Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Online Change

The internet is not your ordinary search tool. You can now achieve pretty much everything through the internet. If it had a middle name it would probably be "innovative."
The internet has now mastered becoming THE marketplace. Ebay is extremely succesful and convenient. It has allowed people to sell and buy thei things through a computer screen.
Amazon is unother very succesful website. It is the biggest bookstore via web. You are allowed to browse for the book you want while in the comfort of your home. And variety is a must here.
Chris Anderson's publishings explain to us the internet's diveresity and adaptability to consumer's needs. The internet runs on our desires; our wants and our needs.
Rhapsody is the perfect example of meeting people's needs. They have an abundance of tracks available for consumers to listen and purchase.Again you are given the opprtunity to do this at home and not have to step out to a store to get the music you want. Not only is it convenient but it's perfect; you no longer have to buy a whole cd to listen to the song you want. Yes, you can now purchase single songs.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Digital World is Booming!

The Internet has forever changed the way we do things. Big contributors to this change are eBay and Amazon. Both of these companies found a way to create ecommerce. EBay's creator developed a way of online auctioning and Amazon is the biggest bookstore online. Although, both have different aspects of ideas, they both wanted to level the playing field for all people and make information fair and accessible. The markets boomed with both companies although eBay was more successful. Even after the horrible Black Friday in the 2000s they have bounced back and continue to empower ordinary people to use the tools of the Internet.

Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail, explains how all types of music, books and other things can be available to consumers. The Long Tail is explained as being able to reach all types of audiences and breaking barriers set by top hits to go beyond the popular to reach all types of audiences wants'. Through online distribution and retail, we are entering a world of abundance . For example Rhapsody, an online streaming music service has over 735,000 tracks. Rhapsody streams all tracks giving audiences a chance to hear something that they may like; It's not all about the top hits. Also buyers get a choice to buy by the track instead the whole CD, which is the main option available in stores.
On the net, a lot of things are provided for free, but it's not all free. While magazines, and newspapers may provide their publications for free they make profits through advertisements. It's like a trade off they offer some things for free and reap the profits in other areas. Many companies promote themselves by giving things away for free like the Gillette disposable razors idea and create a demand for their product.
This is the wave of the future, so jump on board while it's hot!
-Selina O. Affram

The Changing Online Marketplace

The expansion of the online marketplace in the past 15 years has revolutionized not only the Internet in general, but also how people conduct business. Advancements in e-commerce have led to changes in everything from product pricing to shopper behavior. While many were once skeptical of its reliability and level of convenience years ago, several computer-savvy individuals now cherish and rely on e-commerce for various purposes.

There once was a time in business when a customer could only buy products that were in stock at nearby stores (and that were at that price). Nowadays, a typical person can easily perform a search on the Web for a product and find detailed information regarding the product as well as a price comparison from multiple online sellers. International businesses are now recognizing all the resources that typical consumers have at their disposal to become more knowledgeable on the products or services they intend to purchase. Generally speaking, today’s shoppers are “smarter” and more selective than ever before. It will be interesting to see how companies adapt their business models to appeal to a better informed and more segmented consumer base.

Chris Anderson’s articles reveal how target audiences today are becoming increasingly diverse in their product tastes and more challenging to reach using traditional marketing methods. While the business models of online sellers will continue to evolve gradually in the next decade, I believe that more considerable change will bring new opportunities to the field of communications and public relations. More online businesses may consider employing integrated marketing communications (IMC) strategies to better connect with their current and prospective clientele.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

online business

I believe online business will be extremely successful moving forward. This is mainly due to the fact that the world as a whole is going digital and all of the technological advances resulting from that. Shopping online has made purchasing products quick and easy for consumers, and with more time I am sure this will become even more popular. The businesses that will succeed most are the ones that bring people what they want the easiest. Businesses which sell products everyone needs will find the industry most useful, as the ease they offer will attract consumers to get the wanted and needed products online. Examples currently seen of this include iTunes for music and Amazon for books, software and other products,

However, one of the biggest challenges to online businesses is the threat of identity theft. When shopping online consumers will face the possibility of picking up viruses on their computers or having personal information stolen by hackers. This has and will continue to turn some consumers off to the idea of online shopping and I think is the biggest thing handicapping the industry going forward.


Change is the major message behind today's market, driven almost entirely by the Internet. Change in business model, change in technology, change in price and how businesses compete.

The Internet is causing businesses to be always on their toes, because competition is coming from everywhere. The fact that anyone can interact with anyone else at anytime, in almost anyway they want to has opened the doors to commerce for everyone. These doors used to be sealed to business suave guys, people that knew how to build a chain of stores, develop shipping trades, create great products to offer, and pay money to tell you why you need it. The model isn't like that anymore. It is not a market like "I have this product, and I'll do you a favor by giving you it for cheap". Businesses are going into relationship counseling.

Businesses that have succeed in the past are the ones that make you love them. They are the ones that will make you think, "I would kill myself if I didn't have so-and-so." Google has done this. Think about what your life would be like without Google. Pretty crappy, huh? The reason an Internet company succeeds is it creates life so much better for you, the company becomes ingrained in your daily habits. While I write this, I am using spellcheck, and I would kill myself if I didn't have spellcheck. I love Microsoft Word.

Gasoline companies did this. People love to drive their cars. Walmart did this. People love to one-stop shop. Yet these companies were offering products. Successful businesses in the future will not offer products. Wait. Some will, because people need things like clothes, houses, and beer. But the Internet has opened a whole new market, the tool market. Tools to shop, tools to be entertained, tools to make money, tools to find people, tools to do your taxes, tools to learn, tools to share. And the fact is money doesn't effect how good your site is, it is more based on creativity. That means you get it cheap, sometimes free. So the little man has the wheel, but the only way he is going to get your money is if your riding in the seat next to him.

As for advertising, who knows where the Internet will take it. I do think that advertisers are going to have to start thinking alot "dumber" though. Take a look at the top 10 viewed youtube video's as of Jan. 2010. I'm a fan of some of these videos, but they are dumb.

The future of online business

When I read about the assignment and how we should discuss which companies will be most successful in regards to the future of online business, I reflected back instantly on a question a student asked Robert Quigley, Austin American-Stateman's social media editor, during a panel. The student asked him, "What do you think the Internet will look like in 10 years?" Quigley laughed and responded with something along the lines of the idea he didn't know because certain aspects of the Internet change constantly.

I believe the same answer can be applied to this assignment. It's not easy to gauge whether or not, and how, online business will boom or bust. Experts in the video showed these signs, as many of them admitted they were unsure of how, and if, companies like Amazon and eBay would last. They took a risk, though, and these companies in particular have been successful since.

This video and the previous ones we've watched, as well as discussions we've had in class and the Long Tail article, basically address the same concept: The Internet is all about taking risks.

I believe the Long Tail is one of the best business models when it comes to online business, especially because it drives users to do their own way of promoting their favorite product/band/whatever it is and do it for free. People use the Internet for finding and engaging in information and pioneers of the Long Tail business model recognize this idea, which, in turn, results in a (currently) successful business model, making both the consumer and producer happy.

Of course, business models can be improved and new ones can be created as the Internet and users' preferences change. It's (as I mentioned before) hard to gauge what that business model could be now, but as social networks change and the Internet becomes more advanced, I believe the same concept will be applied to future business models -- one in which companies will continue to engage users and get them involved in order to make a profit.

photo courtesy of

Online Business- The Real Story

Previous to viewing Chris Anderson's articles and "The True Story of the Internet," I had no idea how differently numerous online businesses run as compared to other websites. Ideas such as Jeff Bazos', creator of He had the amazing idea of "Get Big Fast," basically, as more money came into, they would lower there prices so that they received more and more exposure. At the same time having stock traders promising that the company was about to explode- not to mention thousands of day traders working from home.

Chris Anderson discusses "Free."

I thought that the article "Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business," was very interesting and I hadn't read about it before, although I am a recipient of his business strategy. On more than one occasion I have received a free Gillette razor and have continued to purchase the disposable heads. With the amount high tech companies that are located in Silicon Valley, options are endless for the general public to strike it rich through e-commerce. Stockholder cash was being given away by these companies to help start up new online companies, of which all but one in each category will fail miserably.

A dash of creativity and practicallity

So, Chris Anderson is clearly a genius. It is difficult for a society like ours to redefine the meaning of success — or perhaps better yet, the means of getting there. However, Anderson's concepts, centered around the premises that free sells more and niche-audiences actually do matter, make even the most traditional of business leaders take a hard look at what we think of as successful economic models.

E-commerce has revolutionized supply and demand and the modern day form of capitalism. You want it? You can find it. In fact, you can find items, information, services, that you didn't even know you wanted — or perhaps were simply unaware of. At the crossroads of capitalism and the Web comes a breeding ground in which discovery can take place. Through sites like Amazon and Ebay, users can find what lies beyond spot commercials and billboards.

What is most interesting are the people behind this synergy. The inventors, creators, venture capitalists, the movers and shakers — whatever you want to call them — are of a unique breed. They are equal parts savvy business-minded, risk-takers as they are creative geniuses. Clearly, it's a combination which has the potential to lead to much success — billions of dollars of success.

Watching "Download: The True Story of The Internet - Bubble" in conjunction to reading Anderson's "The Long Tail" and "Free", I can't help but think of this year's Common Experience theme: A whole new mind. The theme, of course, comes from Daniel Pink's book. The concept is much the same as Anderson's and that of the Web pioneers' he discusses: no longer will the traditional business model be acceptable. Or at least, lead to success. A successful economic model and service will (and is already beginning to) stem from a combination of creativity and practicality. And taking a few risks doesn't hurt, either.

Understanding Online Business Models

Obviously, Amazon and Ebay are two of the most mentioned companies when talking about online businesses. After reading "The Long Tail," I didn't quite realize how launching your product on either of these sites could make it so popular. The fact that someone can feed off of another person's popularity and creativity without copying or plagiarizing their work is really mind-boggling at this point in time.

How many sites do we travel to and make a purchase, only to be directed to the side of the screen to more items with the title, "Users Who Bought This Also Bought:"? I know just the other day, I ordered a Kate Spade cover for my iPhone, and I was directed to a link that provided other links to headphones, workout straps, and other iPhone accessories that I didn't originally intend to buy, but they were looking kind of interesting. Obviously, according to "The Long Tail," people often do click those links and make their purchases larger than they had originally intended.

The Internet makes business easy because it is measurable, but it is vast. Even though a small percentage of the world is online than most think, the Internet allows businesses to do business without having physical stores within reach of consumers. I remember visiting the Mall of America in Minneapolis, MN one Christmas, and my dad commented to a sales clerk that they were not as busy as he was expecting. She commented back that most people prefer to online shop. It gives consumers the convenience of getting everything they need in the comfort of their own home (and possibly their own pajamas).

I think one of the challenges of online businesses are the fact that they are impersonal. People like the idea of having a salesperson help them. What if the size is off? What if the watch doesn't work? What if there are more iPod colors available? A person can help in all these areas in which a computer cannot. However, the opportunities for online businesses seem to exceed the challenges. Businesses can expand and become worldwide without actually having worldwide locations. Online shopping is also more vast than in-store shopping. If Target runs out of green sweatpants in a size Medium, I can just order them online.

I think online businesses are only going to become bigger and better as the years go on. With things like Facebook and Twitter out now, consumerism is getting huge. Conan O'Brien tweets that he loves popcorn jelly beans...and all of a sudden there is a popcorn jelly bean shortage. :)


The Long Tail business model seems to be rebuilding the relationship between buyer and seller. Obscurity can now compete with popularity. There is no need for a trade-off. It is cheaper to just offer everything—all products. This allows for a fuller culture with less focus on the hits. In contrast Amazon’s Get Big Fast model appears to be a one-time fling. The strategy rose and fell with the Internet-induced economic boom. It is still going strong today, but no company could successfully start now with the same strategy. There is a major point to take from Amazon, and Gillette for that matter, losing profits now can cause a worthwhile return in profits later. The Internet allows “free” and cheap to be more prominent than ever.

The Internet’s unabashed ability to cross any and all geographical limitations negates the price of shelf space. Production costs for entertainment and information are also significantly reduced through Internet use. Even services are cheaper and more convenient. The Internet doesn’t need coffee breaks, minimum wage, and can pull endless shifts. One issue that isn’t addressed in the readings is how labor will be changed. When machines become more prominent, labor transitioned into service. As computers and the web replace personal services, where will the jobs move to next? Will the jobs be fewer? More specialized?

Boom, Bubble, Bust & Resurection

After watching The True Story of the Internet: Bubble, I realized how interested I am in e-commerce and just how valuable this information is. For sure most new technological advances are started in a garage or a back room in someones house, but the fact that it's a new way of commerce aimed at reaching individuals and where regular people could compete on a level playing field with the "big players" is what catches my attention.
It's the idea that most of these new start up companies aren't out to get you, but to help you to help yourself and others that stands out to my ideals.

In the future I'm sure there will be more changes and bigger and better business models and technology, but for now I think we are on a steadily growing hill that's beginning to look like a mountain. We've ushered ourselves in to a technological generation with out thinking of the consequences. If everything is based on the internet, there could be some major problems that I hope others foresee as well.

The challenge now is just to keep up with your invention and don't let it take over from what you had first dreamed or imagined. Technology has a way of taking over and becoming an idol. Technology is a tool, to be used as a means to help, not something to take over absolutely every way we do every little thing.

There are many opportunities available for new companies to jump in with e-commerce. It's relatively simple and a great way to make money as well as to stay involved with clients and get involved in new clients in far away places.

Facebook and Twitter are definitely a great example of being successful in a new web venture without even asking users to pay for the service. It's an idea and a means of 
 sharing information that definitely appeal to most users.

Beyond these companies, I believe we need to continue to watch out for the intentions of companies. There are too many out there building, with ideas that are a rip off or not so great, that are spending too much money and just copying the guy next door.

Just like the AB testing mentioned in a SXSWi session for web sites. AB testing should be done on companies and start ups and blogged about, reported on, or a web site made about it to inform every user from novice to expert what to watch out for and expect on these sites.

Online Business Models

I think the future of online business models, or e-commerce is boundless because of mankind's need to make spend money.

From the videos, I think the "bubble" encompasses the balance of what will survive, occasionally join with other bubbles (economic ventures and mergers), and what will burst, or fail. The readings by Chris Anderson further develops this with the story of freebies, subsidies, recommendations, and overall having to create a demand for a product or service that wasn't there before, like the Gillette disposable razors. In some cases going back and selling more of a product that maybe be forgotten, like Joe Simpson's Touching the Void. Amazon has been found to do that in its suggestions.

I think sites like eBay and Craiglist (which has also become a verb in its own way) allows consumers be their own merchants and traders in this online auction forum. I think that in itself has a kinship with citizen journalism. Facebook even has an online "marketplace." It all plays off the old saying John Heileman alludes to: "one man's trash is another's treasure." Take the story of the red paper clip for example.

I think the challenges online business models face is the trust factor. We are always hearing of these scams people fall for and sometimes are made fun of or portrayed as a victim in the media. The second part of the "Bubble" videos gave me some comfort that my identity and information was thought of to be protected. I just ordered from Amazon the other day without any risk crossing my mind. I've dealt with Amazon on the phone before (and I actually had a pretty pleasant experience - no waiting on hold and a very understanding representative). I know people actually work there, and it's not just some company operated by robots. Being an unsecured business would be an easy way to lose revenue and profits.

I believe any business can survive if it 1) finds a niche that has never been served or created and 2) is marketable and is marketed well. Opportunities for online businesses are limitless. Just when we believe things can't get any better, another genius crosses the finish line as a billionaire in the venture capitalist game. I think the companies that involve the consumer in multiple ways, is interactive, will succeed.

The online business model

Online businesses have the gift of extreme potential. As Anderson says in 'The Long Tail' one of the best qualities of the web is that online markets can offer anything, as they are no longer constrained by physical space. Not only can the web offer anything, but offering anything for free is becoming increasingly possible.

In connecting 'The Long Tail' to the music industry, we will start to see less 'filler' tracks and more substance. Why? Tracks are being evaluated individually on their own merit. The benefit of paying per track is that consumers no longer have to pay for tracks they would skip over on the cd. And rather than solely hit songs being profitable, the 'misses' or what's on the long tail will also see profit. It's not just about the grossly profitable anymore, mildly profitable is still profit.

Amazon was used as an example by Anderson and by the bubble video because what Amazon did is create the ability to buy any book, not just the bestsellers. Now, without the constraint of physical bookstore space, anything is possible. Also, search terms and suggestions mean convenience.

Although Rhapsody was cited as a good example of music's success because of the long tail, I believe that it will eventually fail because of the free concept. There are sites like pandora that offer the same thing, without a monthly fee. Good luck Rhapsody.

As John said in the end of the video, the dotcom bubble and bust was terrible for some investors. However, sites like amazon and ebay are relevant today because of survival of the fittest. I believe that sites like these two will continue to survive because they both do something so well: put the power into the hands of the consumer.

Understanding Online Business Models

EBay and Amazon are two successful businesses that sell online because they are the ones who understood what people what. In the free article, he wanted to invent something that people could throw away, or what people wanted. People want easy. I use online retailers all the time, including eBay and Netflix. Netflix learned that people will keep searching for what they like until they find it. I use Netflix so I can watch documentaries, just like the article The Long Trail said.

I also use iTunes because it’s easy to pay a dollar and get the song I want from my computer. Online retailers have the good and bad just like anyone business. I think though they have more good. They are open 24/7 and anyone with internet access and a credit card or pay pal account can get something shipped to their house. On the downside, if you do not have one of those things then you are forced to pay cash, which you can only do in person. I think eBay will always be a successful business; I’m one of the customers too.

The whole point of even having the online shopping, like the movie said, is to create a marketplace where everyone could come together and when everyone comes together, it doesn’t take long to get a huge number. I think these big companies that just started over a weekend will stay in business because of stock holders, and their already loyal customers.

Wednesdays Post

Online businesses have skyrocketed in the past decade. At first, the only two online retailers were eBay and Amazon. These two companies decided that they were going to take the internet to a different level; they would make it business, not just to goof around. As the users for the sites increase, the internet’s possibilities increase too. Amazon has had its pros and cons online, but they would rather keep the pricing lower to make more growth than raise the price to make more profit. The saying was “get big fast.” In The Long Trail, it talks about how convenient online retailers can be. Between iTunes, Netflix and Amazon, buying and selling have made a big change. Amazon can help sell books that crashed and burned at first by their “we recommend this too.” With movies, if you like documentaries, you won’t find them at Blockbuster, but Netflix is known to have movies of any kind, including documentaries. In the Free! article, I think it’s smart to give something away with another item that people need and want. I typically will buy something if I want to try it out if it is on something I know I need. His boss did have good advice: invent something people could throw away. Many people buy plastic silverware and paper plates so they don’t have to deal with cleaning dishes. EBay and Amazon are still in business because they understand you have to get fundamentally to people. I think the businesses that sell retail online right will stay in business. As long as they have the customer in mind first since they are entrusting their credit card won’t get stolen then they will be ok.


"The lesson: pull consumers down the tail with lower prices," said Chris Anderson.

This was the central statement that clearly illustrates Anderson's theory behind the "The Long Tail" model for online business.

I think consumers and businesses are already aware of the current "free" model where a product is given for free in exchange for the purchase of a separate product or service. Or the "free" model where content is given away while the premium services and additional content is for a price.

So, the question for businesses is whether or not to continue in the "free" veins of models or attempt to implement a strategy more closely resembling the "The Long Tail."

It is easy to see (after Anderson breaks it down) why posting everything, as companies such as Netflix and Amazon have done, is economically sound and how the lower end of the tail can generate large percentages of profit. This theory only works for markets that the product can be sold in a digital format; and as such I think his theory only applies to limited markets.

As Anderson explains, the cost of uploading an obscure, French documentary made in 1975 is practically free for a company like Netflix. Thus, even if only 2 customers select this DVD to rent, Netflix sees profit. The main principle guiding Anderson's theory is that the cost of uploading, hosting, or posting infinite amounts of digital content is so minimal a company should post anything and everything it can and let the product find its niche.

As such, this theory only seems to apply to markets in which the product can be "bought" and "sold" digitally; so music, picture, and text. The other biggest challenge for a company attempting to implement this strategy is breaking into the markets of already-established companies.

The "bubble" video details the boom and and subsequent collapse of '90s internet companies; the "dot coms." The one thing that this era produced was a technological "natural selection." The weakest businesses and those that had the poorest business models and those that did not establish a connection with the customer or the customer to the information were weeded out.

Only the strongest companies with the ability to survive and evolve out of this avoided bankrupcy.

This allowed those select companies to establish a brand name with exponential value and a dominant hold on their marketplace.

Anderson compared Blockbuster to Netflix as an example in one of his articles to illustrate how a company that primarily sells a physical, popular product can miss a large demographic of people that Netflix reaches.

Let's say that Blockbuster listens to this advice, attempts to create something similar to what Anderson suggests. Are customers going to automatically switch to Blockbuster's new service or trust Netflix, which already has established itself and charges pretty low rates? ($7-$10 a month)

I think the one area that could potentially have the most to gain is in the music industry. Because of the IPOD, Apple has had a near monopoly on this market with Itunes. I think the first company that can successfully challenge Itunes in this area and implement some of Anderson's strategies could potentially be very lucrative.

More information on Chris Anderson, his Long Tail theory, and his new book "Free" can be found here at his blog.

Monday, March 15, 2010

SXSW- Eric Harper

The post entitled “bringing the Grand Old Party into the twenty first century” talked about the work Republican National Chairman Michael Steele has done to the party’s website. Establishing an effective online presence is crucial to any entity which wishes to succeed in the technological era. Many voters have gone online for their political updates, so updating a weak website was a reasonable thing for the GOP to do.

Additionally, the post in “The art and science of seductive interactions” discussed the techniques designers use to capture audiences. The speaker, Steven Anderson, compared the techniques to ones people would use in dating. This is an effective example of an effective way to captivate audiences, relating to them. People are more likely to respond positively to something that they feel they know something about or may somehow be a part of.

Lastly, the post “Two men dreaming of helping you get paid for your video, can it work,” talked about a group which seeks to launch a video playing system which pays for producers and distributors of online videos. This idea seems up in the air as long as internet users can go elsewhere on the web to see free videos. To make this work, the group would need to do something to get their video player to offer something that the free players can’t.

SXSW- Eric Harper

SXSW- Anita Santa-Coloma

I chose to start of with the inside workings of because I am a huge fan. It really is incredible how everything is turning to the web. This website was created to have clever sketches that sometimes support a cause. has been very successful as they incorporate celebrities in their sketches. They now have a series on HBO and are soon making films. This website is hilarious and definitely worth checking out.

I also found Imageenering the Future to be very interesting. This panel compares our digital technology to that of Star Trek which is very interesting to see how a lot of things that we have now reflect what was projected as the future before.

Taking the grand old party to the twenty first century was also an interesting panel. This is specifically important, because it shows how technology should be embraced by everybody in order to stay ahead. Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, has ensured that the Republican party not only caught up to Democrats but surpassed them in technology.

SXTXST- Peter Halliburton

I decided to start off reading about SX from Sunday, I figured there would be quite a bit going on. The post I was reading was titled, "Covering SXSWi." It basically just had a few photos that gives outsiders an idea of what SX is all about, as well as who all attends. It shows a group of grad students all charging there equipment as well as photos of parts of the conference itself.
My favorite picture however is the one of a huge pile of legos for people to play with to clear there heads from looking at LCD screens all day. I also enjoyed the photo that shows a crowded room, all filled with Mac users. The author made a joke, pointing out one of the fellow grad students who was using a PC.

Another one of the articles that I enjoyed reading was titled, "Process Journalism: Getting it First, While Getting it Right." This article dealt with the importance of utilizing your technological resources to bring breaking news to the media, without sending out/ reporting the incorrect message.
Other than this topic, the session also seemed to focus on programs and there credibility. One that seemed to be discussed in more depth in particular was Wikipedia. the article states that on Wikipedia, "There are 365 million unique visitors a month, with 15 millions articles in over 270 languages." That is an awful lot of potential posting on topics, taking away from the websites overall credibility.

The final article I will be discussing in this post is from Sunday as well and is "The Inside Workings of" Although, before today, I was not familiar with, I am now, and I already have enjoyed it a lot. I think that it has an awesome concept in the fact that users can comment/interact with the famous people that created it.
As a strong supporter and follower of numerous HBO series shows, I am very excited to see what comes of this. In a time when shows like SNL, and that sort are not doing exceptional, although it is risky, it is necessary to think outside of the box and head in a new direction.

Monday SXSW

Alright, it looks like I am first post! One of the first articles that I read the whole way through was the one discussing social media and China. It definitely changed some of the stereotypes I had heard about China. I've read several different articles about specific content being restricted by the Chinese government or about specific artists being banned as well. It was interesting to hear the other side of the argument and how involved the country is in expanding social medias.

I also enjoyed reading the summary of the panel addressing "Selling Sub-Culture without Selling Out." I think this is a relevant, sensitive issue that I would have really enjoyed being at to hear more. The conflict between the two ideals of "rich, corporate, evil giant" vs. "poor, hard-working artist with integrity" has been around for quite some time and most people see only one side. I like how this panel is working toward navigating a path between the two. It's particularly relevant with companies, businesses, or websites working to develop their niche audiences and still make a living.

Of note, the video from the Tarantino article is really funny, and it is always funny to see Will Ferrell playing former president Bush.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Web Credibility

The page that I decided to use for the website credibility project is, When searching “9/11 attack” on Google, it was only located three or four spots down on the list. I thought that it would make for a pretty interesting assignment as it a very poorly constructed web site; however, obviously it has received numerous hits and has a counter that says I am visitor number 924, 743.

This site seems to be complete, just poorly completed perhaps. The title of the page for is “9-11 TERROR IN AMERICA,” and although it doesn’t have a last updated date at the bottom of the page, toward the top of the page it states, “(all links have been updated on 12/20/08).” I would assume that is the last time that the page has been updated. The audience for this website is very obviously 9/11 conspiracy followers and this is definitely the slant that the site takes as well. This web site is full of external links, all to what they point to as “evidence” of the 9/11 conspiracy that the government was involved with, or responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center. Although it states at the top of the site that links were last updated over 2 years ago, just about all of them seemed to still function. Some of the video clips do support the sites claims, although, some of them are legitimate news coverage that they claim as evidence of a government sponsored/falsified attack.

While the site does not list the person responsible for creating it, it was very obviously created by American Patriot Friends Network, as it says so at the top of the page. The company claims to have begun back in 1993. It also has a link that says “contact” at the bottom of the page that takes you to Outlook to send an email to the webmaster. This is a “.org” site and was very obviously set up by a non-profit organization to spread their beliefs. After back tracking to the home page for APFN, I was able to find out that the founder of the company is Kenneth L. Vardon and shows to have been last updated on 6/19/09. The site looks to be more of a personal stance on a situation as opposed to clear fact or any measurable accuracy. I did not see anything on the web site that mentions anything of a hard copy of this particular information, most of it is comprised of video clips and other external links.

The APFN site is not very professional looking what-so-ever. All text is centered, horrible color combinations for text and background that are very inconsistent and change numerous times while scrolling down the page. The text on the website is somewhat well written, although it is not in a very professional style or context. Merely opinion based text with little fact. The formatting of this site is absolutely horrible, no tables, looks like a basic HTML page like our first project. The headings are appropriate for what it discusses below for the most part and the navigation is pretty much at random. The images work just fine and the web site itself does not have sound, although the video clips all work just fine (although they are all external links, so they should). While most of the clips do support the claims of APFN, the statements that they make about the videos may or may not be credible themselves. As I previously stated, I found this site by searching “9/11 attack” on Google and this was the third or so link down. This is not too surprising to me however, since it has almost a million views, and obviously has numerous other sites linking to it. The site does not contain advertisements within it at all, most likely because at the bottom of the page it asks for “free will” donations. After viewing the sourcing I discovered that the site is set up very easily. It contains a few divs, looked like there was one fairly small table, and overall generally pretty basic.

All in all, APFN’s website is pretty poorly constructed and was set up on a very basic level. I was not impressed with the layout, nor the content of the page itself. I did not find this to be a very credible site and therefore I would not recommend it, even for those interested in 9/11 propaganda. Although it looks like it took the creator some time to collect and assemble his information, he just didn’t spend the time or use proper resources to publish his information.

I chose newstreamz because it is local news, it's regularly updated, and it is not a well known site. I think they are in the middle of switching their name, because the http reads newstreamz, but the title is San Marcos Local News. So it's partly under construction. On the front is a story done March 3rd, so it has been updated today. Newstreamz seems to stay bias about the information they report. It is focused on local stories in San Marcos. The site has internal links to different types of news, but the only external links come from advertisements. They all work properly. I wish it had some external links, that would improve the stories.

Newstreamz has an About tab that tells who works for the company. As far as who developed the site, it's hard to tell. It is a completely online publication, so I'm supposing everyone contributes something. Each worker has an e-mail to contact them. It has the number for the office. On each story, there is a place to leave a comment, and that is about it for discussion. What would improve the site would be a twitter feed, or at least a link. This is important new technology for the publication world, so Newstreamz needs to hop on it. It is a .com site. There isn't any references to outside sources, but that is to be expected from a news site. Newstreamz is not a print publication, and I wouldn't rely on it as a source like I would the Daily.

The site isn't as professional looking as it could be. The text doesn't seem uniform, and it just seems kind of blocky. For the most part, the content is suitable for the stories, and I don't see any publication errors. Everything is pretty simple to use, and I really like the navigation. Probably could have less in the navigation though. Newstreamz uses pictures decently well to work with the stories, but the format seems to be one picture for each story, sometimes none. There is a separate video tab, but Newstreamz doesn't use videos with the stories. I think they could spice things up by adding slideshows, interactive charts, links to other photos, use the photos in different ways, etc. Even short soundbites could be helpful. The editorial and news sections are separate, but the advertising is in all sections. It is kind of distracting. Looking at the source code, it doesn't seem as long as the content on the page. There are alot of links for the main page, connecting all the information together.

Overall, Newstreamz is just alright with me. It would probably be my last resort for a major publication in San Marcos. I would look at the Star before I read Newstreamz, but of course I'm a little bias. The content is O.k., and even thought they have improved on the design, it is still a little unprofessional looking.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Project 3

My project 3 will consist of a health page that instructs viewers on how to live a healthy live ridding of bad foods with health replacements and excercising tips.

The Austin American Statesman ( is a versatile news website. It encompasses the different angles of news that would interest the inhabitants of Austin. Overall it is a credible website.

The title of the website is statesman, with pages such as news; entertainment;; classifieds; cars; homes and jobs, and it is complete. The statesman was created in 1994 and changed in 2009; the statesman updates its content constantly. This website is specifically made for the residents of Austin and has a bias for Austin residents, longhorn fans and people interested in the University of Austin. The website has internal and external links that work properly.

The is owned by Cox Enterprises. The website provides a number and email in which they can be contacted under the privacy policy link on the bottom of the page. The website makes it clear that their association is the Austin American Statesman and it’s being sponsored by Cox Enterprise. The website is a .com and it seems to be privately owned by the Austin American Statesman meaning it is exclusively for the residents of Austin. Backtracking in the site indicates information from the news publication which hosts the website. The website seems to be accurate, the information is from reporters and some articles are from outside sources in the entertainment page. There is also a print publication for the Austin American Statesman.

The website is very professional looking, free of errors and has appropriate writing styles. The website’s format is useful and meaningful, having easy navigation and the appropriate headings for news, entertainment, etc. The images and sound are working correctly and support the content they are describing, especially in the music section of entertainment. The search engine is working properly and the news and ad sections have different presentation in which you can distinguish both. The fact that this website allows interaction with its audience through comments and updates, impresses me more as a viewer.

Overall, this website is professional, neat, accurate and credible. The website is a very useful tool for austinites. It allows them to obtain pertinent information in news, entertainment, politics, sports, classifieds and more.

Web Credibility-

This is a personal website created by the personality known as "Maddox," and the line just below his logo is a pretty good introduction as what to expect from his site. It reads "This page is about me and why everything I like is great. If you disagree with anything you find on this page, you are wrong." The website is pretty much a highly developed blog. He posts hundreds of articles, most of which are rants on a specific, hated subject, but his writing is highly entertaining and done well.

As far as the content goes, it is completed. The title of the page is "The Best Page In The Universe" and includes a miniature logo from his website. It was created in 1996, and it looks like it was last updated on January 29, 2010. The audience is anyone who sees humor in his writing. Anyone easily offended by language would probably not enjoy this site. The only slant or bias is his own, but it is mostly done for satirical effect. He often takes an extreme male-chauvinistic viewpoint on certain issues. I think it's mostly done for humor and to irritate people. The majority of the links for his site are all internal, with a few at the bottom of his homepage linking to other sites he enjoys.

The creator of the page is "Maddox" and does not have any credentials besides being creative and knowing enough about creating a website. He has his email address posted several times throughout the site. In fact, one of the navigation links on his main bar is to a section where he receives hate emails and responds to them.

The site could definitely use some work as far as visually speaking. There is actually a spot where Maddox claims that he does not care about what the website looks like because it generates large amounts of "hits" with its current design. It is grammatically correct and is pretty easy to navigate through. There are only a few images on the site and very rarely have sound attached. Most of them are images that he has created as parody relating to an individual article. I found this site by typing in "the best page in the universe" but my friend had suggested I go there, so I already knew what to search for. Some of the other meta tags include: rants, kickass, disgust, apathy, stupid, moron, idiot and dipshit.

This is definitely a website designed for a niche audience. There are going to be people who hate it and find it offensive and others who enjoy it. He has a cult following and recently published a book titled "The Alphabet of Manliness." Here is the link to his site.

Monday, March 1, 2010


Everyone enjoys their own source of entertainment. In today's society there is such a craze about celebrities and what they do in their life. I must admit sometimes I like to peek and stay updated on the latest dish of gossips or "news". Maybe one I might be an infotainer dishing out the daily entertainment, but for now I like to monitor different website to see what's going on.

The website, is one of those fun spots I like to visit. Y-B-F is an acronym for young, black and fabulous. It does have a bit of a slant because it focuses on minority celebrities. The audience would include people who like to know about celebrities, so that may not be everyone. It's considered a gossip site and not all the information is accurate or credible. The website was created June 29th 2005, and is continually updated. It is a colorful page and attractive to look at, full of pictures, videos and different typography. The links are internal and external and do work properly, although there are times when the site is down due to maintenance and can not be accessed.

Natasha Eubanks created the site. She is obsessed with celebrities, and not a professional but considered one in celeb gossip. There are outlets to contact the editor , give tips and participate in chat rooms. The association to the information is not made clear. It's a .com page so it's a public website that someone created. I am not able to backtrack the website to find out more information about the creator.

It is not professional looking, it looks as though someone took on a hobby. The information is all over the page and not very organized. It is easy to use all a reader has to do is scroll down the page although at the bottom of the page, you have to click on the numbers to get to the previous page, which can take awhile and cause the page to loose traffic if people don't want to wait. Most of the time the images and sounds work on the site, although there is room for improvement. The site is easy to find, when you type in ybf at a search engine it instantly pops up. The news and advertisements line the page of the website, while the main material is in the center, it's alot of activity at once. Comments, dates do help to influence readers about the information.

Overall it's fun to read and look at. It's not the best site out there but with improvement it could look better.


Web Credibility:

One magazine that I have enjoyed reading since elementary school has been National Geographic, so I chose to do my Web credibility assignment on their Web site. The magazine has been circulation since 1888 and became available to Web users in 1996. The site, like the magazine, focuses on geography, popular science, world history, culture, current events and photography of places and things all over the world. The site is updated daily and is available to all ages. They even have a specific page dedicated to kids and a link where readers can and go and blog about various subject matters pertaining to the content available on the site.

The “Contact” page is a little overwhelming as there are several contacts to choose from. However, after reading over the options, I noticed that the different means of contact just depend on what the reader needs help with. The domain name is just the same as the magazine,, which makes it easier for a reader of the magazine to find the Web site because it isn’t shortened, abbreviated, or called something else all together. The user can also backtrack in the URL to get more information about the site.

As far as appearance, the site was put together very professionally and is very easy to navigate through. The typography and color choices go very well with the content of the Web site and each individual page. For example, the “Kids” page is decorated with bright colors (yellows, greens, etc.) and easy-to-read typography and content that would be appealing to a child’s eye, whereas the page titled “Environment”—which is aimed for a more mature audience—has neutral colors and basic typography. The different pages on the site are free of GSP errors and are designed/ written specifically to the audience that would be viewing /reading it. The articles, photos and videos (which function properly and have great quality) are all credited.

Overall, the way the site is set up is very professional and appropriate for the different audiences that are viewing the site. The articles, pictures and videos are from professional sources which makes the site credible. After stemming from a world-wide published magazine available in 32 different languages, so credibility isn’t a concern of mine. My only concern is that some of the pages contain a lot of text and links and user could get easily lost and overwhelmed. However, since there is so much to choose from, this could work as an advantage.

Project 3

My project will be healthy recipes for students. It will cover how to make these meals and will also have the costs per meal or serving.

Credibility Assignment

I like to read and stay up-to-date on health and fitness issues so I initially wanted to evaluate but I decided to examine its affiliate which I know little about. The page offers a variety of content from workouts and healthy recipes to dating tips.

I evaluated the Mensfitness website, which was created by American Media Inc., and last updated some time this year. The page is complete but is always being updated with various types of content. This site is obviously intended to reach men who workout and who are interested in leading a healthy lifestyle. the majority of the links is internal and lead to other articles, recipes or workouts. There are external links such as its affiliates' websites and American Media's page. the articles do not have references to outside sources and the credibility of the content can be questionable. At first glance, it might seem is there just to push ad revenue. There could be a better way to separate the content from the advertisements. There are so many spaces it looks busy. Maybe they could give each page exclusive rights to advertisers.

There is no email for the author but you can submit any questions or comments to them. the site does have a blog link, but from it looks like they are not very successful. There are no comments on any posted articles or blogs. On the bottom of the page it says, " is part of the American Media Inc. Fitness &Health Network," and it is a subsidiary of American Media Inc. Other online publications include: Fit Pregnancy, Flex, iShape and Muscle and Fitness among others. There are various "experts" for the site and they each cover different topics ranging from "training" to "career counseling," but there are no credentials listed for any of these experts. Mensfitness is also available in print. You can find it anywhere you would purchase a Men's Health issue or Muscle and Fitness magazine. The print version looks and feels more professional and makes multiple references in their articles thus, making it seem more credible.

The website is very easy to navigate and is ascetically pleasing. There are no gsp errors that I noticed and I really like the writing style. The articles are short and concise which helps because the pages are so busy with multiple advertisements and pictures that it is hard to read long paragraphs or stories without being distracted. It is hard to distinguish content from advertisements, and the layout of the homepage sort of bombards the reader and you don't know where to start.

Overall this website is pretty good. It has some good content but lacks overall creativity. Most of the content is present to fuel advertising which is common with health and fitness sites.

I chose this site to really take a look at it before Adobe steps in this summer. The page is complete. The title is Wired News. The site was created 8/28/2008 and last updated 2/26/2010. The audience consists of those interested and familiar with technology and tends to focus on issues close to technology and issues close to the people who are close to technology. This site contains many working internal and reliable external links. Outside sources support the information. Since this is a news-reporting site, each article is supported by different, but valid sources.
Wired Magazine created the site and controls its content. The entire editorial team of the site may be contacted by E-mail and in addition to that— a few members of the team may be Instant Messaged or followed on twitter. There are a few advertisements from various companies, but the sponsor of the website is clearly Wired Magazine. The domain name tells me that the site is likely to be affiliated with Wired Magazine and is professional enough to have its own domain name. The site is supported by a printed medium giving it more credibility.
The site is mostly professional looking, and lacks grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. The site has a professional sound, but is not above using popular web and tech slang. This makes it an appropriate match for the audience who can trust and relate to the site. The format is acceptable. It is fairly easy to navigate, but looks sloppy: particularly towards the bottom. Headings are appropriate. Images support the content and seem edited to look clear, but may give slower computers with lower bandwidths problems. I Googled the word “wired” to find the site, but it is a popular and well-known site and magazine making it easy to locate. There are some Meta tags in the code, but no alt text that I can find. Content and editorial get a little jumbled, but Advertisements are clearly marked.
The only mark against credibility on this site is that a viewer cannot immediately distinguish content from editorial. It is still possible to tell and even though the format could be better, I would still trust this site and its content. I would like to point out that my professor is right—more should be expected from such a prominent tech focused publication.