Twitter~ A cost effective model

This blog will look at  the concept “Lightweight Models & Cost-Effective Scalability“, the final pattern of eight patterns as defined by Tim O’Reilly. In the World Wide Web business/organizations are now looking to  adopt a scalable, cost-effective strategy encompassing business models, development models, and technology to deliver products to market faster and cheaper without sacrificing future growth.

Once the idea of web services became au courant, large companies jumped into the fray with a complex web services stack designed to create highly reliable programming environments for distributed applications. –Tim O’Reilly

Basically, what O’Reilly is saying is that what was once normal to start out big has now turned to starting small with a big picture at the end of the model. Once was the idea of large complex web services, that has now been turned on its head. Using a business model and starting and starting out small with a small budget but gradually increase costs as revenue has been increased. Benefits that this brings include:

  1. Cost effectiveness
  2. Responsiveness
  3. Doing more with less
  4. Easy start-up
  5. Fail fast
  6. Scale easy

Twitter

Right, so a great application that demonstrates lightweight modelling and cost effective scalabilty is the popular micro-blogging platform “Twitter“. Twitter is an online social networking service and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based messages of up to 140 characters, known as “tweets”. Twitter has become a go to for business and is a great application to use whilst starting up, it is free, easy to start up and has a huge amount of users which will bring responsiveness. From starting with twitter business can then more on to a much larger/complex web services as revenue increases.

Here are best practices that Twitter has adopted in relation to practices that  Professor Jason Watson’s from QUT   pointed out during “Lightweight Models & Cost-Effective Scalability” lecture.

(1) Scale with demand

When twitter started, it had 400,000 tweets posted per quarter in 2007, this grew to 100 million tweets posted per quarter in 2008. In February 2010, Twitter users were sending 50 million tweets per day. (More statistics here) We can see that twitter started out small in terms of people using and tweeting, however as usage increased they had to increase their scale base on the increase demand of users.

(2) Syndicate business models

Using twitter can also be a great way to increase your business model/strategies. Social media are not generally link to each other. Users could use say their Facebook/google+ accounts and promote their twitter account. This allows enterprises to build all or part of their business on top of various social media components.

(3) Outsource whenever practical and possible

Twitter Inc. is based in San Francisco, with additional servers and offices in New York City, Boston, and San Antonio.

(4) Provide outsource infrastructure, function, and expertise

Generally big companies such as twitter have no need to outsource their infrastructure, function and expertise. These would be done in their own offices.

(5) Market virally

User initiated positive word-of-mouth can lead to dramatic market growth, when new applications/social media are released it normally takes sometime for people to follow and use it. Using viral marketing is a great way, twitter blasts could be used or even facebook group pages. Twitter  has been ranked the fastest highest social media in the world in 2013. This could not have been achieved without the use of various viral marketing strategies.
(6) Design for scale
Scalability does not happen by accident, Twitter no doubt started small in terms of users. There is no doubt that  from an early stage strategic and tactical choices were made to enable scaling as twitters growth increased. Twitter was designed to give the users control of the content they tweet, baring the 140 characters restriction. Users have control over their own profiles and content which means that operating and support costs are shouldn’t be that high.
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In conclusion, Twitter is a great application that offers a great model and cost effective Scalability. However, one thing to be mindful is that with such a big user population Twitter users/businesses will face spam, how Twitter reacts to this will determine if Twitter continues to be popular in the near future.
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References:

– Watson, J. 2010 – INB(N)347 Week 10 – Lecture slides
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Leveraging the long tail “iTunes Store”

This blog will look at  the concept “Leveraging the long tail”, the seventh of eight patterns as defined by Tim O’Reilly. The internet is like a virtual shopping mall, with a wide range of products for sale.  We are beginning to see companies look not just to sale certain products but have a wide range of variety to cater for anyone (a niche market). Businesses are now using the “Long Tail” pattern.

Small sites make up the bulk of the internet’s content; narrow niches make up the bulk of internet’s the possible applications. Therefore: Leverage customer-self service and algorithmic data management to reach out to the entire web, to the edges and not just the center, to the long tail and not just the head. – O’Reilly

The Long Tail, in a nutshell

The theory of the Long Tail is that our culture and economy is increasingly shifting away from a focus on a relatively small number of “hits” (mainstream products and markets) at the head of the demand curve and toward a huge number of niches in the tail. As the costs of production and distribution fall, especially online, there is now less need to lump products and consumers into one-size-fits-all containers. In an era without the constraints of physical shelf space and other bottlenecks of distribution, narrowly-targeted goods and services can be as economically attractive as mainstream fare. – Chris Anderson

So one company that has used this pattern effectively is Apple, the apple iTunes store has a wide range of music,app and books to choose from. By applying this pattern the apple iTunes store has provided benefits such as increase in capturing a wider variety of audience and an increase in customer chose. 

Here are best practices that ebay has adopted in relation to practices that  Professor Jason Watson’s from QUT   pointed out during “Leveraging the long tail” lecture.

(1) Build on the driving forces of the Long Tail

¨Driven by three forces
1.Democratized tools of production – as iTunes continues to grow apple has adopted more applications other then music, through the popularity of smart phones apps, ebooks etc have now been added to the iTunes store growing list of applications users can buy/download.
2.Decreased cost of consumption by virtue of democratized distribution – iTunes itself is free, some apps are free to download, this brings more customers to use the iTunes store.
3. New forms of connecting supply and demand – Organizations are now using the iTunes store to drive their business and attract customers. People using iTunes store now have a wide range of selections not only limited to a few choices that they are interested in. This drives business from hits to niches a new market

2) Use algorithmic data management to match supply and demand

The iTunes store uses algorithmic data management to match users purchases/searches to recommend apps/music/books users might be interested in.

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(3) Use an architecture of participation to match supply and demand

Customers and owners can discuss/share their thoughts on applications on the apps store.  For example, reviews can be made through comments on a particular app. Ratings is also a way iTunes store allows customers to look at if the product is worth purchasing.

(4) Leverage customer self-service to cost effectively reach the entire web

This practice has been done by iTunes, users can sign in their account, view their wish list, recommendations etc
However, it would be good it users view other peoples download history, and share what they have downloaded with the iTunes community. This would allow customers to manage their own accounts gives them greater control and information.

(5) Leverage the low-cost advantages of being online

iTunes store has started of by making the right move, making the store an online and not a shelf store.  This not only a low-cost advantage but also brings into play online/viral marketing. Many people use iTunes now with the huge growth in smartphone users.

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In conclusion, the iTunes store offers many products for the public. They have demonstrated effective use of the 5 practices that helps them Leverage the long tail. Not only to cater for a certain category of customers but a wide niche market.

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References:
– Watson, J. 2010 – INB(N)347 Week 9 – Lecture slides

Perpetual Beta “Ebay”

This blog will look at  the concept “Perpetual Beta”, the sixth of eight patterns as defined by Tim O’Reilly.  In the current internet age, applications and softwares doesnt just rely on CD or install update packages. When devices and programs are connected to the Internet, applications they  are no longer software artifacts, they are ongoing services.  Development teams for these application should engage the users to be real-time testers, and structure the service to reveal how people use your product.

Users must be treated as co-developers, in a reflection of open source development practices (even if the software in question is unlikely to be released under an open source license.) The open source dictum, “release early and release often” in fact has morphed into an even more radical position, “the perpetual beta,” in which the product is developed in the open, with new features slipstreamed in on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis. It’s no accident that services such as Gmail, Google Maps, Flickr, del.icio.us, and the like may be expected to bear a “Beta” logo for years at a time.

Benefits for this pattern includes:

  • Faster time to market — using actual users to test your application/software
  • Reduced risk — real time feedback
  • Closer relationship with customers
  • Real-time data to make quantifiable decisions
  • Increased responsiveness

Ebay is an online auction and shopping website where people can sell electronics, cars and many other things. Ebay was founded in 1995, since then Ebay has become the leading auction site on the internet. Throughout the past 18 years Ebay has been though many changes,  particularly in the UX area. So does Ebay close down during updates? No! Whilst, going to my Ebay account recently i felt something was wrong my listings weren’t showing up, this was because of Ebay doing maintenance work to improve the application for its users. Here are best practices that ebay has adopted in relation to practices that  Professor Jason Watson’s from QUT   pointed out during “Perpetual Beta” lecture.

(1) Release early and release often

Since its launch Ebay has been through many changes, it is said Ebay deploys a new version roughly every 2 weeks. Since Ebay is such a popular application used by many, it is essential that Ebay releases a new version to fix bugs, improve user experience and implement new features. We also have to remember that Ebay is also now accessible via smartphones by downloading the Ebay app.

(2) Engage users as co-developers and real-time testers

Screen shot 2013-04-28 at 5.06.33 PM

What better way of getting feedback and monitoring Ebay’s users use of the application then engaging users to help with the development of Ebay. One way Ebay has adopt is to have an image on the right hand side of the scroll bar that says “Tell us what you think”. This is a way of getting feedback.

(3) Instrument your product

What users do often tells you more than what they say, other ways ebay could well have used other than the “Tell us what you think” image for fast user feedback is a hot spot/heat map monitor. This will track the mouse movements and clicks of users, this could give good feedback to Ebay developers on which areas they need to look at to improve Ebay from a users perspective.

(4) Incrementally create new products

Since using Ebay i have seen numerious new features being added on to the Ebay application. New features includes having recommendations based on previous items viewed,  changes in feedback and many more.

5) Make operations a core competency

Ebay takes users data and feedback to provide users with much better experience.  Ongoing day-to-day management of data and services play a large part in where Ebay is at right now.

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Conclusion

Ebay’s use of Perpetual data has helped them continue to improve their application to adapt to the users needs. By monitoring and collecting data from users use of Ebay itself this allows fast and efficient changes without the need for huge downtime.

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References:
– Watson, J. 2010 – INB(N)347 Week 8- Lecture slides

Social Networks

This week i will be looking at Social networks in relation with the organization ProMOS. From my last blog my group and i have developed some wiki strategies for ProMOS. So can social networks be an assistance for organizations? You bet they can! Social networks brings a new way to connect and build relationships with many contacts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How does social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn benefit internal and external users of an organization?

External:

  • Build relationships with your customers
  • Easily connect with clients, suppliers and partners
  • Build trust and immersion
Internal:
  • Quicker access to expertise and resources
  • Enhanced Collaboration/organization
  • Swifter innovation (visibility)
  • collaboration
  • Effective leadership development (ties are essential)
  • Better moral (social interaction builds trust)

My group will be looking at Five social network strategies for ProMOS. The 5 strategies our group came up with are:

  1. Assessment
  2. Implementation
  3. Monitor
  4. Measure
  5. Momentum

So now that we have some ideas of benefits provided by social networks,  i will now discuss one of the groups strategy for ProMOS using social networks. My strategy adopted for PosMOS using social networks is “Assessment”.  Assessment is to evaluate where you arewhere you want to go and what the wins will be along the way.

Firstly is to know your audience:

Like many project plans, there needs to be a serious consideration of your target market/audience, what are the challenges and goals for implementing certain things, in this case social networks. Putting your audience first is crucial aspect when assessing and creating goals.

What are the goals the wins:

From assessing ProMOS’s target market, situations, we can then set goals and challenges for ProMOS by using Social Networks. Before implementation begins there must be adequate planning and assessing of the current situation and where the company wants to go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Group members social network strategies:

Assessment of where the organization stands (My strategy)

– Social network implementation in organization

Monitoring

Using social networking to measure in an organization

Social network gains momentum at business

References:

– http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/3-steps-to-an-effective-social-media-strategy/

http://www.muskegoncc.edu/Images/Academic%20Affairs/SAassessmentcycle.jpg

Extra Readings:

– http://www.rise.net/blog/three-benefits-knowing-your-customer

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER:
https://twitter.com/AndyTang19

Wiki Strategies

Last weeks blog post we looked and discussed strategies used for micro-blogging. This week we have been asked to look at Wiki’s, what are they? How can they be used within an organization and what are some strategies that could be implemented using Wikis.  A Wiki is a website which allows its users to add, modify, or delete its content via a web browser. Wikis can be used for a large variety of tasks, from personal note-taking to collaborating online, creating an internal knowledge base, assembling an online community, and managing a traditional website.

The simplest online database that could possibly work. 
–Ward Cunningham

15  Productive Uses for Wikis

1) To-do list
2) Project Management
3) Operation Manuals
4) Checklists
5) Event Planning
6) Log Client Work
7) Tracking Invoices
8) Note and Snippets
9) Goals
10) Contacts
11) Workspace
12) FAQs
13) Collaboration
14) Reference
15) One place for everything

Wiki Strategy for ProMOS

ProMOS is an information technology hardware manufacturer which manufactures Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM). At this stage ProMOS doesn’t have a strong presence of Web 2.0. Using wiki is a great way bringing internal staff and external customers to interact with ProMOS. Using a Wiki is a great way for internal staff member’s to organize projects, plan events and brainstorm ideas within an organization. Whilst it also allows the option of external customers to provide feedback or ideas to an organization. There will be 5 strategies Wiki Strategies my group has adopted for ProMOS. My particular strategy is “Collaboration and Enhancing Organizational Knowledge”

Collaboration and Enhancing Organizational Knowledge

Wiki is a great tool to collaborate ideas and keep organization information tidy/organized. By using this Wiki strategy ProMOS will open doors to internal collaboration between staff members. Staffs access can edit company contents, using a very simple tool and an ordinary web browser. Not only does it allow easy collaboration but allows the enhanced organizational aspect,  wikis would allow project management and documentation. It helps different companies in the search and recovery of their credentials.Whilst offers companies with a more structured approach.

ProMOS staff’s would use wikis to discuss latest topics, collaboration,  plan/manage projects and many more.

ProMOS could also consider adopting wikis for their customers. By having an external wiki for customers, it would act as a place where customers can create their own topics/questions about certain products of ProMOS. ProMOS could also use this as an opportunity to make new announcements via the external wiki on new products or updates. However there are better ways of doing such as using facebook or twitter, because of the notification features. In saying that,  by using an external wiki, ProMOS opens another door that connects to their customers, to collaborate with them and enhance engagement.

By employing this strategy, ProMOS would benefit a lot because of the collaboration and organizational knowledge Wiki’s brings.

Group members Wiki Strategies for ProMOS

1. Collaboration and Enhancing Organizational Knowledge 

2.Internal and external wiki communication in corporation

3. Organization Integration Plan

4. Raise productivity

5. Generation, design and control new projects in the company

 

Extra Readings/Information’s:

http://gigaom.com/collaboration/15-productive-uses-for-a-wiki/

http://www.sitepoint.com/what-is-a-wiki/

Micro-blogging & Strategies

Micro-blogging? What is it? My first impression before i heard the definition in the lecture was some sort of small blog. I was thinking how is it different to a normal blog, how does it differ from this blog.

So what is Micro-blogging?

Micro blogging is a form of blogging but in a micro sense. The original concept of blogging actually mutated into this form. From small updates to lager blog posts.  Why? As people are under more pressure, rushing around with studies/work. Using micro-blogging allows simplified short messaging and has become increasingly more popular. Micro-blogging tools include Twitter, Facebook, Plurk, LinkedIn and Google+.  The majority of these tools have someone made status updates look like micro blogging, it allows quick post ones current thoughts yet it conveys enough meaning. Whilst also allow users to exchange small elements of content such as short sentences, individual images, or video links. Even with the vast majority of blogging tools there has to be careful consideration about the strategy set in place when using these tools when creating an online presence.

Interesting fact : All micro blogging sites in China are censored including Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. The more popular ‘local’ social networking sites in China – Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo are not only heavily censored but from now on any member will need to sign a contract (operating on a points system) that will censor whatever you say. You will loose points for using inappropriate words. Should you loose all your points your account will be cancelled. You may even be investigated if you fall foul of ‘big brother’. Syncstrategies (2012)

 

 

Our groups 5 Micro-blogging strategy:

#1 Cross promote to social media sites

#2 Internal & external communication with micro-blogging

#3  Micro-Blogging marketing with 5W 1H

#4 Utilizing micro-blogging to enhance business marketing for advertisment

#5 Reputation management and recovery in times of crisis

My  section of our Micro-blogging Strategy:

#1 Cross promote to social media sites-

As with any organizations the more social media your organization is connected to the more you are able to promote awareness of your company. In my opinion, cross promoting on various social media sites is a key aspect of micro-blogging. It’s like planting a seed in your garden, the more you plant the more beautiful flowers you have. Same as cross promoting, the more an organization has a presence on multiple social media tools  there will be more success, because of the the majority of tools can be linked to each other. Allowing more exposure.

Keep it simple 

Keeping things simple and easy to follow is a great way not to lose or distract your visitors. Using twitter can take time to get use to, however the benefits far out weights the drawback.

Twitter is essentially a micro blogging site, which means that you use the site for abbreviated messages with a maximum of 140 characters to each message. Consequently you keep your posts to just a few lines and directed to the point. It’s amazing how much you can say with very little space and having to be very brief and specific in what you say. People are more than likely to read your messages when they’re very short.  Using images, videos and hash tags is a great way to broadcast your message however long or short it is. Hashtags are great for centralizing conversations around live, in-person events or conferences, live webinars, or other marketing campaigns you’re running.

Final Thoughts:

Micro-blogging has become ever more popular as time seems to move more faster. There aren’t any no cost effective and better viral method better than social micro blogging. In less than a minute your message can be spread far and wide to thousands or even millions of Followers. Weather it is the use of facebook, twitter or other social tools that allows fast micro-blogging, anyone can spread a message virtually instantly.  Particularly for organizations who have a lot of customers such as airports, banks and fast food chains. Micro-blogging is a brilliant way of getting message to your followers.

Other readings you may like to check out:

– http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/10_micro-blogging_tools_compared.php

– http://www.heatbrain.com/website-development-and-design/web-design-free-tools-social-networking-strategies.aspx

Up up and away…

Who would have though social media would revolutionize an airport’s communicates with their passengers! Airlines can now use social media to offer their passengers exciting promotions, competitions and incentives, for example Virgin Blue’s Cheeps and Air Asia’s Big Cent Sale. They also use broader technologies and platforms with greater integration- Foursquare, Facebook, YouTube, Flick were used in KLM’s Surprise Campaign which rewarded customers who checked in with gifts in the terminals. Airports, on the other hand, use social media, especially Twitter, primarily for general announcements and customer service with very few airports partaking in more innovative campaigns. Social media allows airports to achieve their goals,  allows another dimension of engagement with customers and increase in revenue.

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Let us take a look at 3 airports that use social media to promote their airline and increase sales.

Changi Airport (Singapore)

Objective: To launch Changi Airports largest ever shopping promotion.

Singaporeans invited to show what it feels like to win $1 in a flash mob-style mass performance, right in the heart of Changi Airport.

This attracted over 400 performers, professional and amateurs, aged 10 to 75

Outcome: Apart from driving retail sales up, the campaign evoked heartwarming expressions of pride as well. It has received 340,000 view on Youtube so far.

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Melbourne Airport

Objective:
Like the majority of air-ports, Melboune Airport has adopted to use twitter as part of their plan to to help travellers plan their journeys better. How? By providing them with latest deals, information and flights from Melbourne on their Twitter stream. This allows twitter followers of Melbourne airport to get the latest leads, whilst increasing revenue and promotes engagement between Melbourne Airport and its customers through social media.

Melbourne Airports use of Twitter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Manchester Airport

The first UK airport to officially launch a Twitter stream, in February 2009. Currently Manchester Airport has 18,000 followers.

A new global survey has ranked Manchester Airport as the World’s number one airport on Twitter.

During the snow and the volcanic ash cloud crises, Twitter became one of the vital channels of communication. Updates were posted as they happened, even Sky News took live updates from the Manchester Airport Twitter stream to use on it’s website and TV channel.

It was interesting Manchester Air  is actually following more potential customers than it has followers (see image below). This shows a concerted effort by this airport operator to not only disseminate news and updates but also its willingness to engage through social media with their followers.

 

 

 

 

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Summary:

Social media provided a way of communicating to followers of the crisis, spearding the word about this is easier through the use of social media. At present, the main ways that airports employ social media are, customer service, crisis handling, relationship building and increasing commercial activity.

However, there is greater opportunity for airports to engage in social media to better service customers, create entertainment and provide a positive and enjoyable experience. Social media communicates and spreads this positive customer experience, spreading word of mouth and generating loyalty/  increased customers and increase in revenue.

Some good articles related to Airports and social media:

http://www.thedrum.com/news/2010/08/12/manchester-takes-top-twitter-status

www.inventorspot.com/articles/social_media_adds_engagement_customers_airport_metrics