wikis.

Your blog has enabled you to author a web site that comprises content that is:

  • 'static': side bar content: this includes links to other relevant resources; building community by creating reciprocal links, establishing context (subject matter and author), adding a stats program such as sitemeter to track the number of visits and the referrer link, and creating advertising and affiliate marketing opportunities. The latter serves as a potential business model for your blog.
  • 'active': your entries. Critical issues include the frequency of entries, quality of content, and use of appropriate keywords. These elements are critical to building an audience and for search engine optimization (SEO).
  • 'collaborative': your comments section. You should author posts that lend well to continued dialogue. It is also important to respond to comments to encourage further engagement, and visit the site of the commenter if he / she is a fellow blogger. This helps build community.

SEO is also achieved by including the appropriate keywords in your meta tags and title tag. View the source code of this blog to see the meta tags included in the header section.

Developing your blog has also enabled you to explore HTML and CSS in a safe environment.

Your blog has given you freedom of speech to add your 'voice' to the dialogue that your subject matter creates. This type of communication, where customers truly have the ability to engage in dialogue, was first explored in the Cluetrain Manifesto.

RSS (an XML format) is a format that allows a site to push content to subscribers. The web is primarily a pull medium that requires 'viewers' to access sites to discover new content. A subscription-based model, that allows sites to push fresh content out, is preferable for users over having users subscribe to e-mail lists. The subscriber retains control of the experience, and it is spam free. Examples of sites that generate RSS feeds include blogs (blogspot automatically generates a feed); news organizations (BBC, CNN); non profit organizations (Red Cross, University of Delaware) and for profit organizations (IBM, Intel).

News Aggregator.
A feed is only useful if you have a means to subscribe and read the feed. A news aggregator is how you accomplish this. We use bloglines, a web-based aggregator. You can also use desktop-based aggregators. While these 'viewers' are still in their nascent stage of development, forthcoming versions of web browsers will no doubt include a news aggregator. Firefox already does. This may challenge the viability of 'first movers' such as bloglines, but the future of web browsing will include a simple means to subscribe to feeds.

Some of the usability features of news readers include:

  • they allow you to organize your feeds into categories
  • you can read content when you wish, rather than when the site updates or when you receive an e-mail
  • you have the ability to easily distinguish between sites that have new content and those that do not
  • you can save content to read at a later time

Search Engines: how to search web 2.0
Most searches to your blogs come from the traditional search engines, google and yahoo! Time based engines, those that search RSS feeds, are mostly used by other bloggers interested in discovering the breadth of their space. These engines include google blog, technorati and feedster. Your blog should appear in all these engines. The time based engines should pick up your posts within a few hours. The traditional engines will likely take a few days to 'crawl' your most recent entries. The future of search engines will likely be a combination of the traditional engines and time-based, with a means to do effective local searches. Search engines have also become excellent media vehicles for companies, both by exploiting search engine optimization and creating a pay per click advertising campaign. Blogs themselves have become useful search engine optimization tools for web-sites that incorporate this technology.

A wiki enables you to create a space that multiple people can edit and collaborate. Your class wiki enables you to collaborate within your team as you create and contribute to articles relevant to your assigned chapter. Collaboration should allow you to generate a final product that is more robust than if you were its only author. You will likely also be exposed to this type of shared work when you graduate.

We have also explored Wikipedia, the 'most famous' wiki. It is an interesting example of an open source-type model. Wikipedia is a resource to which you can contribute, along with the thousands of other contributors from around the world. You can also link to Wikipedia for word definitions to create greater access for the articles you are authoring, both for your own wiki project and your blog. I have done this throughout this article.

Wikis can also be useful as a collaboration tool between a company and its customers. Channel Nine, from Microsoft, allows non-microsoft developers, interested in developing products for the Microsoft platform, to engage with the Microsoft team. Wikis are also useful for internal knowledge sharing within a company. For example within customer service, the customer service representatives can add to a wiki when they hear new 'issues' directly from customers. The same representatives can then check the wiki as they answer questions for customers. A wiki can also work well within an extranet, where different members of a supply chain coordinate and communicate. Other marketing examples are cited here, and Amazon has recently launched ProductWikis.

Wiki Presentation Schedule

Monday November 28

  1. Chapter 1: Presentation
  2. Chapter 3: Presentation
  3. Chapter 6: Presentation
  4. Chapter 7: Presentation
  5. Chapter 9: Presentation
  6. Chapter 11: Presentation

Wednesday November 30

  1. Chapter 2: Presentation
  2. Chapter 4: Presentation
  3. Chapter 5: Presentation
  4. Chapter 8: Presentation
  5. Chapter 10: Presentation
  6. Chapter 12: Presentation
  7. Chapter 14: Presentation

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Chapter 12 Slides: Promotion

Are here. These slides may be updated again before class. If this is the case I will edit this entry to let everyone know. If there are further updates, it will only be small updates so printing these out is fine.

Additional Resources for Chapter 12

For each chapter I will post additional resources. Students who are covering the particular chapter are free to use these links, or other links, for their wiki project.

Wednesday before Thanksgiving Class / Presentation Schedule

Class the wednesday before thanksgiving is canceled.

Please e-mail me if your group has a preference for the day to present. The two choices are Monday November 28 and Wednesday November 30.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Monday Office Hours Canceled

I will not be available for office hours this monday (November 14). Class on monday will be a discussion about your projects to date followed by a Skype presentation.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Monday's Skype Presentation: Gourmet Station

Monday's Skype presentation will be from Donna Miller, owner of Gourmet Station. Donna will present a brief history of the company, its web strategy as it relates to its marketing strategy, the rationale for its blog and some of the successes / learnings thus far. Gourmet Station was recently highlighted in INC Magazine for its "innovative" use of its blog.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Wiki Project: Team Page

As part of your wiki project, don't forget your team page needs to evolve from a page of separate entries by each team member, to one that reflects the team. An example that looks like it is heading in that direction is the Chapter Five team. Comparing revision 8 and 13 clearly shows the differences between the initial layout and current layout.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Wednesday before Thanksgiving

I was asked by a few members of the class if we would be canceling the class, the day before thanksgiving. I have not yet decided to do this, but will be encouraged to do so IF each of you has performed at least one edit to one of your team mate's article summaries for your wiki project before class next monday (november 14). Please e-mail me once you have completed this.

As you know, you are responsible for editing four article summaries constructed by your team mates. Each edit needs to either create greater access, add more value, or improve the writing style. Of course each edit can include each and all of these conditions.

Chapter 11 Slides: Place

Are here. These slides may be updated again before class. If this is the case I will edit this entry to let everyone know. If there are further updates, it will only be small updates so printing these out is fine.

Additional Resources for Chapter 11

For each chapter I will post additional resources. Students who are covering the particular chapter are free to use these links, or other links, for their wiki project.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Monday: Guest Speaker,

On monday we will have the founders of DealCatcher come to our class and present. They were recently covered in Delaware Today. They will discuss the history of the company, as well as the segment they target, which are price sensitive shoppers.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Additional Resources for Chapter 10

For each chapter I will post additional resources. Students who are covering the particular chapter are free to use these links, or other links, for their wiki project.

Chapter 10 Slides: Price in the Internet Marketing Mix

Are here. These slides may be updated again before class. If this is the case I will edit this entry to let everyone know. If there are further updates, it will only be small updates so printing these out is fine.