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Category: on the Web

CityMove – Bringing together a set of Web 2.0 technologies

CityMove – Bringing together a set of Web 2.0 technologies

2.5 years in China, summarised
Creative Commons License photo credit: Zoom Zoom

I came across an interesting website called CityMove, a website designed to bring together people looking to make a move to or from New York with New York Movers that can help them move their possessions around the country. I found it particularly interesting because it brings together a number of different concepts that just wouldn’t work in an offline world. There’s more on how the process works on my other blog, but here’s what struck me.

  1. First of all, the site is a reverse auction site. You formulate your requirements and then let different suppliers bid to provide you with their services. In the old world, you would need to contact them all one by one. The Web brings these efficiencies to your fingertips.
  2. Before you come to selecting your supplier, you can read reviews by other people who used the website. The “knowledge of the crowds” can be quite useful because it’s usually more accurate than a company’s advertising.
  3. At the end of the transaction, you will be asked to leave a review and give details of the service you received. Crowdsourcing this information makes the site better for everyone and is one of the prime tenants the site is built on.

I found it quite interesting to look at the site, and even I know that if I was a New York mover, I would definitely want to be affiliated with them.

So, any other Web 2.0 attributes you can spot on the site?

Focus on niche markets

Focus on niche markets

One of the great things about the Internet is that it provides a great marketplace where traders and customers can meet. And it’s really effective at providing a steady stream of custom for niche markets that wouldn’t survive otherwise. If you deal with specialised products, like WordPress themes or gold coins, you wouldn’t survive unless you had a way to tap into a steady stream of customers. And one such market is industrial valves.

Valves Suppliers UK is a company that specialises in industrial values, a pretty specialised market where customers number in the thousands rather than in the millions. They sell products like the Stainless Steel Dual Plate Wafer Check Valve that retails for around £500. You won’t be buying one of those every day, won’t you? Anyway, the Internet lets them get in touch with customers all around the globe, offering their products to any potential customers regardless of where they are in the world. They also have a selection of technical documents on the website and a user forum that helps them prove their authority in the field.

Any other niches you can find online?

Watch out for those bank charges

Watch out for those bank charges

Bank vault

Interesting article on the BBC website talking about how Bank are charging “sneaky fees”. It’s an interesting look into what’s happening to the bank overdraft market, where legislation has clamped down on unauthorised overdrafts. In return, the rate of authorised overdrafts has increased, with an average of around 19%. That’s an average, so while there are some that are lower, there are also others that are higher.

It can be quite awful to be hit by unexpected charges, so make sure you always know what’s going in and what’ going out. It’s the best way to be in control. So before you spend money on that xbox 360, just make sure you have enough cash in the bank.

Considering an online MBA?

Considering an online MBA?

It’s great that we have so many options available nowadays. It wasn’t so many years ago that the only option to do an MBA would be to take some time off work and attend a University campus. Now there are a multitude of options around. I did mine with Heriott-Watt in Edinburgh, by correspondence, but here’s another option for people living in the US.

Western Governors University is an online university that has a variety of courses ranging from teaching and health degrees, all the way to IT and business degrees. They are designed for people to participate remotely, at their own pace. They work on an interesting basis where you pay for a six-month term at a time, rather than for the credits you’re taking. They also offer scholarships and tuition aid if you require.

So if you want to do an online nursing degree or a business degree, check them out; they might work well for you.

Real vs Perceived Risk

Real vs Perceived Risk

Risk boardgame cannon unit
Image via Wikipedia

Interesting post on Seth Godin‘s blog entitled Apparent Risk and Actual Risk which talks about how people can perceive situations as being more risky than they actually are, and sometimes end up choosing to go down more risky paths just because of this perception.

So, what drives this perception. I put it down to two different factors. First of all, it’s easy to overlook certain factors when performing your personal “risk evaluation”. Assumptions and ignorance are the worst two factors here and can lead to a shortfall in evaluation. The other problem is jumping on the bandwagon and accepting “common knowledge”. It’s amazing how many misconceptions make their way to the mainstream; one of my favourites is that celery is a natural fat burner because it consumes more calories to digest than it contains.

Anyway, morale of the story. Next time you think about a “risky” decision, look at if from a different angle and check whether it’s really risky.

What’s the time?

What’s the time?

In today’s global economy we deal with partners, suppliers and customers all around the world. And sometimes it gets confusing to know what time it is locally for them. So here’s a tool that can really help. It’s a time clock that helps you tell the time in any part of the world, and you’ll never be lost for time again.

time

It’s always good to be considerate of your partners, regardless of whether they’re a large computer manufacturer or a small company that makes the best best weight loss pill in the market. At the end of the day, you’re dealing with other people at the end of the phone, people with passion and ideas, people with families and bills to pay. So phoning them at 3:00am might just not be the best idea in the world!

Check out the World Time Zone website