Saturday, 27 August 2011

Week four

Ok, so this week was the first week that we had no contact hours for e-business. I found it a little bit more difficult as I like the interaction of classes, but I think I am getting the hang of the online learning environment.

Below are the answers to the Google Analytics questions, these are based on Ian's Google Analytics portolio.

1.      Looking at the site usage, what does the term: visits, page views, and pages per visit mean? What does the bounce rate mean, and does it vary much from day to day?
Visits: The amount of times that the website has been visited by a particular computer. This could be many times in the one day, as one visit ends when the browser is closed (or inactive for a period of time), and therefore if the person starts another session in a new browser it is counted as a new ‘visit’.

Page views: This is a total view of all the pages in the site, and how many times each has been viewed.

Pages per visit: This is an average number of pages that a particular user views within their ‘visit’.

Bounce rate: This is the amount of people who have visited the site and then left before interacting (after only viewing the first page). It doesn’t seem to me that this percentage varies much from day to day. It generally sits between 25% and 50%, with some anomalies on either side. This 5min youtube video gives a deeper insight into bounce rates and what they mean across all of your pages (not just your home page). It also looks at your landing page bounce rate and what this says about your key word choices. 

2.      Now look at the traffic sources report. What are the three sources of traffic and where has most of the traffic come from?
·         Direct traffic (this is where most of the traffic has come from).
·         Search engines
·         Referring sites

3.      What was the popular web browser used to access the site?
Internet Explorer was the most popular browser. This information will be handy to know to assist in the set-up of the website. This is so that you can determine which browser you might want to optimise your site for.
4.      How many countries to visitors to foliospaces come from? What were the top four countries?
There were visitors from 130 countries to foliospaces. The top four countries were:
1.      Australia
2.      United States
3.      United Kingdom
4.      Canada
Interestingly enough, in the lowest countries (112 onwards), all but one of the visitors had a 100% bounce rate.

5.      Having clicked every possible link on my analytics, make a few comments on:
1.      What can you track?
Visitors (including new and unique visitors), bounce rate, countries, browsers, average time on site, page views and pages per visit, traffic sources.
2.      What can you track over time?
Increases and decreases in all of the above mentioned.
3.      What cant you track?
Specifics of a particular visitors’ eg. Loyalty and puchases.

6.       What to do the following terms mean?
1.       High bounce rate
High number of people who leave after visiting the first page
2.      Key words
The words people use to search and find the website
3.      Average page depth
This is the number of pages that a visitors views, during a session on a site.
4.      Click through rate
This is the amount of times that an advertisement is shown to users on a webpage, and is divided by the times that a user actually clicks onto the specific advertisement.
5.      Click
This is the amount of times that users click on a specific advertisement.
6.      Cookie
This is a thread of data stored on a computer. It allows the computer to be saved on a server, so that the computer gives information to the web server about the session or computer. For example if you are on a website, it remembers that you are logged in, so that you do not need to re-login when you visit different pages on that site.  
7.      Impression
This is when the web address, or your paid advertisement, is shown on a browser, eg. In a search result.
8.      Hyperlink
Highlighted text, that will link you a website, file or place within the page or document.
9.      Navigation
This describes the way that a user surfs the web.
10.  Page view
A user viewing a page.
11.  Session
The amount of time that a user spends interacting on a site.
12.  Unique visitors (or absolute unique visitors)
Those people who have come to the site to the very first time.
13.  URL
Uniform resource locator. This is an address where information is stored and can be found as it is unique to that information.
14.  Visitor
This term refers to the amount of people come to the site, as best as can be counted through google analytics. But it is tracked by computer, not person, so therefore might not be an exact amount of persons to the site, but is close as practically possible.
15.  Visitor session
A visitor session is a measured amount of time that the visitor (see above) interacts with a website.
16.  Comparison shopping
This is the act of shopping around to see who has the best product or deal.  

Google Analytics - Bounce rate: the simply powerful metric (2007, Sep 12) Retrieved from,

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Week Three

So this week we had our lecture at SEATS and had Ian Knox, from UB come in and speak to us. He was very interesting to listen to and I found his honest and frank out look on ebusiness interesting and inspirational. He spoke of the many ways to run a business on line and touched on the power of social network sites.

Week Three Questions.

Explain why a customer centric web site design is so important yet so difficult to accomplish.

It seems in this day and age that it is fairly obvious why a web site needs to be customer centric. When businesses first started to use the web, their sites were for the most part just a digital brochure of the products or services that the company offered. The user would be most likely searching for information rather than to make a purchase or use a service. As the world moves toward digital marketing and the consumer embraces the technology of online shopping, a company wishing to remain competitive must develop a site that is easy to use and that makes the customer feel comfortable with the purchase process. If a customer can not use the site with ease or does not feel that the site and therefore their personal information is secure they simply will not purchase from the site.
A customer centric site is so difficult to accomplish for lots of reasons. Before a company can develop a customer centric site they must first get to know their customer very well, this presents it's own set of challenges. Once the company has a sound understanding of their customer they then have to design a process that works well, large companies may have the huge amounts of capital to fund the research into this but many have not. Another thing that makes this difficult is the rapid evolution of the digital world on a whole. As things change so too do the customers expectations. What might have worked a year ago will not necessarily work next year.

Define the term 'Presence". Write an additional paragraph that describes why firms that do business on the web should be more concerned about presence than firms that operate in the physical world.
 Ok so probably the best description I could find online is the following;
Simply, how you or your company are represented on the web. This may include you website, but isn’t limited to it. It also includes your keywords, your satellite sites, your social network, your articles, links to your site from other sites, etc. ... (up state, 2011)
So with this in mind, there are numerous reasons that a firm that does business on line should be more concerned with their online presence than one that does not. A firm that operates online relies on it's presence to attract customers, sell products or services as well as to promote their brand. A strong presence will assist in all of the areas mentioned. It's interesting too, that both businesses that operate on line and those that do not must remain aware of their presence. Just as a presence can help sales, branding etc. Businesses must to be aware of the potential negative effects of a presence.
The attached graph (malbon, 2008) puts this into perspective by showing the growth in the number of web sites over roughly the last two decades. this is a clear indicator that businesses are taking viewing their presence as important. It also gives us some insight into how difficult it is to be noticed in the crowd.
 Pindom graph of 0 to 162 million websites

Write three paragraphs to briefly describe the things that Real Estate Agents can best accomplish through their web sites, Mass Media Advertising and Personal Contact.
(1) A Real Estate Agent can use their web site to help the potential customer save time, if they have a large amount of properties listed, potential customers can brows many properties and compile a short list of properties they wish to inspect. Their sites could also be useful for taking online applications for rental properties, advertising auctions and introducing new staff.

(2) Mass Media can best accomplish capturing the portion of the market who either doesn't use the Internet or who may not know that they are interested in purchasing a property. For example, a man and his wife are having a coffee and he browses the real estate section and sees a property that has a double garage and a pool. Al tho he wasn't thinking of moving (so was unlikely to search for such a property online) the thought of a two car garage and a pool get him thinking and then the process can begin.

(3) No matter how far the web goes I can not see a time in the near future where Personal contact will be obsolete. Purchasing a house for the vast majority of the population is a huge event and one that is very emotional and requires alot of thought. It is for this reason, among others that personal contact is very important in the real estate industry. People need to talk to a 'profecinal' and feel that they are making a sound decision when they purchase a house. It is in this part of the process that a customer could easily walk away from or commit to a deal, it is all about how comfortable they feel with the person they are dealing with. Buying a house is too important to most people to be done wholly online.


up state business websites (2011, March 29). Retrieved from

Made by many, brilliant graph of the web's growth (2008, April 08). Retrieved from 


Monday, 22 August 2011

Week 2

Ok so this week we had a lesson at the flexible learning center. We set up TAFE computer accounts and had a look at the use of Moodle. We also discussed the assessment and started to think about groups for the assignments.

For this weeks questions I had a little trouble watching the videos and so ended up watching them at the Flexible Learning center. I still have not managed to down load the pod cast from Michale Rappa but will do so this weekend and add to the blog as soon as possible. so my questions well be slightly out of order this week.

After watching the Marissa Mayer interview, I guess one of the most relevant points to business was her opinion on why google has been so successful.
The reasons Marissa sights are.
  • Google employees work in small teams. This enables close discussions between team members as often teams are all in the one office. 
  • Internal Research and development through the employees using the products.
  • A broad mission; to organize the worlds information. This notion of a broad mission I find particularly interesting. It works well for a hi tech company but I think it could be a negative thing for some company's as a broad mission may lead to lack of direction.
  • Marrissa also states that most of the new ideas come from 'in-house'. 
Another point I found interesting was the discussion about the "next big thing" It's interesting but hardly surprising that the interest is still in cell phone technology. Cell phones and particularly smart phones seem to be dominating the R&D efforts of a lot of tech companies this decade. Marissa cited the possibility of your phone telling you where your friends are, like maybe they are in a coffee shop near by. This type of technology is the same type of technology that Bill Joy talked about in the other interview. He called it D2D. So one device talking to another and passing the information to the user. Marissa talks about the privacy issues associated with such technology and states that there will be a trade off, as there is with much of the social networking available today. The trade off is, privacy for convenience. Time will tell if users are willing to make that trade off. I think people have already submitted so much that they will make this trade off with little resistance if the technology becomes available. I don't know that it is a good thing but I'm sure it will happen as society's insatiable desire for information grows seemingly as fast as the technology it's self. Following on from this point is another interesting one, Marissa states that she couldn't live with out 'search' above all other products and services. I find this interesting because I think if other people thought about it they might say the same thing. What is it that drives us to want to know EVERYTHING no matter how insignificant?
Last of all I found it an interesting thought that Marissa stated that Google is an "add subsidised" service. Meaning that the advertising helps pay for the service that we as the users receive. I find this interesting because for years marketing departments have had to battle to grab the attention of a broad target market and hope that the add is being seen by the people they wish to attract. Online advertising can be so much more direct. For instance if a person Googles Mountain bikes, there is a high likelihood that they will be interested in other things such as apparel, helmets, perhaps magazine subscriptions or mountain biking destinations. This allows the Marketer to hone in on specific interests of the consumer. I think that this leads to a positive out come for both the consumer and the marketer. As the consumer we are not subjected to ad's that we have no interest in and the marketers are far more likely to obtain successful results.

The Bill Joy Video.

What are the six webs.
  1. The Near Web. This is where the user is sitting at a desk or such and using a computer, this is what I guess I would call the "traditional use" in this web the user usually has a mouse and a key board.
  2. The Here Web. This is the web that is with you all of the time, such as on your smart phone.
  3. The Far Web. This is the web you use on interactive devices such as your T.V. You watch from your couch with a remote control. 
  4. The Weird Web. This is the voice controlled web, used in things such as car navigation systems. 
  5. B2B Web. This is Business computers talking to each other to improve business transactions. 
  6. D2D Web. This is where devices talk to each other. This could lead to your phone telling you if you are near your friend, how busy is the traffic etc. 
Could there be more Webs?
I have no doubt there could and will be more webs, given that the interview is fairly old it would not surprise me if there are already more. That said I have been searching for evidence that someone has named more and I can't yet find anything.

What does this mean for business?
As these technologies develop there will be huge opportunities for businesses. I have decided to put these in dot point because there are so many and it would take so much time to look at each one in depth.
  •  Opportunities to develop both software and hardware to run and utilize all of this new technology.
  • Further opportunity to collect and sell information.
  • The D2D web will lead to major opportunity for businesses such as restaurants and hotels to let potential customers, particularly those who are near by, know that they have tables/rooms available. 
  • Opportunity for business people to develop their skills through online learning from anywhere in the world and by the best teachers in the world. 
  • Technological advancement in general business processes will have a positive influence on businesses globally. 
What are the four main points Michael Rappa makes about search?
I found it quite hard to get four distinctly different points from this pod cast as the whole thing is on a similar vein.
The first one is that data storage is so cheap now, that it is increasingly easy for us to collect, store, transmit, search and analyze. This is already having a huge impact on the way we do business and will continue to do so for a long time yet.
Next Michael talks about the importance of an effective search method. With all the "noise" as he called it, it will become more and more important to find effective ways to distinguish between what is important to the searcher. Michael also notes like others (Bill Joy, Marissa Mayer) that we still have a long way to go with the development of search and it's capabilities. There is a lot of room for growth and improvement in the arias of voice and image search. I think it's really true that the company that masters these new areas will become a dominant force in the search engine service of the future.
Michale also talks about paid placement and it's place in a search. He states that paid placement has a place as long as the user is aware what is paid and what is just search based information.
The last thing I noticed was the interesting fact about the way most of us search. I know when he said that most people type a few key words and hope for the best, that he was describing the method I use most of the time. I think this point ties in with what we talked about last week with the semantic web and the web being able to better understand what the user is looking for. Again I think a company that can master this semantic styled search will become a major player in the search provider industry.


Wednesday, 10 August 2011

So this week, Friday the 5th of August was our first class. We discussed the course and various interesting facts about eBusiness, eCommerce and the internet. Dallas gave us some back ground information on some of the major companies that we deal with every day such as Yahoo, Google and eBay. We discussed the difference between the Internet- a massive network of networks, millions of computers connected around the world and the World Wide Web – a way of accessing information over the internet.

As part of our assessment we are to keep a blog as an online journal each week. Here we will post what we have learnt each week as well as answer the weekly topic questions. My answers to the Topic 1 Questions are as follows.    

  1. Internet risks – what can go wrong with a transactional site?
·         Security problems (privacy issues, identity theft) this could lead to a lack of trust from potential customers.
·         Technical problems with the site it’s self.

  1. Write down a definition for each:
    1. E-Commerce:
From what I can gather from my research E-commerce relates to the process of conducting sales on line. It has a much more specific meaning than E-business. It relates directly to the trading, buying and selling on line. 

    1. E-business:
E-business is far less specific term. It relates to anything to do with information technology in business.
  1. What is the difference between buy side and sell side eCommerce?
The main difference I can gather from Figure 1.1 The distinction between buy-side and sell-side e-commerce (Knox, 20011, slide 12). Is that one side (buy side) is dealing with suppliers and the other side (sell side) is dealing with customers. 

  1. Describe the different types of eBusiness
According to figure 1.2 Summary and examples of transaction alternatives between businesses, consumers and governmental organisations. There are nine (9) different types of eBusinesses. (Knox, 2011, slide 13)
Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) refers to sites such as eBay, where consumers can on sell products to other consumers.
The advantage of consumer to consumer e-commerce is most often the reduced costs and smaller but profitable customer base. It also gives many small business owners a way to sell their goods without running a highly profit draining bricks-and-mortar store (Hill, 2009).

Consumer-to-business (C2B) is an electronic commerce business model in which consumers (individuals) offer products and services to companies and the companies pay for them (Hill, 2009).
According to many sites I have looked at, this type of e business is a complete reversal of traditional business models. This type of business has been made possible by the internets ability to connect large numbers of people in a bidirectional manner, unlike the traditional single direction process. Also the increased availability and lowered cost of technology.

Consumer-to-Government (C2G) in this model, an individual consumer interacts with the government. For example, a consumer can pay his income tax or house tax online. The transactions involved in this case are C2G transactions (e-Commerce Models, ‘n.d.’)
Furthermore, according to figure 1.2 Summary and examples of transaction alternatives between businesses, consumers and governmental organisations. This model can also include feedback to Government through pressure groups. (Knox 2011, slide 13) 

Business-to-Consumer (B2C) this model involves transactions between business organizations and consumers. It applies to any business organization that sells its products or services to consumers over the Internet (e-Commerce Models, ‘n.d.’).

Business-to-Business (B2B) this is where businesses interact with each other, and can buy and use or buy and on sell each others products and services.

Business-to-Government (B2G) a derivative of the term Business to Business, or B2B, the description Business to Government (B2G) is used for transactions between a company and Government bodies and agencies (WebDynamic, ‘n.d.’). This is where businesses transact with the government on line. Simular to the C2G businesses can pay their taxes online (e-Commerce Models, ‘n.d.’).

Government-to-Consumer (G2C) this is where the government interacts with the public. It can involve taxation payments as well as general government information and local government information. (knox, 2011, slide 13)

Government-to-Business (G2B) in this model the government interacts with businesses. This interaction can range from taxation, information on government services and information on legal regulations. (Knox, 2011, slide 13)

Government-to-Government (G2G) this model is the sharing of information between governments. It also relates to inter government services. (Knox, 2011, slide 13)

  1. Which digital technology has the highest penetration rate? Explain and source your answer.
I would say with out a doubt that the mobile phone has the highest penetration rate. I say this with no research. I am yet to visit a country that does not have mobile phone technology, including many developing countries. My 82 year old Grandmother has a mobile phone as does my friend’s 8 year old daughter.
The adoption rate for mobile phone users in the UK was 85% in 2005 that was up from around 15% in 1997. (Knox, 2011, slide 14)
Another article stated that the global penetration rate for mobile phone users would reach 61% by the end of 2008 the article stated that this was up from just 12% in the year 2000 (Winder, 2008).  

  1. List: Four drivers to adoption of sell-side e-commerce by business.
·         Increasing speed with which supplies can be obtained
·         Increasing speed with which goods can be dispatched
·         Reduced sales and purchasing costs
·         Reduced operating costs (Knox, 2011, slide 16)

  1. Four barriers to adoption of sell-side e-commerce by business.
·         High set up cost.
·         Running costs.
·         Lack of time/resources.
·         Difficulty integrating IT systems. (Knox, 2011 slide 20)

  1. How might a restaurant in Sturt Street Ballarat benefit from an online presence?
A restaurant would benefit from an on line presence in a variety of ways. They could display their menu, advertise, advertise weekly specials and up coming events or entertainment, take bookings and even take pre ordered meals online. As well as opening and closing times and holiday period trade, as seen in this restaurant website

  1. What are some examples of Digital information?
·         Television,
·         Photography
·         Stock market reports
·         Weather reports
·         Phone numbers and addresses of businesses
·         Product information and advertisements

  1. What is the semantic web? Are we there yet?
As I understand it, the semantic web is a more intelligent web system, that will be more user friendly and able to perform much more complicated procedures. An article in Scientific AmericanTM  stated ‘The Semantic Web is not a separate Web but an extension of the current one, in which information is given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers and people to work in cooperation. The first steps in weaving the Semantic Web into the structure of the existing Web are already under way. In the near future, these developments will usher in significant new functionality as machines become much better able to process and "understand" the data that they merely display at present (Berners-Lee, Hendler & Lassila, 2001).’
I believe we are well on the way to a semantic web but I don’t think we are there yet. 


Hill, D (2009). Darrell Hill Business technology Defined. Retrieved August, 9, 2011,  from

Winder, D (2008, September 25) 61 percent of global population now using mobile phones. itwire. p. 1 Retrieved August 9, 2011, from

e-Commerce Models (‘n.d.’) [e-Commerce Models defined]. Retrieved August 8, 2011, from

Knox, I (2011). Topic 1 introduction to ebusiness. [PowerPoint slides]. BC501: eBusiness Fundamentals. UB, EG TAFE.

Berners-Lee, T., Hendler, J. & Ora, L. (2001, May 17). The Semantic Web. Scientific AmericanTM. Retrieved August 9, 2011, from

WebDynamic. (‘n.d.’). Glossary. Retrieved August 9, 2011, from

Friday, 5 August 2011

Week 1. The first blog.

So it's week one and this is my first ever blog. Hence the oridginal title. As I write this I have no idea if what I am writing is going to the place it is intended, or if anyone will be able to read it when I hit ‘Publish Post’. The whole thing is new to me so I guess I’ll have to wait and see.
It has taken me quite a while to get this far so I think I’ll call it a night now and add more about the readings and the first class, throughout the week. I just hope this will still be here when I next log in.