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.


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