ENTRIES TAGGED "business models"

The return of local retail?

Local retail revival won't hinge on online-style consumer data intrusion; it will require getting back to basics.

About a month ago, IBM published its five tech predictions for the next few years. They’re mostly the sort of unexceptional things one predicts in this sort of article — except for one: the return of local retail.

This is a fascinating idea, both in the ways I agree and the ways I disagree. First, I don’t think local retail is quite as dead as many people thought. Now that Borders is no longer with us and Barnes and Noble is on the ropes, I see more activity in local bookstores. And the shopping district in the center of my town is full; granted, we’re talking reasonably prosperous suburbia, not Detroit, but not too many years ago there was no shortage of empty storefronts.

What surprised me was the reason IBM thought local retail would return. They observed that many of the same techniques that Amazon and other online retailers use can be applied locally. You walk into a store; you’re identified by your cell phone (or some other device); the store can look up your purchase history, online history, etc.; it can then generate purchase recommendations based on inventory; and send over a salesperson — with an informed view of who you are, what you’re likely to buy, and so on — to “help” you. Read more…

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If followers can sponsor updates on Facebook, social advertising has a new horizon

The frequency of sponsored posts looks set to grow.

This week, I found that one of my Facebook updates received significantly more attention that others I’ve posted. On the one hand, it was a share of an important New York Times story focusing on the first time a baby was cured of HIV. But I discovered something that went beyond the story itself: someone who was not my friend had paid to sponsor one of my posts.

Promoted post on Facebook.

According to Facebook, the promoted post had 27 times as many views because it was sponsored this way, with 96% of the views coming through the sponsored version.

When I started to investigate what had happened, I learned that I’d missed some relevant news last month. Facebook had announced that users would be able to promote the posts of friends. My situation, however, was clearly different: Christine Harris, the sponsor of my post, is not my friend.

When I followed up with Elisabeth Diana, Facebook’s advertising communications manager, she said this was part of the cross-promote feature that Facebook rolled out. If a reporter posts a public update to his followers on Facebook, Diana explained to me in an email, that update can be promoted and “boosted” to the reporter’s friends.

While I couldn’t find Harris on Facebook, Diana said with “some certainty” that she was my follower, “in order to have seen your content.” Harris definitely isn’t my friend, and while she may well be one of my followers, I have no way to search them to determine whether that’s so. Read more…

Comments: 18
Tip for B&N: Don't just follow Amazon

Tip for B&N: Don't just follow Amazon

Joseph Esposito on Amazon's dominant position and what B&N can do about it.

Amazon is the clear market leader, but that doesn’t mean everyone else should throw in the towel. In this podcast, Joseph Esposito, president of Portable CEO consulting, discusses the current publishing market and how B&N can best compete.

Comments: 2
Four short links: 12 September 2011

Four short links: 12 September 2011

History Repeats, Fuller Feeds, Open Source Dev, and The Long Sunset of Business Models

  1. HP Emulates Next (BoingBoing) — In mid-1993, a few months after CEO Steve Jobs had shuttered the NeXT factory, and was in the process of switching to an all-software company—a path that led to its later acquisition by Apple—the lights were turned back on in its Fremont, Calif., factory. NeXTWorld’s rumor columnist, Lt. Sullivan, reported that the U.S. military and another undisclosed customer wanted more machines, and so NeXT was to fire up and spit 1,200 more devices out.
  2. FeedsAPI — service that turns a feed of partial posts into a full feed.
  3. Cinderellaa fully managed development environment for open source hacking on Mac OSX. It’s powered by homebrew and chef. You only need Xcode to get started. (via One Thing Well)
  4. The Greenwich Time Lady (Futility Closet) — the old and the new coexist. From 1836 to 1940, this one company sold the time to people; their pocketwatch was certified by Greenwich Observatory in the morning and for the rest of the day they charged to look at it. New technology, government standards, and plenty of competition didn’t end the business instantly. Compare to Clay Shirky’s That is what real revolutions are like. The old stuff gets broken faster than the new stuff is put in its place.
Comment: 1

Ebooks and the threat from "internal constituencies"

Lessons from adjacent media companies can inform publishers' ebook strategies.

Will internal constituencies bias how publishers value print book and ebook business models? Roger Magoulas examines that question and looks at the complementary relationship between print and electronic forms.

Comments: 4

Publishing Models for Internet Commerce

Last week I pointed to a 1994 interview Tim O'Reilly did that touched on the impact the Web would have on publishing. A nice contemporary companion is this 1995 paper titled "Publishing Models for Internet Commerce" that remains relevant (perhaps more so) today: In an information glut, it is not content but context that is king. Someone chooses the…

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Anderson: "It's All About Attention"

Over on Spiegel Online, Chris Anderson does a great job responding to nearly all of the standard old-media responses to new media. Unsurprisingly (I’m sure Wired would have done the same) they pulled one line from a lengthy response to create the provocative title “Maybe Media Will Be a Hobby Rather than a Job.” The full passage is much more useful and nuanced:

Comment: 1

Extraordinary Piece on the Future (and Past) of Digital Books

Over on Ars Technica, John Siracusa revisits the history of the ebook, and explains why he thinks there's very much a future in digital reading

Comments: 3

iPhone App Outperforms Most Print (Computer) Books This Holiday Season

Conventional wisdom suggests that when choosing pilot projects, you pick ones with a high likelihood of success. It's hard to argue that iPhone: The Missing Manual was a reasonable choice for testing the iPhone App waters. But while we knew it would do well, we've been quite pleased with just how well: If the iPhone App by itself had been…

Comments: 20

Interstitial Publishing: A New Market from Wasted Time

To grow, publishers must either battle other publishers over market share or identify and serve new markets. Which brings us to interstitial publishing; publishing between the cracks.

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