Posted by & filed under branding, business models, YouTube.

Description: A surprising number of people are turning their video production skills and on-screen talents into entrepreneurial ventures, providing a service and managing to make a sizable income at it via YouTube’s Partner Program.

Source: Globe&Mail.com

Date: March 17, 2011


The program allows YouTube to share advertising revenue, generated from ads that are overlaid or appear next to the most popular videos, with its most popular and successful video creators. The more the videos are viewed, the more revenue they generate. Although YouTube declined to break down the specific revenue split, it says “the majority” of sales wind up being shared with the video creator.

For some people, the partnership can be big business. YouTube recently said it is running ads on videos more than 3 billion times a week, an increase of 50 per cent over last summer. More than 15,000 partners participate in the program and “hundreds of people,” YouTube says, earn more than $100,000 annually from it.

Some have even abandoned their traditional 9-to-5 jobs in favour of managing their own YouTube brand. Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • How effective is the strategy of online promotion in youtube videos ?
  • Are their any downsides to embedding online ads into youtube videos?

Posted by & filed under business models, Uncategorized.

Description: Groupon is fervently preparing for its most ambitious venture yet: the launch of a new mobile application that the company hopes will change when and how society chooses to eat, shop and play.

Source: CNN.com

Date: March 18, 2011

That’s the beauty of Groupon Now: local businesses have never really had a simple way to manage their perishable inventory, especially labor and food. Why waste those resources during slow periods when you can bring savings-savvy consumers through the doors with a highly targeted Groupon deal?”For merchants, the daily deal is like teeth whitening, and Groupon Now is like brushing your teeth. It can be an everyday thing to keep your business going,” Groupon founder and CEO Andrew Mason told Bloomberg Businessweek in an extensive interview on the new product.

The daily deals company has been on a tear recently — in fact it is the fastest growing company in history — but it faces stiff competition from companies with increasing muscle.   Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • Does Groupon have a long term competitive advanatge in this market sector?
  • What do you see as the biggest strategic threat to Groupon?

Posted by & filed under Apple, revenue model, smartphones.

Description: When it comes to supplying the coolest smartphones on the planet, Microsoft has long been an also-ran. So last fall, the software giant fired up a fresh strategy to close the gap on Apple‘s iPhones, Research In Motion‘s BlackBerrys and Google‘s Android models.

Source: USAtoday.com

Date: March 14, 2011


Microsoft’s goal is for Windows Phone 7 (WP7) smartphones to have the most useful and user-friendly applications. The company is methodically pursuing this goal by catering to the best and brightest app developers.

“The jury is still out as to whether this turns out to be a decisively winning strategy,” says software applications analyst Al Hilwa at research firm IDC. “But Microsoft has certainly begun to right its course.”

Smartphone apps have become almost as important as the phone itself. They enable on-the-go people to shop, play games, schedule their lives and connect to social media. Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • What is Microsoft’s strategy for software development to catch up in the App market to its rivals?
  • How would you contrast this strategy to what the market leaders do in this area?

Posted by & filed under Human Resources, IS ethics.

Description: IN early 2009, statisticians inside the Googleplex here embarked on a plan code-named Project Oxygen — What makes a good manager?

Source: NYTimes.com

Date: March 12, 2011


They wanted to build better bosses.

So, as only a data-mining giant like Google can do, it began analyzing performance reviews, feedback surveys and nominations for top-manager awards. They correlated phrases, words, praise and complaints.

Later that year, the “people analytics” teams at the company produced what might be called the Eight Habits of Highly Effective Google Managers.

Now, brace yourself. Because the directives might seem so forehead-slappingly obvious — so, well, duh — it’s hard to believe that it took the mighty Google so long to figure them out: Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • What attributes does a good manager have?
  • Do you feel that using data mining techniques is a legitimate method of doing management behavioural studies?

Posted by & filed under Business Intelligence, business models, Digital Policy.

Description: GOVERNMENTS have learned a cheap new way to improve people’s lives. Here is the basic recipe:

Source: NYTimes.com

Date: March 12, 2011


Take data that you and I have already paid a government agency to collect, and post it online in a way that computer programmers can easily use. Then wait a few months. Voilà! The private sector gets busy, creating Web sites and smartphone apps that reformat the information in ways that are helpful to consumers, workers and companies.

Not surprisingly, San Francisco, with its proximity to Silicon Valley, has been a pioneer in these efforts. For some years, Bay Area transit systems had been tracking the locations of their trains and buses via onboard GPS. Then someone got the bright idea to post that information in real time. Thus the delightful app Routesy was born. Install it on a smartphone and the app can tell you that your bus is stuck in traffic and will be 10 minutes late — or it can help you realize that you are standing on the wrong street, dummy. It gives consumers a great new way to find out when and where the bus is coming, and all at minimal government expense. Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • What attributes can make data valuable?
  • Is information that goverments collect   free? Should it be free to all other users of the data? Why or Why not?

Posted by & filed under M-commerce, Privacy, revenue model.

Description: There is now an enormous multibillion-dollar industry based on the collection and sale of this personal and behavioral data.

Source: Time.com

Date: March 10, 2011


Google’s Ads Preferences believes I’m a guy interested in politics, Asian food, perfume, celebrity gossip, animated movies and crime but who doesn’t care about “books & literature” or “people & society.” (So not true.) Yahoo! has me down as a 36-to-45-year-old male who uses a Mac computer and likes hockey, rap, rock, parenting, recipes, clothes and beauty products; it also thinks I live in New York, even though I moved to Los Angeles more than six years ago. Alliance Data, an enormous data-marketing firm in Texas, knows that I’m a 39-year-old college-educated Jewish male who takes in at least $125,000 a year, makes most of his purchases online and spends an average of only $25 per item. Specifically, it knows that on Jan. 24, 2004, I spent $46 on “low-ticket gifts and merchandise” and that on Oct. 10, 2010, I spent $180 on intimate apparel. It knows about more than 100 purchases in between. Alliance also knows I owe $854,000 on a house built in 1939 that — get this — it thinks has stucco walls. They’re mostly wood siding with a little stucco on the bottom! Idiots. Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • Why is there such little outcry for loss of control of our personal information in this digital age?
  • Should this personal data mining be reined in by government policy?

Posted by & filed under cyber terroism, Digital Policy, fraud, Privacy, Security.

Description: An older type of social network, and it’s being used to help detect fraud. It is the connections between people in the physical world.

Source: Globe&Mail.com

Date: March 8, 2011

Banks, telecoms providers and insurance companies, among other businesses, are using analytic software to correlate all of their various data sources to produce visualizations of relationships between customers and customer activity so that they can identify suspicious behaviour. And they are seeing incredible results, says Dan McKenzie, fraud solutions specialist at SAS Canada. Financial organizations are finding 20 to 50 times more fraudulent activity than they did without the tools, says Mr. McKenzie, because a computer can quickly analyze much more data than a human investigator and flag suspected mischief.

For example, fraudsters will take out a credit card, run up bills on it (they can get up to 150 per cent of the stated credit limit), then disappear without paying it off. They do this repeatedly under different names and rake in substantial sums of money, with the card issuer none the wiser. But using link analysis, fraud hunters can identify links between these apparently different people, determine they are actually one person and build a map of the fraudulent activity that helps investigators spot the culprit when they apply for a new card.     Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • How can Social networks help businesses detect fraud?
  • Are there any downsides with using these tools to detect fraud in terms of giving up public privacy?

Posted by & filed under Digital Policy, IS ethics.

Description: Canucks spend more time online than anyone else on Earth, according to new data from Web research firm comScore. And it’s not even by a small margin – the average Canadian spends 43.5 hours a month on the Web, almost twice the worldwide average of 23.1 hours.

Source: Globe&Mail.com

Date: March 8, 2011


According to the comScore report, the number of unique online visitors in Canada hovered at about 23 million users in the fourth quarter of 2010, almost unchanged from the same period a year earlier, and less than a 10th of the number of Web users in China. Of 11 countries surveyed, Canada ranks first in the number of website visits per user per month, at 95.2, and second only to South Korea in number of pages viewed, at 3,349. Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • Why do you feel that Canadians use more Internet that other countries?
  • Are there any downsides to Canada as a result of Canadians using the Internet more than others?

Posted by & filed under business models, outsourcing.

Description: The iPad 2, unveiled on Wednesday, offers several sleek improvements over its predecessor. But its most attractive feature is perhaps the same one its predecessor had: the price tag

Source: Globeandmail.com

Date: March 7, 2011


“There have been nearly a hundred competitive tablets that have been introduced since the iPad,” said Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein. “But it seems that no one has eclipsed or even matched Apple on pricing.”
Analysts and industry experts point to a number of reasons. Primarily, they say, Apple’s deep pockets – a staggering $60-billion in cash reserves – have allowed it to form strategic partnerships with other companies to buy large supplies of components, for example, inexpensive flash memory. By doing this, the company probably secures a lower price from suppliers, ensuring a lower manufacturing cost. Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • What are Ipad’s competive advantages over its competitors?
  • What are the sources of those competititive advanatages?
  • If you were a competitor, how would you compete against the ipad?

Posted by & filed under business models, Digital Policy, e-payment, Ecommerce, M-commerce, revenue model, WI-Fi, wireless networks.

Description: New smartphone applications let almost anyone take payments electronically

Source: Cnn.com

Date: March 1, 2011


Questions for discussion:

What are the implications for small business as a result of the increase of mobile payments?

What industries and application can you predeict will beneifit from this technology?