Tag Archives: internet

Re-Imagine the World’s Oldest Profession; Rethink How It Adapts to Age of Social Media: No, Not That One; Selling…

Contrary to popular belief, selling is the oldest profession in the world. Long before anything else– the serpent sold Eve on desirability of an apple; and its in ‘The Book’ right after the phrase– ‘In the beginning… Hence no matter what you do, it’s always about selling… According to Dave Ramsey; selling is about connecting and that makes the magic happens, and if you fail to connect there may not be another chance… Great leaders are also great sellers, who understand the power of connections and relationships… There is little you can do in this world without selling, and if you look a little closer at every situation there is always a seller and a buyer…

Nothing happens until someone sells something! Or better yet, until someone buys something! Selling has evolved and continues to evolve into something difference; internet and social media have completely disrupted traditional selling, putting the power of decision-making in the hands of buyers, rather than sellers… Many organizations have come to realize that they must sell the way customers want to buy… They have learned that for them to sell better they must understand customers better…

Knowing buyer behaviors and preferences are keys to success in selling and that means being actively engaged on social media and carefully– listening, observing… and understanding; How buyers want to buy! When buyers want to buy! What buyers want to buy! even before sellers engage buyers about buying…

In the article Future Of Selling is Social by Brian Fetherstonhaugh writes: In the era of Facebook, Google , Twitter… buyers have as much control over the flow of information as sellers. Buying, which was once one-way interaction between informed seller and curious buyer, is now conversation between equals. According to Ogilvy; social media has had an enormous impact on buying behavior with a majority of sellers seeing social media as critical to their success…

But many organizations are not adapting fast enough, 68% of sellers say that buyers are changing the way they buy faster than their own organizations are adapting to it… Nearly one-half of sellers surveyed say organizations lack the– understanding, knowledge, commitment... about social media and its impact on the selling and buying process… Sellers to be successful must align their selling ways to be in lockstep with those of buyers…

In the article Social Selling? Hasn’t Selling Always Been Social? Paul Teshima writes: The idea of being ‘social’ so as to build a trusted relationship has been around since the beginning of time… The whole notion of social media is about building and maintaining relationships, which has changed how people buy and sell things… However, the vast majority of sellers on social media are passive users and rarely if ever, posting creative content that shows passion experience, expertise…The key to better selling through social media is by creating– engaging, interesting, relevant, buyer related content…

In the article Social Media Is Changing The Way Buyers Buy Stuff by Ryan Holmes writes: It’s easy to miss how fundamentally social media has changed how people spend not just their time, but also their money… The way people learn about products, services, evaluate them, buy them, interact with sellers are all being mediated by social media… An old selling adage says; one happy customer will tell 3 friends, while an unhappy customer tells 10… But in social media those numbers are increased by orders of magnitude…

It’s easy to say that social media is changing how people interact and engage with organizations, but it can sometimes be hard to see it up close and personal… And for the organizations that haven’t, the clock is ticking… and if they cannot or won’t make the jump they stand to see their customer base erode as it becomes ever more social…

In the article Re-Imagine Selling for the 21st Century by Ayelet Baron writes: The most important currency of the 21st century is– trust, relationships, community… The days of the traditional sales pitch, for most organizations, is coming to an end… and the important question that sellers must ask themselves and also know the answer to is; Who do you trust? And most importantly; Who trusts you? 21st century sellers must know how to bring people together around a shared purpose; and the interlocking currency is trust… and through trust– sellers and buyers can connect based on shared experience, ideas, expectations…

Selling in the 21st century is about applying two critical resources; ancient wisdom and great technology… It’s about seeing customers through the lens of sharing… simply share and connect with buyers who can benefit from the ‘things’ you have to offer… It’s a matter of recognizing people as artists and co-creators of something delightful by the collaboration of seller and buyer.. and It’s about truly believing in what can be created and having a passion for sharing it… The days of the patriarchy are coming to an end. There is power in the sellers and buyers co-creating solutions, but it requires a deep desire to know, to listen, to engage…

The world is changing, if organizations keep showing up in the same places with the same solutions they will get the same results… The dynamic of selling and buying will continue to shift… In the future (and future is now), organizations will be created in the image of their customers… According to Scott Marker; selling is learning up front; How customers want to buy: If customers want to buy online, then offer that choice… If customers want a simple transaction, then don’t go through a long relationship mating dance…

 

Internet Exceptionalism or Not– internet (small ‘i’) vs. Internet (Capital ‘I’): To Capitalize or Not… Who Decides?

It’s a grand debate: Whether or not to capitalize the word– ‘internet’ (small ‘i’) or ‘Internet’ (capital ‘I’): Capitalization, to some, suggests– ‘internet exceptionalism’… where exceptionalism is the perception that it’s something very special, exceptional (i.e., unusual or extraordinary) in some way… According to Tim Wu; what is it about the Internet that makes it exceptional? Is the internet any different from say; computers, or smartphones, or electricity, or automobiles… The debate may appear trivial but there are many prominent– media, institutions, businesses… not to mention millions of private individuals who are in the habit of capitalizing or not capitalizing the word ‘internet’, and see no reason to change… 

This capitalization wars came when Associated Press (AP) style-guide announced that its stipulating lower-case for words, such as; internet, web, email… The AP is not the first style-guide to insist on lower-case for many technology-related words, many other media outlets prefer lower-case, as well… This tug-of-war has been going on for years with stylistic guidelines by many respected media sources, including; New York Times, Guardian, Economist, Wired News, Huffington Post, Chicago Manual of Style, Webster World College Dictionary… and many online and print media organizations…

In the article Should You Capitalize The Word Internet? by Katherine Connor Martin writes: Research shows that the capitalized form of the word ‘Internet’ is slightly more common, than non-capitalized ‘internet’ version… Over the past few years, the proportion of evidence for the two forms has remained relatively steady with Internet (capital ‘I’) having an edge, accounting for about 60%… It’s interesting to note that dictionaries are relatively inconsistent on this issue since they are lagging indicators of language change, hence waiting for usages to become settled before committing, and this particular change is still underway... Research also suggest there are geographic preferences in usage, e.g.; in UK, the preference for lower-case ‘i’ seems to be more dominant… whereas in the U.S., the capitalized form ‘I’ retains an edge… and preferred usage in other countries also varies…

According to Michael Straker; Internet is a contraction of  the word ‘inter-connected network’ and historically, the governing bodies that set internet standards have treated the word as a proper noun, capitalized… This was handy to differentiate various types of ‘internets’– worldwide set of ‘inter-connected networks’ from just any ‘inter-connected set of computer networks’… And so the argument was made that since the Internet is ‘exceptional’, it therefore deserves the preferential treatment bestowed upon proper nouns… But, in fact, earliest use of the word ‘internet’ was a lower-case ‘i’ cited in Oxford Dictionary in 1974.

In the article Why ‘Internet’ Should Not Be Stripped of Its Proper Noun Status by Amanda Edens writes: The Associated Press, one of the most widely followed authorities on writing style, has lower-cased the word ‘internet’ in their style-guide… According to the AP; hence forth it will use lower-case for words, such as; ‘internet’, ‘web’, ’email’… in all instances. This decision sparked much debate in the editorial and technology industries and beyond… But it’s not the first time that AP’s style-guide changes has caused ripples, and perhaps even confusion. Case in point: why in the world is there a hyphen in ‘e-commerce’, but not ’email’?

The word ‘Internet’ originated as the adjective ‘inter-netted’, basically meaning ‘inter-connected’ when describing a network of multiple computer networks… ‘Internet’ eventually replaced ‘inter-network’ as the standardized term, evolving from an adjective into a noun… There’s a distinction between ‘an internet’, which simply refers to one of those networks of networks, and ‘the Internet’, the global network of networks… So what exactly determines whether ‘the Internet’ should be a proper noun, deserving of capitalization? According to AP; let ‘usage dictate style’ and that suggests that there is no need for capitalization… On the other hand, Slate magazine makes a compelling argument the Internet is ‘exceptional’, hence it deserves capitalization.

In the article Should You Capitalize the Word Internet? by Susan C. Herring writes: This tug-of-war has been going on for years. Should the word ‘internet’ be spelled with a ‘i’ or ‘I’… There are legitimate reasons for capitalizing and compelling reasons for non-capitalizing. These competing forces are engaged in a back-and-forth tug of war, resulting in inconsistency in the spelling of the word… According to Bob Wyman; the ‘I’ should be capitalized to make clear the difference in meaning between the Internet (the global network that evolved out of ARPANET, the early Pentagon network), and any generic internet, or computer network connecting a number of smaller networks…

Indeed, the earliest citations from the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) in the 1970s, referred to ‘internet’ in the generic sense and spelled it with lowercase ‘i’, whereas later OED examples refer to the global network, using a capital ‘I’. According to Chris; the debate– internet (‘i’) vs. Internet (‘I’)– is a difference without a distinction. Or is that a distinction without a difference? Either way: While it matters very much to some people, it’s all the same to others… Also, would you believe that in some circles a full caps version (INTERNET) once held sway?  While some media abandoned the big ‘I’ awhile back…

The choice is really up to the individual. However, you should always be consistent; if you adopt AP’s recommendation, then use it all the time. Don’t complicate things– and annoy your readers– by shifting back and forth… Linguistic choices have social consequences, even if the choice involves something minor as capitalization. Some experts suggest that the issue of capitalization is a political choice– geeks vs. non-geeks… For some capitalizing the word ‘Internet’ signifies sense of importance, better yet it suggests– Internet exceptionalism… for which many may, or may not agree with…

Chasing Your ‘Tail’ in Business– Anatomy of the Long Tail Business Model: Taste for Obscurity or Overwhelm with Choice…

The ‘tail’ matters– the ‘long tail’ business model which is about finding hidden customer demands that are obscure in the far reaches of the Internet. Some of the most successful Internet companies leverage long tails as an important part of their business strategy.  

The long tail concept has gained popularity for describing an Internet online retail strategy for selling small quantities of a relatively large number of unique or lesser known items… as opposed to selling a small number of highly popular items in very large quantities– in traditional terms it’s a ‘niche’ business model…

The long tail is the colloquial name for a long-known feature in statistical distributions theory that says– a ‘long tail’ of some distributions of numbers is the end portion of the distribution having a large number of occurrences far from the ‘head’ or central part of the distribution. The feature is also known as heavy tails, power-law tails, Pareto tails… 

The concept of the long tail was popularized by Chris Anderson in his book; The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More. According to Anderson; when consumers are offered infinite choice, the true shape of the demand curve is revealed. And demand is less ‘hit or blockbuster’-centric than you might think. People gravitate towards niches because it satisfies their narrow interests better than generalized offerings… 

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The Internet companies that are often associated with the use of the long tail concept in business strategy are, e.g.; eBay (auctions), Google  (web search), Amazon (retail), Netflix(movies), Apple (music)…  According to Eric Schmidt;  the surprising thing about the long tail is just how long the tail actually is, and how many businesses have not been served by traditional business models… But, how real is the long tail and how relevant is it to your business?

The long tail phenomenon is real as evidenced by success of major companies, and the Internet is the enabler, which allows online retailers to stock virtually a limitless number of ‘things’ or ‘niche’ products– such that the number of available ‘niche’ products outnumber the ‘hit’ products by many orders of magnitude. Those millions of niches are the long tail, and they are largely neglected by most businesses. The shift from ‘hit’ to ‘niche’ is a rich seam of opportunity that should be engaged by many more companies…

In the article The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More by Chris Anderson writes: The long tail is a powerful force in the economy: it’s the rise of the niche. As the cost of reaching consumers drops dramatically, markets are shifting from a one-size-fits-all model of mass appeal to one of unlimited variety for unique tastes. From supermarket shelves to advertising agencies, the ability to offer vast choice is changing everything, and causing business to rethink where the markets lie, and how to get to them. Unlimited selection is revealing the truths about what consumers want, and how they want to get it…

However, this is not just a virtue of online marketplaces; it’s an example of an entirely new economic model for business, one that is just beginning to show its power. After a century of obsessing over the few products at the ‘head’ of the demand curve, the new economics of distribution allow business to turn focus to the many more products in the ‘tail’, which collectively can create a new market as big as the one you already know…

The long tail is really about ‘economics of abundance’. New efficiency in business is essentially resetting the definition of what’s commercially viable across the board. If the 20th century was about ‘hits’, the 21st will be equally about ‘niches’.

In the article The Wrong Tail by Tim Wu writes: The long tail theory is so catchy it can overgrow its useful boundaries. In most entertainment industries (e.g.., films, music, books… ) a few ‘hits’ make most of the money and then the demand drops off quickly… Demand, however, doesn’t drop to zero. The products in the long tail are less popular in a ‘mass’ sense, but still popular in a ‘niche’ sense. What that means is that some businesses can make money not just on big ‘hits’, but also by the long tail… However, this insight for many can only go so far, but like many business concepts commits the sin of overreaching. At times, the long tail becomes the proverbial ‘hammer’ looking for nails to pound…

The long tail as a business model is effective when; 1) the price of carrying additional inventory approaches zero. 2) the consumer has strong and heterogeneous preferences. When these two conditions are satisfied, a company can radically enlarge its inventory and make money raking in the ‘niche’ demands. This is the lifeblood of a handful of products and companies, e.g.; Apple’s iTunes, Netflix, Google… among others, all are basically in business of aggregating content, e.g.; it doesn’t cost much to add another song to iTunes– having 10,000 songs available costs about the same as having 1 million… But it’s important to remember that many industries don’t rely on the weird economics of information products… The long tail isn’t useful as a ‘theory of everything’…

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In the article The Long Tail by Yaro Starak writes: The long tail is the transition from a ‘hit’-focused marketplace to a millions of niches marketplace. While the majority of profits previously were made by selling a handful of products (the hits) to a lot of people, now millions of products are being sold to smaller number of people based on ‘niches’.  It’s ‘niche’ marketing in it’s purest form– a general economic transition brought about by an opening up distribution channels and creating a near-frictionless and abundant source of product variety…

The long tail exists because in certain industries supply and demand have come to a point where supply is no longer limited by how much shelf space there is, or how much it costs to manufacture, transport, store, deliver… a product.

The product is now ‘virtually’ abundant and produced at such a low-cost that business no longer have to place emphasis on the big hits, the huge ‘mass’ market blockbusters, as the main source of profits. It becomes possible to make good margins from products that in the past were not profitable because not enough people would buy them, the niche was just too small to cater to and the cost of production, delivery out-weighed the potential revenues…

it is important to explain that long tail markets are only emerging because of the Internet… and it’s important to realize how much of an impact this is going to have on the future of online commerce…

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In the article The Long Tail– Curled by Grant Wickes writes: The Internet has changed the way you do business, and the idea of a long tail is exciting because it brings hope for more opportunities, and it engenders greater confidence for sustainability… But when it comes to competition and survival, you can come to just one conclusion: the more things change, the more they stay the same…

Business people always see their offerings as changing the world, and while the initial hype may create a lot of buzz, eventually it regresses to just another widget— there are in the ‘mean’. Hence, there is no such thing as— ‘this time, it’s different’– things don’t last forever, e.g.; advances in technology, competition, change in customers behavior… eventually, ‘change’ wins out over time… Business models like the long tail, which focus on the fringes of markets, of course, can help make business more sustainable and it goes a long way to improve efficiency, drive sales…

But while the long tail helps explain the phenomenon of an early mover opportunity, it fails to consider the long-term competitive dynamics of markets, i.e.; the tail will eventually ‘curl’ and the opportunity will consolidate into just a few major market players (even for a niche), then your strategy most be nimble enough to make proper adjustmentsYesit’s fun to think about this ‘tail’ thing, but remember that the tail will ‘curl’, it won’t stay ‘long’ forever, be prepared to bring on the next new ‘thing’…

The long tail is a useful concept and many business people often talk about it, but very few actually implement the strategy in their business… According to Serguei Netessine and Tom F Tan; the presence of the long tail effect might be less universal than one may be led to believe… The long tail effect may be present in some cases, but few businesses operate in a pure digital distribution system. Instead, they must weigh supply chain costs of physical products against the potential gain of capturing single customers of obscure offerings. Businesses must also consider the time it takes for consumers to locate off-beat items they may want…

The Internet is capable of matching consumers with ‘things’ that are exactly what they want. This level of satisfaction (and abundance) has never been seen before, and as more businesses leverage the Internet to serve niche markets, it will become more difficult for business to be successful as a market ‘generalist’… And that leads to the question; Is the core principle of the 80/20 Rule or Pareto Principle still relevant in the world of digital commerce? Many experts say– Yes: The 80/20-like relationships are still very relevant, but in ever smaller (micro-economic) events within ever smaller niches… Even within the long tail there are market leaders, followers such that basic law of Pareto Principle still apply.

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According to Anita Elberse; consumption of long tail offerings is more prevalent among people who tend to stick to a particular genre… No matter how you slice and dice the customer base; the long tail theory increasingly influences business models, especially in sectors, such as– media, entertainment… It’s undeniable that online commerce has significantly broadened customers’ access to products of all varieties, including the most obscure. However, some research suggests that it would be imprudent for businesses to up-end traditional market practices and just focus on the demand of obscure products… The data show that in most cases it’s very difficult for most businesses to profit when their only focus is on the ‘tail’…

Long tail business models, which sells small quantities of many items are the antithesis of blockbuster business models, which sell large quantities of a few items… A long tail model is a classic disruptive innovation– catering to people who over-shot their existing offerings with an inexpensive and highly accessible service that excels on a totally distinct set of performance criteria…

According to Stephen Wunker; the long tail business model is compelling territory for disruptive innovation, but like any other business model it has a life cycle, and if the business is not fleet-footed and watchful, the disruptor can become the disruptee…

Cutting-Edge Thinking is Think about Thinking: Is the Internet Making You Stupid, in Your Thinking? Too Little, Too Slow…

THINK! Think is a word that most people read but don’t do, or don’t do enough of … According to Gitomer; consider these elements of how thinking affects every area of your business: • Thinking is the process used to make a decision. • Thinking is vital to attitude. • Thinking is vital to response. • Thinking is vital to action. • Thinking is vital to outcome…

Thinking is a process that’s developed through conscious practice… One of the classic objections (or stalls) of all time is– ‘I want to think it over’… Yes, THINK! is complex – that’s why most people don’t do it properly, or at all… John Patterson, founder of  NCR Company in 1880, created the word; THINK! as a motto, and directive for his business… Have you ever consciously thought about the way you unconsciously or subconsciously think? Have you ever thought about how thinking affects outcomes and results?

According to John Gottman; when you are thinking your unconscious is at work sifting through the situation in front of you, throwing out all the irrelevant information while zeroing in on what really matters; a person’s unconscious is really good at this… this process of thin-slicing information often delivers a better answer than more deliberate and exhaustive ways of thinking...

According to Ricardo Oliveras; there are ‘thinking traps’ and a lot of them have to do with our natural bias, for example; thinking you are better than you are (i.e., overconfidence in your abilities, memory, intuition or gut)… Trying to confirm decisions you have already made (i.e., looking for confirmation, protecting status quo or sunk costs…), or unquestioning your thoughts and assumptions…

You can avoid these traps by talking to people who hold different points of view– it’s important to have diversity in thinking, but there is one trap that is intrinsic to groups; the ‘group think’ trap. To avoid ‘group think’– be sure that dissenting opinions are heard, and that critical thinking is always being encouraged…

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Is The Internet Changing the Way You Think? According to Nicholas Carr; I’m not thinking the way I used to think; and the ever-deepening dependence on networking technology is indeed changing not only the way you think, but also the structure of your brains… We don’t bother to write down or memorize detailed information any more, we just do an Internet search to retrieve it, when we need it… The Internet has become a global prosthesis for your collective memory… And,  some experts say, that you may be losing some of your capacity for contemplative thinking that was fostered by the ‘print-media’ culture, but other experts say that you are gaining new and essential ways of thinking, working, living… through the Internet…

According to Sarah Churchwell; Is the Internet changing your brain?  As a writer, thinker, researcher and teacher, what I can attest to is that the Internet is changing my habits of thinking, dramatically… According to Geoff Dyer; sometimes I think my ability to concentrate is being nibbled away by the Internet; other times I think it’s being gulped down in huge, jaws-shaped chunks… I remember those quaint days before the Internet; at work, once you made it to your desk there wasn’t much to distract you; you could sit there working, or you could just sit there…

But now you sit and there is a distraction; there is the Internet with a universe of possibilities– many of them obscurely relevant to the work you should be doing… According to Bidisha; the Internet is definitely affecting the way I think, for the worse. The Internet means that we can never get away from yourself, temptations and obsessions. There’s something very depressing about knowing I can literally and metaphorically log-on the same homepage, wherever I am in the world…

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In the article How To Think Differently by Haydn Shaughnessy writes: A basic definition of innovation is thinking differently– it’s a process of associative thinking, and it happens more when you mash-up a lot of ideas or sources of information... According to Daniel Kahneman, in his book ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’; he points out that we have two thought process: One is ‘slow’– expertise-building that allows you to organize and access a body of evidence about your reality… The other is ‘fast’ a style of thinking for rapid decision-making that you do when you are forced to recognize new patterns or responds to the emotional urges that govern how you treat people…

You typically oscillate between these two modes of thinking, but in a rapidly changing world, it’s the ‘thinking-fast’ bit tends to dominate. The key to effective thinking is to balance the two– how you think differently and how to think so as to grow your expertise that’s relevant… The reality is that to think differently you must be good at thinking, you must be thoughtful, and this becomes your platform, your expertise… It’s a balance between– thinking fast and slow…

In the article Think Different About Business by Dr. Marc R. Dussault writes: If you were like most people then you do what most other people in your industry do… Yes, you develop your own processes, systems… but by and large you followed the methods of those that have gone before you. This process of copying what other business have done is called ‘mimiticisomorphic’ behavior.

What academics have found is that an industry company will mimic the behavior of other companies and the actually ‘morph’ into them or become like them, over time… whereas, companies should strive to become  ‘anti-mimiticisomorphic’What this means is that you actually think and behave the opposite way to other companies in your industry. Instead of following the trends you buck the trends, so that if your competitors go left, then you go right…

Businesses tend to follow other businesses like sheep. If one company raises their prices, other companies raise their prices. If one company lowers them, other companies lower them. And yet, many times this is done in an unexamined and untested way, without serious thinking… So, what if you were to break out of this sheep mentality– think and find solutions that are– different, better, more innovative, then your competitors. This way of thinking will lead you to better outcomes than thinking like everyone else. Try thinking in new ways…

According to Michael L. Norton; if you are making-decisions the same way you have for many years, then it’s time to, at least, examine your thinking… there’s a large body of research about ways in which you should ‘think’ when making-decisions, for example; creating decision trees that map out different scenarios– if you want to do this, then you should do this and not that, or making lists of the pros and cons and making a decision based on which list is longer, and so on… But, many experts believe the notion that ‘over-thinking’ a decision can also lead to the wrong outcome… Having a leader who considers every detail of information sounds great in theory, but it can be less than optimal for moving forward with a decision: There’s a paralysis that can come with thinking too much…

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Wherever there is uncertainty ‘magical’ thinking finds a foothold, and  people resort to tradition, gut instinct, or the nostrum of the moment to dispel the anxiety of not knowing… According to Jason Gots; just ‘slow down’ and think about your thinking in making a decision… According to James Heskett; good leaders know when to think ‘slow’ or when to think ‘fast’— they understand the thinking that’s associated with– rigid stagnate, unthinking application of age-old rules… Vs. careful reflective thinking on matters that need intelligent, unbiased thought… Then, there is ‘under-thinking’; the leaders that swing too far to the other end of the decision-making thinking spectrum– they don’t think at all…  so often their decision is — ‘Just go with your gut’…

Sometimes when you make decisions with ‘habitual’ thinking, things can work out fine. But that doesn’t mean that the decision produces the best outcome. If you have done the something in the same way for years, it’s probably time to rethink your decision-making– to think differently, a little more… However, when making many decisions people often think either; too much or too little, and pundits have yet to determine the right balance between the two for any given decision.

According to Jack Lannom; the term ‘meta-cognitive’ thinking meansthinking about your thinking’… and leaders who are not equipped with a ‘meta-cognitive’ thinking mind-set for examining their company’s basic and underlying structures that creates and drives effective change in their organization will probable never, in the primary sense, have the capability or capacity to solve present or future problems at the deepest level…

Hence, an imperative for many companies is for everyone on the leadership team to practice ‘meta-cognitive’ thinking; that is, for each person to think about their thinking as individuals, and to think about the way your organization thinks…

CyberLoaf, CyberSlack, GoldBrick… Workplace Realities: The Impact of Personal Internet Usage at Work…

Cyberloafing is No.1 reported way employees waste time, according to a survey of 10,000 employees, and 44.7% cited cyberloafing as their No.1 distraction at work… So, if you’re reading this at work you are cyberloafing, as it’s the term for employees who surf the Internet when they should be working.

It’s not an especially new word (it dates from the end of the heyday of the ‘cyber-word-creation’ boom, with first example being in Toni Kamins’ article ‘Cyberloafing: Does Employee Time Online Add Up to Net Losses?’ But, it became more newsworthy with an article by Vivien K G Lim when she surveyed a selection of self-identified cyberloafers and found; employees often did so, not out of boredom or laziness but, as an act of defiance against what they saw as unjust actions by employers, so it was a conscious attempt to balance the ledger… but other experts differ on employees primary motivation…

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Cyberloafing is a slang term used to describe employees who surf the Internet, write e-mail or other Internet-related activities at work that are not related to their job. These activities are performed while employees are being paid by their employer. The individual is called cyberloaf(er) and the act is cyberloafing. Other associated terms are; cyberslacking, goldbricking…

According to Webopedia; the term is a slang word to describe employees who spend their working hours engaged in online activities that don’t have anything to do with work… According to study by Kansas State University; between 60 and 80% of people cyberloaf… According to Mark Gimen; cyberloafing costs U.S. employers $1 billion per year in computer resources, while other estimate the cost to U.S. economy could be as high as 63 billion dollars per year… Also, cyberloafers may– unwittingly or otherwise– visit websites which can expose organization to legal liabilities, and dangers posed by computer viruses...

According to research, the most common forms of cyberloafing are; checking personal email, social media, playing games, watching videos, shopping, managing finances, job searching… A recent Modis survey; found that 30% of IT professionals admit their departments monitor employees who might be violating content policies. And, 48% of admit their company does some sort of banning, blocking or throttling of non-work Web content… According to  Dave Lavinsky; workers are going to goof off sometimes, but for the most part, they’re going to be focused on work related activities… But, when companies choose to play ‘big brother’ and heavily monitor computer use, they’re not going to have happy employees…

According to one report; email is a ‘gateway distraction’ to different cyberloafing activities because it opens up numerous other ways to get sidetracked from work tasks and enticed in other Internet activities… According to  Financial Times article; businesses are losing thousands of dollars per year for each employee that cyberloafs, which equates to a multimillion dollar problem (one number put out there is at about $650 million).

As a result of people getting distracted with online entertainment and personal business, reportedly– productivity has decreased, which ultimately has a negative impact on profitability. This leads to some business blocking certain websites or monitoring employee Internet use, which can lead to staff morale problems and other ethical issues in an organization…

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So, what should employers consider when developing an Internet policy? According to Chen; managers must recognize that blanket policies that prohibit all forms of personal Internet usage are not effective and excessive monitoring is likely to lead to employees’ retaliation, and stifle legitimate Internet use… Instead, managers and companies should work toward implementing acceptable Internet use policy, which aims to work out a reasonable balance between some personal Web usage and work…

Remember that even if you attempt to control what websites employees visit on work computers, the vast majority of workers bring either; their personal smartphones or tablets with them to work each day, and you’ll never be able to control their activities on their own personal devices. The only real solution to cyberloafing is to find effective ways to motivate employees to be more productive during the workday…

In the article Dealing with Personal Internet Use at Work by edward writes:  With all the advantages of the Internet in the workplace it also has some challenges… One of the greatest is the temptation to use Internet for personal reasons during the course of a workday. Even the most loyal, hard-working employee can be tempted to occasionally, e.g.; do a little online shopping, play games, watch videos, check local news or weather reports, or communicate with family and friends using social media… In a survey, here are some more eye-popping statistics to consider:

  • 77% of people check their Facebook account on work computers.
  • 20% of men admit to viewing pornography at work.
  • 4% of men spend 1-2 hours per day gambling at work.
  • 56% of people spend 30 minutes each day researching office betting pools.
  • Employers lose $6.5 billion due to fantasy football.
  • 77% of brides admit to using work hours to plan their wedding.
  • 49% of people shop online while at work during the holiday season.

In the article Does Cyberloafing Have Negative, Positive Impact on Productivity? by Leigh Goess writes: Employees that cyberloaf are involved with a number of different activities which fall into two general categories: entertainment and personal business… In entertainment; people tend to spend time on social media websites, playing online games, video watching, streaming and viewing live events and using instant messaging applications to chat with family and friends…

In personal business; people tend to engage in online shopping, banking, job searches, emails…. But are workers really slackers? The term ‘cyberloafing’ has been said to have been derived from the term ‘goldbricking’ which is basically another work for slacker, or something that appears to possess value, but in reality is worthless…

According to Laura Vanderkam; everyone needs a break, and taking a breather and engaging in another activity to relieve stress can lead to happier employees, which generally leads to higher productivity… Whether or not cyberloafing is serious problem, most likely depends on employee’s specific behaviors in any given organization. In some companies it may be a serious problem, but in others maybe not be as much... What it boils down to is ‘balance’– employees that do not waste hours on cyberloaf activities are likely to find their employers more willing to accept the use of limited non-work related Internet activity, e.g.; during lunch hours, breaks, off hours… the key for both employer and employee is balance and flexibility…

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In the article Cyber Loafing Drains Productivity by Peter Strozniak writes: Research finds it takes more than a policy to stop employees from cyberloafing– wasting work time on the Web… Between 60% and 80% of people’s time on the Internet at work has nothing to do with work, which means cyberloafing drains productivity. More important, it could put companies in legal trouble when employees conduct illegal activity or unacceptable behavior like viewing pornography on workplace computers.

According to John Urgin and John Pearson; after surveying office workers and university students, the researchers discovered both older and young workers waste time on the Internet but in different ways, for example; older people are doing things like; managing their finances… while young people found it more acceptable to spend time on social networking sites like; Facebook…

Although threats of termination and detection mechanisms are effective deterrents against cyberloafing, they may not be enough… the researchers found that for young people, it was hard to get them to think that social networking was unacceptable behavior… Just having a policy in place did not change their attitudes or behavior at all. Even when they knew that they were being monitored, they still did not care… companies need to be careful when taking invasive actions, people will feel as if ‘big brother’ is watching them and that becomes counter-productive…

It’s hard to fully focus on work when personal issues become a distraction, and when they can be addressed via the Internet so easily… Management experts have estimated that only about 67% of employee’s workday is actually productive (without factoring in personal use of the Internet)... But with the advent of online– music download, shopping, auction sites, fantasy sports… that percentage is quickly and radically reduced.. According to Parry Aftab; some employers have opted for software to monitor employees’ surfing activities and in some cases restrict their online activities… But most have adopted more acceptable-use policies…

According to Will Sturgeon; businesses are losing thousands of hours of productivity each year– workers are being distracted by the endless hours they spend online with– email, Internet, IM… which are often cited as being the biggest factor in office productivity. But some believe that it’s just simply symptomatic of a more serious issue… Whereas, cyberloafing was identified by 23% as main obstacle to a productive workforce; low staff morale and lack of motivation was identified by 32%– suggesting that management must do a better job at managing workers…

According to Gartner Research; about 5% of enterprise workers are engaging in inappropriate online behavior at the office, ranging from simple ‘cyberloafing’ to using company Internet access to hold down a second job… According to a survey by Websense; average employee spent about 24% of his/her working hours on cyberloafing activities… According to a study; one-fifth of all people who visited ‘pornographic websites’ have done it from work… One-third of workers surveyed by the Society of Financial Service Professionals reported; ‘playing computer games’ while at work… A survey by ‘Privacy Foundation’ found; eighty-three percent of companies indicated that employees were using e-mail for personal purposes…

The cyberloafing trend has created a new industry in the form of software that monitors and controls Internet activity, as well as; smartphone blocking technologies… But even when the Internet is blocked at workplaces; the cyberloafing problem is still there, since workers would respond by getting their cyberloafing fix by using instead, their own smartphones, tablets…  According to Tom Peters; Just ignore it and move on! But a more honest view, simply tweeted: Too late… #genie/bottle/out.

Changing Face of Global e-Commerce: More Personal, More Mobile, More Channels, More Selection, More Convenience…

E-commerce: A good e-commerce user experience is unobtrusive and transparent– ‘it just works’… The best content in the world won’t drive revenue if nobody sees it…ecommerce 1357822839_470932899_1-Ecommerce-Portals-Sector-10E-commerce: Build a business, not a website. An e-commerce website is a business– first and foremost; the website is merely the commerce delivery channel. An effective e-commerce site begins by understanding and defining the business strategy, goals, and metrics for the site, and then crafting a website that is tailored to meet those site objectives.

Begin with 5-Ps: Proper-Preparation-Prevents-Poor-Performance: You don’t build a house without an architect and a blueprint, and you shouldn’t build website without a digital equivalent. If you want your digital ‘house’ to crumble, the surest way to ensure failure online and waste untold time and money is to skip proper planning and jump blindly into implementation.

A successful e-commerce business must deliver real economic value… The Internet has torn up the rulebook by which businesses have traditionally operated, and the new rules are still being formulated… According to Evans and Wurster; companies must be prepared to repeatedly revise their ideas and strategy as their e-commerce business evolves. They must also be prepared to rethink, radically– the structure of their organizations and not shrink from making major changes to operations. The future of e-retail is global… there is an increasing trust and confidence in purchasing online… e-commerce is becoming an integral part of any country’s economy and should be considered so…

According to Helen Thomas; e-commerce trends for 2013 clearly pose a win-win situation for both the brands and their customers. Online retailers will have to build distinctive strategies to suit their business motives, whereas consumers will be ‘picky’  looking for better alternatives. Companies will have to spend more time building brand loyalty by consistently providing a great user experience for both existing, as well as newly acquired consumers. The trends that are shaping e-commerce are: Go Local! Go Mobile! Go Cashless! Get a Video, Share it Social Media! Get Short, Simple, Original Content!

E-commerce Market Trends: B2C e-commerce sales in 2012 grew 21.1% to top $1 trillion for the first time, according to new global estimates by eMarketer. This year, 2013, sales will grow 18.3% to $1.298 trillion worldwide, eMarketer estimates, as Asia-Pacific surpasses North America to become the world’s No. 1 market for B2C e-commerce sales.

Sales in North America grew 13.9% to a world-leading $364.66 billion, in 2012– a figure expected to increase 12.2% to $409.05 billion, 2013– as more consumers shift spending from physical stores to retail and travel websites– thanks to lower prices, greater convenience, broader selection and richer product information. But despite strong growth, North America’s share of global sales will drop from 33.5% in 2012 to 31.5% in 2013 as Asia-Pacific surges ahead. B2C e-commerce sales in Asia-Pacific grew more than 33% to $332.46 billion in 2012.

This year, 2013,  the region will see sales increase by more than 30% to over $433 billion– or more than one-third of all global B2C e-commerce sales. The rapid growth in Asia-Pacific sales is a result of several factors. Three Asia-Pacific markets– China, India and Indonesia– will see faster B2C e-commerce sales growth than all other markets worldwide in 2013, while Japan will continue to take a large share of global sales. China, unsurprisingly, is the primary driver of growth in the region.

The country will surpass Japan as the world’s second-largest B2C e-commerce market this year, taking an estimated 14% share of global sales, as its total reaches $181.62 billion, up 65% from $110.04 billion in 2012.  The U.S. will remain the single country with the largest share of worldwide B2C e-commerce spending, at 29.6% in 2013– down from 31.5% in 2012 despite relatively strong growth. This will continue throughout the forecast period, though China is closing the gap fast. In 2016, China will have 22.6% of the worldwide market vs. 26.5% in the U.S.

China also boasts the highest number of people who buy goods online in the world– nearly 220 million in 2012, according to eMarketer– a result of increasing Internet penetration; burgeoning middle class with growing trust in online shopping; government-driven campaigns to promote consumerism; improved infrastructure; greater product selection and services offered by online sellers and retailers.

According to eMarketer, B2C e-commerce sales in the U.S. will grow 12% to $384.80 billion in 2013—after growing 13.8% to $343.43 billion last year– as average B2C e-commerce sales per user reach $2,466 this year among those who buy goods online in the U.S. Average spending per user is lower in China– set to reach just $670 this year, eMarketer estimates– but the sheer growth in China’s digital buyers is staggering. The country will nearly double the number of people buying goods online between 2012 and 2016, eMarketer estimates, resulting in considerable upside for B2C e-commerce sales in China through the forecast period.

In the article Trends That Drive E-Commerce Strategy by Heather Clancy writes:  Retail businesses are in the middle of one of the most profound business model transitions for the industry ever, as consumers transfer their shopping habits to mobile devices and e-commerce Web sites. So where should business development executives and merchandise managers’ focus their attention?

A recent analysis from Forrester Research (U.S. Online Retail Forecast, 2011 to 2016) offers some sign-posts. Overall, the research firm believes we’ll spend $327 billion annually by 2016; that compares with $200 billion spent in 2011. Here are five trends underlying that prediction:

  • Higher percentage of sales from existing online shoppers: While new shoppers are driving increases in e-commerce activities, existing ones are actually more of a factor. Forrester predicts that the average shopper will spend $1,738 annually by 2016, compared with $1,207 in 2011. So, it’s imperative that retailers consider– technology, Web site design principles, and incentives that encourage people to fill their online shopping carts with more items.
  • Fourth quarter remains dominant cyber-season: More than 70% of the shoppers who purchased items online during the fourth quarter of 2011 said that they did so because of deals and promotions, Forrester reported. In November and December 2011, e-commerce accounted for about 15% of overall holiday sales, which is a much higher percentage than during other times of the year.
  • Keep an eye out for flash sales sites: Forrester calls out sites that offer what we used to call ‘fire sales’ in real world retail. These are sales where the prices keep dropping, as long as merchandise lasts.
  • Online loyalty programs are more of a factor: Forrester reported that in 2010, about 9% of shoppers belong to new frequent buyer programs. In 2011, about 12% of online shoppers were members of such clubs.
  • The tablet is driving mobile shopping: The smartphone is extremely important for when shoppers are in stores, but the tablet is more likely to be used for researching and for browsing products online. In addition, shoppers were more likely to ‘place an order for physical goods’ using a tablet than a smartphone.

In the article Develop an E-commerce Pricing Strategy by Mark Hayes writes: With the advent of highly competitive pricing tools, winning the online pricing war can be lose-lose for e-commerce retailers. Large online retailers have an advantage in competitive pricing, as they can set the price low enough to run smaller retailers out of business. But there are other ways to compete – and it all starts with developing (or at least thinking about) an e-commerce pricing strategy:

  • Know your Margins: The reality of online retail pricing is that the lowest price doesn’t always win. In fact, pricing battles usually end with you pricing your products too low. When you consistently price too low, your customers will always expect the lower price, even when it is unsustainable to your business. As a result, you could lose those customers over time.
  • Know your USP (Unique Selling Proposition): What makes you different? Every company has to tackle this question to determine their value proposition and target market. With pricing competition at an all-time high, retailers have to ‘think outside of the box’ when crafting a marketing or promotional strategy for their online store…
  • Lose-Leader (Selling Below Market Value): Highly discounted pricing can be advantageous if paired with the appropriate merchandising strategy. The Lose-Leader Strategy assumes that an item sold below market value will encourage customers to buy more overall… The end goal is to sacrifice losing money on one item in order to make a profit on the rest of the products sold (i.e. cereal cheap, milk expensive).
  • Offer Incentives: Once you know your margins and price accordingly, then you can offer  incentives to motivate your customers to buy. Even if you can’t sustain an ultra-low price in the long-term, you can always offer limited time pricing to reach these customers… Being savvy with your incentives allows you the ability to garner attention to your products, and build a reputation for having good deals, without breaking the bank.
  • Diversify Product Offerings: To offer a diverse product offering that will sell, e-commerce store owners must first understand their market demand… Having a better idea of what your customers want gives you the opportunity to sell and generate profit from diversified products. The end result of proper diversification is that online retailers will offer bad options to emphasize the good, driving customers to act based on perceived value.
  • Test your E-commerce Pricing Strategy: As with many things in e-commerce, one size does not fit all, so it is important to measure and test the success of changes you make to your online store’s pricing strategy. Ideally, every change should be tested and validated with an analytics tool…

While e-commerce sales will grow for all industries, according to Gartner– retail, discrete manufacturing, wholesale distribution, entertainment, and travel/leisure industries have the greatest potential for growth. No surprise here. But, keep in mind, that if you are a solopreneur or a small, completely virtual firm, you have a huge competitive advantage over larger companies trying to digitize their sales efforts.

The companies that learn how to make each customer experience a stellar one will stay at the head of the industry. Gartner sees the changes in– mobile, social and globalization as the 3 most important reasons to evaluate your e-commerce marketing strategies. The wide availability of cloud technology and finely honed market research are some additional reasons to reevaluate your product marketing strategy.

With globalization, one of the most overlooked strategies is– how well you are able to market to the needs of individual international customers. For example, while Americans prefer uniqueness and individuality; the Chinese prefer long-term relationships…

There are a number of challenges for e-commerce businesses on the horizon, and companies that adjust first– then their success will come easier and swifter… This is scary time, but for brands and companies who get it, who are able to make sense of it, this is an exciting time, a time of great opportunity… But for those who don’t– well, try something else…

 

Rules of the Internet– Golden Rule of Netiquette: What Governs Internet Behavior, Code of Conduct… What are the Rules?

The Internet has matured into a world of its own and like the real world; it must begin to obey certain immutable rules. ~Tom Chivers

The Internet is often compared to the Wild West: Lawless, rule-less and wide-open for anything. However, as technology evolved from handful of hackers on Usenet bulletin boards to the billions of users on officially sponsored sites; customs, culture… rules of the Internet have evolved with it. But, who knows what new rules may be written? Hence, some people say there should be a formal code of contact, rules of behavior..:

An Internet etiquette or Netiquette with Netiquette Rules that are basic guidelines for normative Internet behavior. Netiquette being the social code of network communication that utilizes common conventions and norms as a guide for rules and standards; such as, ‘Golden Rule of Netiquette’: Do unto others online as you would have done to you… However, most people are smart enough to realize that, when you go on Internet, it’s like entering a foreign country…

In Internet culture, the 1%-rule or the 90–9–1 principle (sometimes also presented as 89:10:1 ratio) reflects a hypothesis that more people will lurk in a virtual community than will participate. The 1%-rule states that the number of people who create content on the Internet represents approximately 1% (or less) of the people actually viewing that content; e.g., for every person who posts on a forum, generally about 99 other people are viewing that forum but not posting.

According to Holly Goodier in conjunction with the BBC presented research in late 2012 suggesting that only 23% of the population (rather than 90%) could properly be classified as lurkers, while 17% of the population could be classified as intense contributors of content. Several years prior, communication scholars Eszter Hargittai and Gina Walejko reported on sample of students studied, from Chicago, where 60% of the sample created content in some form…

According to M. Roblyer and A. Doering; Netiquette covers not only rules of behavior during discussions, but also guidelines that reflect the unique electronic nature of the medium… Netiquette usually is enforced by fellow users who are quick to point out indiscretions and bad behavior… However, some people think that the time has come for an informed public debate about the boundaries of free speech in an age of social media…

In the article Modern Rules of the Internet (‘Revised Russo Translation’ with study notes) by OP Juan writes: Rules of Internet refers to somewhat unwritten, often changing set of rules assumed to be true or necessary, but often just common sense. There are many proposed laws, rules, codes of conduct… floating around Internet for regulating people’s online behavior… a few of these basic rules, laws, truths… which are commonly referenced are the following:

  • Rule 1: When you see text appearing on your screen, remember that there’s a human on the other side.
  • Rule 2: Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it; information wants to be free. (Gilmore’s Law)
  • Rule 3: For every opinion there is at least one equally loud and opposing opinion.
  • Rule 4: As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one. (Godwin’s Law)
  • Rule 5: Never attribute to malice or conspiracy that which can be adequately explained by stupidity: People say hurtful things on Internet. (Hanlon’s Razor)
  • Rule 6: One cannot argue with stupid. (Callahan’s Principle). Inevitably, when someone comments with an off-the-wall, untenable, or distasteful viewpoint, some well-meaning soul attempts to argue them out of it. Don’t.
  • Rule 7: Don’t feed the trolls. A ‘troll’ in Internet parlance is someone who is deliberately provoking argument, being insulting, or just trying to derail the conversation off-topic. Arguing with troll is purposeless, that’s what they want.
  • Rule 8: Intensity of an online argument is  inversely proportional to the value of the stakes at issue. (Sayre’s Law)
  • Rule 9: Passion in an online argument is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available. (Benford’s ‘Law of Controversy’)
  • Rule 10: Those who are most eager to share their opinions are more likely to be those whose opinions are of least value. (Campbell’s Theorem). Alternatively: stupid people shout the loudest.
  • Rule 11: With every post/comment in an online conversation, relation to the original topic decreases. The Internets have a hard time focusing, it seems…
  • Rule 12: Likelihood of a post or comment being read by others decreases with every page of posts/comments that comes before it.
  • Rule 13: Likelihood of a post or comment being read by others is inversely proportional to the amount of time you spent writing it. You could call this the ‘too long, didn’t read’ principle.
  • Rule 14: Likelihood of a post or comment being deleted is directly proportional to the amount of time you spent writing it.
  • Rule 15: Likelihood of an error in a post is directly proportional to embarrassment it will cause the poster. (Skitt’s Law)
  • Rule 16: Any post written to correct editing or proofreading will itself contain an editing or proofreading error. (Muphry’s Law)
  • Rule 17: Without deliberate indication of humor, at least one person will mistake any parody for the real thing. (Corollary of Poe’s Law)
  • Rule 18: Without a deliberate indication of humor, it’s impossible to tell some instances of parody from the real thing. (Corollary of Poe’s Law)
  • Rule 19: It’s impossible to criticize an individual, group, institution or product without simultaneously advertising for them. In many cases, people have become more popular due to their detractors.
  • Rule 20: Lurk before you leap. If you’re new to a forum, a board, a blog-ring or the like, keep quiet until you’ve gotten your bearings.
  • Rule 21: It’s preferable to post in an existing thread than to start a new thread on the exact same topic. Join that conversation rather than start a whole new one.
  • Rule 22: There is no topic so thoroughly covered that somebody won’t bring it up again… but it shouldn’t be so.
  • Rule 23: What happens on Internet stays on Internet–forever. If something gets put on Internet, it never goes away. Consider this a warning to anyone who plans on someday running for office.
  • Rule 24: On the Internet, one is only as anonymous as one allows oneself to be. Some people are afraid of ever posting, blogging, or talking on Internet, for fear of stalkers finding out all about them. The truth is, with few exceptions, people will only find out as much about you as you yourself reveal.
  • Rule 25: As anonymity increases, likelihood of incivility increases. (Russo’s Theorem)
  • Rule 26: Never take the identity of another for granted. That hot girl on Facebook might really be a forty-year-old man.
  • Rule 27: Neutrality is valuable. To have a website that carefully considers both sides of a controversial issue is a treasured thing. Neutrality is the closest to objectivity…
  • Rule 28: Neutrality is finite. There are issues about which it’s impossible to be neutral.
  • Rule 29: Viable, successful Internet meme will be passed on. The term ‘meme’ refers to; an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person-to-person within a culture.
  • Rule 30: Internet meme only remains viable so long as: [People who are encountering it for first time] are greater than [People who have encountered it before]. (Carr’s Law)
  • Rule 31: When one transmits a meme after it has been declared unviable, one opens oneself to ridicule.
  • Rule 32: If you can imagine it, someone has imagined it already. It’s hard to be original with six billion other people also trying to be original.
  • Rule 33: Good screen names are already taken. You’ll have to resign yourself to adding a string of numbers on the end.
  • Rule 34: If you can imagine it, there is porn of it. (Yokai’s Law)
  • Rule 35: If you can imagine it, and there is ‘no’ porn of it, porn will be created. (Munroe’s Corollary). A scary thought.
  • Rule 36: Internet devours both concentration and time. I really think that, in order to maintain concentration in the digital age, you have to… oh, hang on…
  • Rule 37: 80% of everything is crap. (4 to 1 rule): 80% of all email is spam, 80% of all website content is copy/pasted from somewhere else, 80% of all websites are ads…
  • Rule 38: On Internet, all expressions, common phrases, and common nouns will eventually be reduced to acronyms.
  • Rule 39: Don’t go to Internet for counsel, for it will say; ‘yes’, ‘no’, or ‘ask somewhere else’. When multiple people are answering one question, expect multiple and conflicting answers.
  • Rule 40: Nobody ever ignores what they should ignore on Internet. (Reimer’s Reason).

The Internet is an ambiguous and unique form of communication due to the way people convey information to one another… unlike the ‘real world’ where people interact person-to-person, face-to-face…

According to Peter S. Vogel; when you’re in the midst of social change, it’s impossible to determine where it’s going… I think we are in the greatest social change in the history of humans, because there are no boundaries of geography or time.

According to Bruce Umbaugh; we haven’t even sorted out what happens when the differences in local culture meet global technology… not all parts of the world are as tolerant or open-minded as Western democracies.

According to Jamie Cohen; there are a lot of places in the world that are actively using the technology of the Internet to control the free communication among citizens, and to identify critics of the government and hurt them… we need to be mindful in what we advocate from our perspective, and that the tools that are implemented on the Net are tools for the global Net.

In other words, citizens of other countries already face actual, enforceable rules — unlike the folkways established by Web users in the West. For example, witness frictions of Arab Spring or restrictions of societies, such as; North Korea It’s the kind of perspective that provides a different context for issues raised by a ‘libertarian’; anything goes on Internet. It’s hard enough to stop ‘Star Wars’ comment boards from devolving into flame baiting, meme-generating files of NSFW  Yodas… However, for now, we’re still making our way through ‘series of tubes’, and nobody knows where boundaries lie. We joke, we grimace, and we marvel at the creativity of the hive mind.

The Internet is a big place and countless cultures have set-up residence. Eventually, what is now considered humor may lose its zing; what are now accepted as custom may become law. Will the rules ever become: ‘The Rules’? However, some experts say that the Internet isn’t some Wild West that needs taming. It’s a new and different system, which  can be even more abused by those who seek to implement laws and controls that just don’t fit the system…