Lightweight Models and Cost-Effective Scalability

Have you even desired to spend less effort or time to get high achievements?  I did, I hope everything can become much easier so I can enjoy more of my time. In Web 2.0 application era, one of the main concepts that O’Reilly mentioned is Lightweight Models and cost effective scalability. Lightweight Models and cost effective scalability means using simple ideas to replace complicated design and development mode, and  develop agile model in order to reduce the standard of technology input, extendibility and application. In other words, “doing more with less” is the main point of this pattern.

One of the good examples can present the best practice of the pattern – Lightweight Models and Cost-Effective Scalability is Yammer. Yammer is the most powerful enterprise social network that provides a private and secure environment for enterprises. The users are provided with functions to create their own groups of networks to communicate and collaborate within their group mates. There is more than 80 percent of the top 500 enterprises and a total of five millions users currently using Yammer to achieve better work efficiency among their team of workers, partners, suppliers and clients.

There are some major differences between Yammer and Twitter. The main function that Yammer provides is private communication within an organisation or between organizational members and pre-designated groups, and it emphasises on expressing to others about the work you are currently taking. On the other hand, when user posts a message on Twitter, the message is distributed to everyone across the network. Also, the purpose of Twitter and Yammer is significantly different because one is for social networking and the other is solely professional.

 

Indeed, there are several reasons to support Yammer as an application example of “doing more with less”. The target audiences and market of Yammer is only for professional basis. With clear target users, Yammer is able to implement a system that will only fill the needs of professional levels. This clearly shows that Yammer has performed the best practice scale with demand. With second best practice – syndicate business models, Yammer has integrated with a wide range of other companies by using Yammer’s open API, including Perks.com (an incentive platform), UpMo (an HR talent scouting tool), UserVoice (customer support tool), AffinityLive (project management cloud platform) and etc. Integrating with leading third-party business applications across the globe make Yammer the social layer throughout all enterprise applications. Yammer has become the best choice for active enterprises social network by providing a variety of pricing plans, which include basic free network account with 1 GB file storage, premium group with 25GB file storage, business and enterprise network with bigger file storage and other additional administrative as well as security controls, for the main enterprises social network platforms.  It presents clearly one of the best practices of this pattern, scale your pricing and revenue models.

References

Bort, J. (2012). Yammer is on fire: 5M enterprise users and new hooks into Microsoft

Risk, M. (2012). Yammer builds on 2011 momentum with strong first quarter

Rust Report. (2012). All the bottom line action

Yammer. (2012). Pricing plans to meet your needs

Leveraging the long tail

Have you ever searched on the web for resources which release a long time ago like movie or music and end up empty handed? I certainly have! But now with Web 2.0 pattern leveraging the long tail, more and more old resources or unpopular resources are rising to the surface. The theory of long tail is that the society’s focus of the mainstream products and market are continuously being shifted away towards the not as popular products and market. The reason for this movement is because a large amount of resources are going online and the boundaries of the physical store shelves have been replaced with a limitless user interface. Web 2.0 technology has taken this theory and expands it to advance the technology features from the previous Web 1.0.

In terms of the long tail, the difference between Web 1.0 era and Web 2.0 era is that Web 1.0 only focuses on producing the mainstream products which is the most popular. However, Web 2.0 also tries to provide information of the micro markets with fewer audiences.  In other words, the use of the design for Web 2.0 can provide a wide range of resources without the boundaries of limited shelf spaces.

A strong example is Rhapsody which is an online music file-sharing subscription service with a database of more than 14 million songs. It also was one of the first music streaming subscription services to launch on the Web. The database of Rhapsody is immense with everything from the latest hits to unknown album cuts. It offers users on-demand choices from millions of songs by using various devices, for example, mobile phones, PCs, Internet-connected TVs and etc. Rhapsody develops the service it provides based on the aggregated information by users including users’ choices, minds, and needs.

Rhapsody is a great example for leverage the long tails because it provides its users with a large database of songs with different genre, age, style and artist. With the large database, Rhapsody has the ability to provide more products, gain more customers and create new market for the music industry. Furthermore, Rhapsody succeeds in leveraging the long tails by providing music sharing function for users. This function allows the users to share music with others and in other words helps customers to gain music information from other customers with similar interests.  Rhapsody also provides different kind of ranking for music to reduce the travel time of information and by different ranking types; different users can choose to only select the ones which interest them. Users of Rhapsody can also produce their own playlists with different heading to identify the specification of each playlist. Lastly, since music files can be kept easily in database warehouse with less storage space consumption, the maintenance and storage cost of Rhapsody is much lower than traditional music industry stores.

References

Anderson, C. (2009). The long tail.

Gonzalez, B. (2012). What is Rhapsody?

Miller, R. (2010). Rhapsody opens new data center in seattle.

Rhapsody. (2012).

Perpetual Beta

Do you still remember the era that we had to install and update every software program frequently? Do you miss that era or never wants to go back to that time ever again? In Web 1.0 era, users forced to install and update software every time when an application is upgrade with new functionalities. Compare with Web 1.0 era, Web 2.0 era claims “Perpetual Beta: Software has become a service- always on, always improving.”  Perpetual beta is a concept that it is impossible that a product is ever perfect and one designs it with constant updating and improvement in mind. It has associated with some fundamental futures including

  • Constant improvement through feedback
  • Increased openness and documentation throughout the production process
  • A collapse of the barriers between producers and users
  • Better, multi-directional communication amongst the producers/users

One of the patterns, which O’Reilly mentioned to describe what Web 2.0 is, is End of the software release cycle. End of the software release cycle means to break through the traditional mode of software packages, and emphasise to offer an environment for users to interact with each other among web 2.0. It also emphasises that perpetual beta implies continual evolution and constant change.

Web 2.0 doesn’t only offer applications each with specific functionalities, but has also become a gaming platform. A strong example will be Facebook where a large population of users play all sorts of different games on this social network. Some popular titles include CityVille, Texas HoldEm Poker, Hidden Chronicles, FarmVile, CastleVille and etc. I bet nearly every Facebook user has played games on Facebook once. The thing that caught my mind is that the traditional gaming industry procedure requires the users to install the program onto their workstations to access the game. However, the games on Facebook do not require the user to install or update anything and all it takes to play is one click and few minutes of loading time. It is well known that game makers always update constantly and often by users’ feedback in order to satisfy the needs of game players. And then Facebook’s games have open up a new target audience for the gaming industry which are the internet users whom weren’t heavy gamers in the past. This is because gaming is very simple and easy when playing on a web 2.0 platforms where no complicated procedures are required. These games are often small application with simple ideas.

 References

Matthews. S. (2011). Perpetual Beta – The Real 21st Century Library Model?
O’Reilly (2012). What is Web 2.0?
Thompson. M. (2012). Top 25 Facebook games of April 2012
DrWeb-Love. (2011). Perpetual beta as an archaeological attitude

Software above the level of a single device

The technology of mobile device has changed day by day. These technologies transform the abilities of mobile devices from providing simple services, for example, calling and sending message, into supporting users to surf across the Internet. Nowadays, using the Internet through mobile devices becomes a pervasive phenomenon with the releasing of HTML 5 that have created a new era for internet and website browsing.  There is no doubt that these technologies make it easier and simple for us to access the Internet wherever we are. Furthermore, more technologies besides mobile devices are adapting to the new era and implemented abilities to support online function including media player, gaming console, tablet PC, personal digital assistant and even home appliances. But it is not just the internet which is enlarging itself by going to multiple platforms, even the software are working on multiple devices.

“Keynote”, “Page” and “Number” are three applications created by Apple to work with files of Microsoft Office on iPhone, iPad etc. and are the perfect examples of how the technologies of mobile devices have improved our daily work procedure. A sample scenario would be you are on a bus to University where you are going to give a lecture. Midway you find out your assistant has made a big mistake while publishing your lecture slides. The old procedure to do the fixing is to call your assistant to make the correction. But this time she’s not picking up and you don’t know who else you can depend on.  Suddenly, an idea came up just before your thought everything is over. You grab out your iPhone you open and correct the lecture slide using keynote. All this is done in just less than 1 minute. This is what technology has evolved into. A network that is so big, that you can go onto it at anytime anywhere with just your mobile device. Personally, I love using iPad to do my assignments when I’m out at University or anywhere else. Although, there are still a few bugs with the syncing of Microsoft Office and Apple’s Page and Keynote, I think they still do want I needed, to edit my assignment.  I reckon improvements will definitely be made to this technology and everything else on mobile devices, since it is expanding so quickly into the society.

Reference

O’Reilly, T. (2012). What is Web 2.0?

O’Reilly, T. (2007). Software above the level of a single device

 

Rich user experiences

Have you ever noticed that there are always more website users who only read information than website users who leave messages or comments? In the Web 2.0 application era, the key point of competitive advantage depends on how much website allows the users to contribute more information. This week, I am going to talk about the Web 2.0 pattern, “rich user experiences”.

The meaning of rich user experience is to make web applications are more pervasive, dynamic and interactive. Unlike traditional web applications which consisted of many boundaries to control the system, for example, button, check boxes, drop box or form fields, rich user experience provides a better extensive controls that increase better interactions and user-friendly with website interface. AJAX is one of the key technologies which facilitate this type of experience.  AJAX is a collection of technologies that creates a rich user experience by integrating different technologies together. In other words, AJAX combines common standards out of many applications such as CSS, XML, and XHTML and bring them all together into a final content by using JavaScript. Maybe you are wondering that AJAX has similar functionalities to Flash. The biggest difference between AJAX and Flash is that AJAX doesn’t need a browser plug-in.

A good example which can clear show the pattern, “rich user experience”, is “realestate.com.au”. The purpose of this website is to provide users with functions to search for information about available house for sale or rent with an easy-to use-interface. “Realestate.com.au” offers a wide range features that assist users to find information which they require quickly through some simple procedures. For instance, users can select a state from an interactive Australian map that the website provides to first narrow down the scope and then enter more details to specify their search. It also allowed users interact directly with the page elements with quick response, for example, when users edit an

element of their search, only part of page is updated, instead of the entire page. Furthermore, the website also provides a map function using Google map API to allow the users to see where the property is and what is around it.

 

 

References

http://oreilly.com/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html?page=5

http://www.tstiles.com/dms/web20/richuser.html

http://okcancel.com/archives/article/2005/09/why-ajax-matters-now.html

http://lib.tkk.fi/Dipl/2009/urn100111.pdf

http://www.realestate.com.au/rent

Innovation in assembly

In terms of Web 2.0, the features that it has are user-centred design, interoperability, information sharing and collaboration. Web 2.0 regards the Web as a service platform and creates opportunities to users for sharing information with each other. Hence, it could be said obtaining information efficiently is provided by Web 2.0. One of the patterns Web 2.0 has is innovation in assembly. With this pattern, Web applications have the ability to replace desktop operating systems. The reason behind is that Web 2.0 allows people to implement operations without the limitations of desktop operating systems because the application itself provides the platform for the system.

 

One of the most important features for this pattern is a well developed Application Programming Interface (API). But, what does API mean? The definition of API is “a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. A good API makes it easier to develop a program by providing all the building blocks. A programmer then puts the blocks together” (http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/A/API.html ). The reason that API is so significant for the pattern, Innovation in assembly, is that API not only provides convenient services to users like allowing user to integrate information from other services, but also offers opportunities for users to create valuable data out of it.

 

A good example of Web 2.0 application with the pattern “Innovation in assembly” is Google Maps. Google Maps is a web application that provides the map of every country on earth. Unlike traditional map, besides from displaying the roads, Google Maps APIs allows users to interact with its interface to create information such as destination route and favourite spot etc. The following is a list of functions that Google Maps APIs provide to users:

  • Build location-based apps: Leverage the power of the Google Place database.
  • Build maps for mobile apps: Add location services and maps to any mobile device-based application.
  • Visualize geospatial data: Create interactive visualizations of your geospatial data.
  • Customize your maps: Use new features to provide better perspective and more functionality.
  • Google Maps API licensing

 

If you are interesting in which website has API, you can have a look this web page which provides a list of Web 2.0 API information. http://techmagazine.ws/full-web-20-api-list/

 

 

References

https://developers.google.com/maps/

http://tim.oreilly.com/news/2005/09/30/what-is-web-20.html

http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2006/12/web-20-compact.html

http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/A/API.html

http://andywibbels.com/what-is-an-api/

Data is the next “Intel Inside”?

In recent years, people have realised that data is becoming powerful and influential day by day. But, is data the next “Intel Inside”? This answer may be “yes”. It has been proven that information which is generated by users is the real value of society. Therefore, encouraging users to participate is a very significant event for Web 2.0. The more participators who join and contribute resources to the system, the better the information and data will be.

Data structure has become essential and important for the operation of a website or network application services, therefore, all organisation strive for a faster and larger data system. For this reason, obtain data are now one of the most perform activity among organisations.

 

IMDB

I believe there is a time for all people when you wanted to find information for a specific movie or television show. I bet, the first thing most people would do is to open a web browser and go to IMDB.com, an internet database built just for movies. IMDB.com contains information for nearly every movie created by human no matter what era, country or culture the movie is from. Movie news and information provided by IMDB.com is extremely up to date and accurate. The website provides several functions to enable users to generate information for the database of the website. The information on the website is sharpened and filtered by users. This enables the website to gather vast amounts of data into the database and creates more value and opportunity for the system. These functions include user generated movie information and reviews, movie rating system and user generated movie ranking list. Some questions are asked about the success of IMDB.com because many other websites have also used the strategy of user generated data but result in failure. One of the main reasons of failure is because of website might end up with wide amounts of junks generated users which diminish all value of the website. To counter this issue, IMDB.com makes sure the information generated is reviewed by professional movie critics to ensure the accuracy of the database.

 

 

IMDB.com is a great example of a web2.0 system which has the pattern; Data is the next “Intel Inside”. This is because the website itself is base on a large database and its operation is mainly to gather and provide information. The more data IMDB.com has the more valuable it is. Never visit IMDB.com? Just visit and enjoy it!

 

 

IMDB.com (2012). Retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/

Tim O’reilly. (2007, December). Google Admits “Data is the Intel Inside”. Retrieved march 2010, Retrieved from http://radar.oreilly.com/2007/12/google-admits-data-is-the-inte.html

 

 

Harnessing the Collective Intelligence, Benefits and Risks

The core purposes of Web 2.0 application are interaction, collaboration and relation. For this reason, Web 2.0 technologies have established eight patterns to fulfil the requirements. The pattern which is discussed this week is “Harnessing the Collective Intelligence (HCI)”.

HCI has the ability to benefit Web 2.0 application in several aspects such as adding valuable information to the content to expand the knowledge base of a website or any information output application. HCI can also create opportunity for a Web 2.0 application to explore different purpose of the system and therefore create from usage and success opportunity. However, all benefits have another side to it. For example, HCI can use as a platform for illegal purpose such as pirating. Also using HCI can increase the chance of output irrelevant resource which creates the risk of losing the value of the system. (http://www.kintek.com.au/web-design-brisbane/harnessing-collective-intelligence-getting-other-people-to-make-your-site-great/)

There are a few rules provided by “Kintek.com.au” that should be taking into account when setting up a website with the pattern of HCI. These rules include:

-           Not forcing users to sign up to gain access to content of the website.

-          Make the process of collecting information with adequate procedures to ensure that users will obtain their needs from the site without frustrating from the process.

-          The sign up process should be made with easy steps that are aimed to gather relevant information only.

-          Respect and be polite to the users to ensure users can use the website under a comfortable status. However, maintain the authority and control over the website to ensure the content is clean and relevant. (http://www.kintek.com.au/web-design-brisbane/harnessing-collective-intelligence-getting-other-people-to-make-your-site-great/)

An example of a successful web 2.0 application is the Yahoo! Auctions (Taiwan). Yahoo! Auctions (Taiwan) is now the most popular and the largest auction website in Taiwan with over 800 millions of users. The funny thing is that Yahoo! Auctions in many other regions has been a total failure. One of the main reasons of its success in Taiwan is because of the functions which allow users to customise their own store website with their own designs to fit their business. Yahoo! Auctions (Taiwan) has also successfully developed a HCI program that magnify it value by a great number. Another main reason that Yahoo! Auctions (Taiwan) is so successful in Taiwan is that Yahoo! Taiwan bought another website called Kimo.com in 2001 and integrated itself with Kimo.com. This enables Yahoo! TW to obtain the user base and HCI functions of Kimo.com to increase its business opportunities.  (http://mr6.cc/?p=406)

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