About Me

me jpgI am a student pursuing an Administrative Assistant Associate of Applied Science degree. This is my tenth quarter of classes at North Seattle Community College. I have learned  great deal about business in my time out here. If I pass the two classes I am taking this quarter BUS156 and BUS205, I am done with the required business classes. Hopefully, upcoming  class schedules’ permitting, I can take the two other classes I need and graduate soon.

 

 

 

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Test 4 Section 2

My top three e-commerce trends are: mobile, data collection, and personalization.

Mobile devices are the biggest growing segment of E-Commerce today. With the recent explosion of smartphones, tablet type devices, and laptops. Along with expanded cellphone and wireless internet access. Are two factors that along with social media marketing have created a synergistic expansion in E-Commerce marketing. The constant use of such devices by persons almost anywhere and at any time has created a new area and era of marketing that did not exist a few years ago. The marketing of products and/or services to persons who are anywhere but their cars or homes, and that where past that where hard to reach, are now reachable with these new devices. This is a market that cannot be ignored your marketing for mobile must be optimized . Consumers use their mobile devices to communicate, shop, compare, and engage in social media. Many persons today do not have conventional hardwired phones and internet access. Many products and/or services are delivered directly digitally to mobile devices by many companies.

Data collection has become bigger than ever. With the mobile devices this trend has increased to include many types of data not tracked and recorded before. When, where, why, what, how, and who is using the device and what type of device being used and how it is connected to a communications network are just a few of the types of data being collected. Some retailers use the tracking of the movement of cellphones to help determine more effective retail merchandising layouts for their stores. Many shopping malls and retailers use that same data, along with computerized video surveillance systems to determine shopping patterns and the number of unique customer visits. Some companies and social media sites generate advertisement offers based on real-time data collected in this matter to help increase sales and customer interest. With the clicks and bricks types of companies, the correct use of mobile marketing and sales techniques could make the difference between success or failure. The use of data collection to help your product and/or service development teams come with new ideas cannot be understated.

The increase of personalization and/or customization or products and/or services will also increase. The use of various types of data collection will enable many organizations to personalize and /or customize their advertisements, offers, products and/or services to many different types of persons. The ability to find out a persons needs, wants, desires, and their ability to afford such products and/or services is a marketing boon. The ability to engage the customer, by knowing what to market to them, at time a when they might purchase such a good and/or service is a key to beating your competitor for those valuable revenues.

Test 4 Section 1

Social Networks and Online Communities: A list of Social Networks and a list of Online Communities.

  1. General Communities: Are websites that host content, forums and/or blogs that have an across the board appeal and popularity with many groups facebook.com is a good example of a General Community. Revenue is mostly generated by advertisement fees.
  2. Practice Networks: Are websites that host content, forums and/or blogs that for the most part have a professional, business, and/or trade orientated, many times they are an offshoot of an association of such persons. The AMA (American Medical Association) website http://www.ama-assn.org/ama is a good example of  a Practice Network. Revenue is mostly generated  by subscription and membership fees.
  3. Interest Based Communities: Are websites that host content, forums and/or blogs that appeal to persons with a specific interest. A website that caters to personal pastimes, clubs,  and/or hobbies would be a good example of an Interest Based Community. The website of the Model Train Club http://www.modeltrainclub.org/ is a good example of such. The website http://www.bazoom.com/ is an example of a company that hosts such sites. Revenue is generated by membership, subscription, and advertisement fees
  4. Affinity Communities: Are websites that host content, forums and/or blogs that appeal to  a certain demographic of persons that have a shared common trait or social interest would be examples of a Affinity Community. The website of Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle with its links to some of their groups to would be a good example of such.  Revenue is generated by donations, memberships, and subscription fees.
  5. Sponsored Communities: Are websites that host content, forums and/or blogs that are sponsored by an organization to build interest in whatever the focus of their endeavors are. The  OSSA (Oregon School Activities Association) and its website http://www.osaa.org/ is a good example of a Sponsored Community. Revenue is generated by donations of business, individuals and advertisement fees.

 

Portals: Are websites that offer many types of content and/or services indexed and/or linked under one domain name. Many such portals are search engines, ISPs (Internet Service Provider), or ran by a large organization . A list of the top ten portals.

  1. Enterprise Portals: Are websites that are ran by a business to make their internal and external operations more efficient. This is done by making much of the information needed by the customers, suppliers, and employees accessible online. In addition to this many of the products and/or services of a company can be searched for, selected, and ordered online at these websites. IBMs portal at IBM.com is a good example of a Enterprise Portal. Revenues are generated by the sales of goods and/or services.
  2. General Purpose Portals: Are websites that are ran by a business that carry news, content, indexing, and/or links, that appeal to the general public at large. Many of these websites also have their own search engine. MSN (Microsoft Network) at http://msn.com/ is a good example  of a General Purpose Portal. Revenues are generated by advertisements and subscription fees.
  3. Vertical Market Portals: Are websites that contain content, indexing and links that are related to one field, subject, and/or type of organization.The website of the NFL (National Football League) http://www.nfl.com/ is a good example of a Vertical Market Portal. Revenues are generated by advertisements and the sale of products and/or services.
  4. Affinity GroupsIs a group of persons with a shared common interest. The AHLA (American  Health Lawyers  Association) and its Affinity Groups links page on its website, is a good example of a Affinity Group. Revenues are generated by membership and subscription fees.
  5. Focused Content Groups: Are small groups of persons that are used to conduct an analysis of various subjects of study  by observing reactions and responses of such a group to a item and/or area of interest. The company e-Focus Groups and their website http://www.e-focusgroups.com/is a good example of a company that has taken the process online. Revenues are generated by the sale of marketing data to interested groups.

 

 

 

My Top Three E-Commerce Trends for 2014

1. Mobile device marketing, advertising, solicitation, and sales should see the greatest growth and specialized methods employed across the board. With the advent and proliferation of smart phones, pad like devices, and laptops that seem to pop-up everywhere and anywhere. Any E-Commerce company large or small would be foolish not to try to tap into this exploding market. It will take scalable websites and specialized apps to exploit it, but it seems there is no turning back. If you do not do it, your business rivals just might beat you to the punch and grab big chunk of your market. This mobile device trend is also going to be driven by the fact the many people use their mobile devices to engage in social networking. So if your company needs to have a presence on the social network scene to market and sell itself the catering to the mobile device crowd is a must.

2. Data collection is also going to see more growth. The need to know more about your customers to compete for their dollars has become more necessary than ever before. The changes in market trends and the ability to react to customer tastes, needs, wants, and desires are moving at an ever faster rate everyday. The employment of customer, employee, supplier, production, and competitor data collection is a must. The ability for E-Commerce type business to survive and prosper will depend upon real-time data collection and surveillance. The rapid analysis of all these various factors, along with fundamentally sound market reaction decisions. Will drive everything from development the product and/or service to be rendered, the sales and marketing techniques that will be used, to the final delivery to the customer. This is the information age and information has become a very valuable but at the same time perishable commodity.

3. Custom made products will also see large growth this year. The advent of the customer being able to have almost any product and/or service made to his specifications is becoming cheaper all the time. This market should only get stronger as time goes along. With CAD (Computer Aided Design) and CAM  (Computer Aided Manufacturing) invading almost every possible area of the production of goods and/or services there is no turning back. The latest generations of 3D printers and manufacturing robots are good examples of how rapidly this technology is advancing. Coupled with the customers ability to design, order, and have a personalized and/or custom  one-off product and/or service made or provided just for them just by visiting and using a E-Commerce website is  simply amazing. This new area of product and/or service innovation should my view have the greatest impact on E-Commerce in the long run.

Resource Links:

http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5725-ecommerce-trends-2014.html

http://www.business2community.com/online-marketing/global-e-commerce-trends-2014-0736000#!VBhO9

http://www.ecommercetrends.com/

http://www.getelastic.com/3-ecommerce-trends-to-watch-in-2014/

http://insights.wired.com/profiles/blogs/e-commerce-in-2014-seven-key-trends#axzz33tbcNKvm

http://www.prestashop.com/blog/en/the-5-global-e-commerce-trends-for-2014/

http://newedgedesign.com/top-5-e-commerce-trends-2014/

http://www.digitalriver.com/our-company/blog/seven-e-commerce-trends-for-2014/

http://smallbusiness.foxbusiness.com/marketing-sales/2014/01/08/5-e-commerce-trends-to-look-for-in-2014/

http://www.business2community.com/online-marketing/5-e-commerce-trends-2014-0725588#!VBusz

http://blogs.pb.com/ecommerce/2014/01/15/top-ecommerce-trends-2014/

http://www.avactis.com/top-10-e-commerce-trends-for-2014/

http://blog.ometria.com/the-best-of-the-best-in-ecommerce-trends-for-2014

http://www.ecommercesoftwareblog.com/blog/top-3-game-changing-ecommerce-trends-2014/

http://www.ydeveloper.com/blog/ecommerce/top-10-ecommerce-marketing-trends-for-2014-2

http://kevy.com/top-ecommerce-trends-2014/

http://whatscomingin2014.com/business-trends-in-2014/

http://www.1stcommercialcredit.com/blog/category/business-tips/e-commerce-trends-in-2014/

http://eminenture.com/blog/upcoming-e-commerce-trends-2014/

http://tech.co/5-trends-driving-e-commerce-2014-2014-02

http://www.webgreeter.com/blog/ecommerce/global-e-commerce-trends-in-2014/

No Sales Tax on E-Commerce

Many in Congress are arguing for an renewal of the Internet Freedom Tax Act the Current law is sett to expire on November 1, 2014. The current law prevents states from charging sales taxes on purchases by out-of-state customers. It has always been the position of Congress that it shall pass no law that interferes with interstate commerce. Many in the E-Commerce world would like to keep the advantage the have over traditional brick and mortar retailers.

The Senate has been working on its end of the legislation for some time now and recently The House of Representatives was begun drafting its version of the bill. The hopes are that the Internet Freedom Tax Act can be passed before the next Congressional Elections of November 4, 2014. The intent of the act was to help the internet and E-Commerce world grow and flourish. Many of the positive effects of the internet on education, government, business and new avenues of communication might not have happened with out this protection. Also the positive side effects that the law has had impact persons and trade world-wide cannot be understated.  One must face the cold hard fact that E-Commerce has paid the way for much of the progress that has resulted from ever expanding internet usage. Many lawmakers feel that any new taxes on the internet and its E-Commerce components could have a deleterious effect on other aspects of the overall economy.

I feel that any hindrance of the internet and its E-Commerce components could have a very bad effect on the current economic recovery and the overall general key economic indicators. The current recovery has been so slow and fragile, any change  in current taxation structures could bring it to a halt. For this reason alone I feel the Congress has no choice but to renew the current law.

Aside

Sales Tax on E-Commerce?

Sales taxes on E-Commerce? I support it. E-Commerce has become a 263 billion dollar market, many states derive a great share of their tax revenue from taxation of retail sales. There is a running debate in Congress about the implementation of new taxes on internet sales. On November 1, 2014 the Internet Tax Freedom Act is due to expire. Originally enacted into law in 1998 and renewed three times is facing an uphill battle for renewal in this time. Many state governments have been lobbying Congress for change to the current tax codes as they apply to E-Commerce retail sales.

I feel that the time has come for a major overhaul of taxation on interstate commerce. I this current environment of cash strapped local and state governments, any new method of raising additional tax revenue should be looked at. What form the new legislation will take is up to debate. Some members of The Senate and The House of Representatives are pushing for a national sales tax on all internet sales. Others feel the current system of states requiring sales taxes on E-tailers that have a physical presence in their states is just fine and should be part of the basis for a new law. The current crazy-quilt patchwork system that is in place now has many E-Commerce leaders asking Congress to step in and provide a national solution.

When the current law was enacted the internet and its E-Commence components where basically in their infancy, the intent was to not hinder the growth and commercial viability of the internet. In the sixteen years after its implementation the internet and E-Commerce has grown-up tremendously and has become a dynamic force in our world today. I just do not see the need any more for it to be extended again. The effects of allowing taxation on internet sales could be very positive for many state governments. There are exceptions in the form of the five states that do not have state sales taxes, Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon they would see no benefits. Of course everyone hates taxes, from Joe consumer to the megacorporation’s but hey let’s face it taxation supports all the government services that everyone uses.

States generate thirty–two percent of their revenue from state sales taxes. This figure has been in a steady decline as more retailing has shifted from the traditional brick and mortar type of retailers, to the rapidly growing E-Commerce sector. I feel that it is totally necessary for the governments that rely on sales taxes to try to get some of that revenue back. If a new law was written that satisfies many of the concerns and uncertainties that many have expressed, I would support it.

internetsalestax_map_of_the_united_statesFIG_4

 

 

 

Social Media for E-Commerce

In world of e-commerce the need for ability to spread your brand, company’s name and/or its products and/or services by any method to increase exposure to a potential new customer has become paramount. The use of social media to promote and advertise your product and/or service should be one of the tools of a coordinated public relations, marketing, and advertising campaign strategy. The use of social media to get traffic at your website can not be overlooked. That fact that your company can have something go viral on social media for just a little time invested and a few cleaver ideas, sometimes with very little money or time spent is a boon.

The use of social media for e-commerce marketing does not come without its detractors. Some pundits think that social media might not work for their e-commerce venture. In some cases they are right, many B2B types of e-commerce ventures are just suppliers and/or sources of raw materials and/or labor for other companies. These types of companies many times use much more conventional contact and sales methods that just do not lend themselves to social media exploitation.

For the types of companies that are part of B2C and P2P sectors of the e-commerce, social media can create new avenues of product endorsement, promotion, introduction, comparison, and advertising. A very few short years ago before the advent of social media, different media methods and/or product promotion ideas may have been used. With the correct use of social media websites an ad campaign can exist on social media alone at very little cost.

For many larger companies that do e-commerce the use of social media can be one part of an over all media blitz. The ability for augmentation and interaction to peak interest on a personal level that social media can have to boost traffic to your website cannot be understated. Even for large companies that sell mass market goods and/or services a social media campaign can reap big dividends.

The use of social media can be a positive for many businesses. However like many aspects marketing, advertising, customer relations, and customer service each company must find its own way of doing things. What works for one type of company may not for another. The ability to make your efforts in social media work for your business takes the same efforts any other form of media exposure requires. Innovative ideas and concepts, the ability to make them real and tangible, and the resources to execute them into a media concept that works are still part of the equation.

I do believe the use of social media to drive e-commerce will become more important in the future. With more and more persons becoming part of the social media craze, its overall impact will grow quickly in the next few years. Any company that relies on e-commerce should have some sort of presence in social media. The costs are low and rewards that can come from it can be great. It is apparent that social media marketing is a very specialized form, one that comes with its own do’s and do not’s. It is a field that will most likely create more of its own new methods of communications’ like it already has, just like many of the web-based innovations that were new a few years ago and are considered standards today.

 

Resource Links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_commerce

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media_optimization

http://blog.hubspot.com/ecommerce/what-social-networks-work-best-for-ecommerce

http://socialnetworking.procon.org/

http://tweakyourbiz.com/marketing/2014/03/25/social-media-vs-traditional-media-one-business/

http://www.salehoo.com/education/selling-on-your-own-website/4-ways-to-advertise-your-store

http://www.examiner.com/article/new-study-on-social-media-marketing-at-the-movies

http://www.examiner.com/article/a1-uses-facebook-to-break-up-with-steak

http://www.onbile.com/info/social-media-strategiesfor-e-commerce/

http://experts.allbusiness.com/why-you-should-use-social-media-to-connect-with-customers/15782/#.U4Al5JUU9pg

http://experts.allbusiness.com/why-you-should-use-social-media-to-connect-with-customers/15782/?singlepage=1#.U4AmaZUU9pg

http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/ridiculous-arguments-against-social-media-list

Bitcoin Pro’s and Con’s

Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer payment system based on open source software. The Bitcoin was introduced to the online community in 2009 by a group of software developers using the alias of Satoshi Nakamoto. The Bitcoin is not real money, like a currency backed by the central banking authority of a country. However it has been referred to as digital currency, virtual currency, electronic money, or cryptocurrency. There is no control of the value of the Bitcoin by any central authority. Rather its value is like that of a stock, whatever it trades for is its current value. Therefore its value is subject to the influences of global market forces. The United States Department of the Treasury has labeled Bitcoin a decentralized currency.

How Bitcoin works is simple, the value of your Bitcoins that you have acquired either thru trade or purchased are stored in your computer in an encrypted file. When you need to trade Bitcoins with some entity that accepts them, the Bitcoins are transferred directly to the other computer in an encrypted file, there is no middle man like a transaction with a bank, credit card, or a form of payment like PayPal. However the transactions take place over system of servers running the Bitcoin software that tracks them with a system of electronic ledgers. The operators of these servers are rewarded for the costs they incur in Bitcoins, this operation is called mining.

The type of person that the use of Bitcoin would appeal to, is someone who wishes to reduce fees associated with most forms of electronic payment systems. In addition to this there are no foreign to native currency conversion issues and the resulting costs involved. The use of Bitcoin can reduce both of these costs for someone who trades electronically on a global scale.

The Bitcoin is not regulated by the American government at the present time. However the government of the People’s Republic of China has shut down the Bitcoin exchanges that existed their country. Buying real-world goods with any virtual currency had been illegal in China since at least 2009. Many governments worldwide are looking towards drafting regulations pertaining to payment systems like Bitcoin. Others like the Russian government are warning against the use of Bitcoin. If governments start regulating Bitcoin the odds are in my view that the values will go down.

The profits that have been made by the initial investors in Bitcoin might not last. Many of the first investors made money by all the uniqueness and appeal of the system. I would liken this trend to that of all the hoopla that took place during the first wave of web-based businesses, before the stock markets crashing in 2000 on the downfall of technology and web-based publicly traded companies. Also the fact that the supply of Bitcoins is capped might cause problems in the future. I would not invest in Bitcoin because of the uncertainties of government regulation, security issues, and its limited supply. Adding to this is the fact that some of the Bitcoin exchanges like Mt.Gox have gone bankrupt and that some Bitcoins have been lost or stolen.

A doom and gloom link.

A San Francisco startup Bitcoin Wallet.

Five Additional Terms For Extra Credit

  1. Ankle-Biter: A person who aspires to be a hacker/cracker but has very limited knowledge or skills related to computer code. Usually associated with young teens who collect and use simple malicious programs obtained from the Internet.
  2. Certificate authority: In public key cryptography, a trusted third party who authenticates entities and their public keys. To do so, certificate authorities issue digital certificates, which validate that a public key belongs to the person whose digital signature is listed on the certificate.
  3. Cryptolocker: Is a type of malware that encrypts files on your computer. After it does this a web page comes on to your monitor demanding a ransom for the decryption key.
  4. Mailbomb: The email sent to urge others to send massive amounts of email to a single system or person, with the intent to crash the recipient’s system. Mailbombing is widely regarded as a serious offense.
  5. Zombie: A specialized type of backdoor or remote access program designed as the agent, or client (middle layer) component of a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) network. Once a zombie is installed on a computer, it identifies itself to a master computer, and then waits for instructions from the master computer. Upon receipt of instructions from the master computer, a number of zombie machines will send attack packets to a target computer. Zombie may refer to the control program run to control one of the middle layer computers, or it may refer to a computer so controlled.

Additional Glossary Links.

http://www.auditmypc.com/glossary-of-internet-security-terms.asp

http://www.sans.org/security-resources/glossary-of-terms/

http://us.norton.com/security-glossary/article

Latest Mircosoft Internet Explorer Security Flaw

Recently Microsoft made public that a security flaw for its web browser Internet Explorer has been found (Microsoft Security Advisory 2963983). This flaw might make your computer venerable to hackers. Microsoft calls this flaw a “remote code execution vulnerability,” meaning that someone else could gain complete control of your computer and its contents. They might even be able to use your computer to open new accounts or download some new software.

This vulnerability would most likely be exploited by a specially constructed website designed to exploit this flaw. There is also the possibility of this malicious code being injected by a compromised website. This flaw that was found by the internet security firm FireEye has been classified a zero-day attack. Meaning that it exploits a previously unknown vulnerability, one that developers have not have had time to address or patch. There are zero days between the flaw being made public and the first attacks.   

To protect your computer against this vulnerability, Microsoft suggests changing some of the security settings in Internet Explorer. An update to fix this will be issued soon. This link to an article posted on the Forbes magazine website, details the settings that need to be changed.

The Heartbleed Bug and Internet Security

 

The Heartbleed Bug is recently disclosed flaw (April 7, 2014) that was found in open source internet software. The flaw was introduced to the TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocol in a rewrite called the Heartbeat Extension (February 2012) that streamlined operations  for HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) internet connections. This new rewrite, allowed the computer hooked up to a  HTTPS connection, not to have to go through an elaborate handshake and encryption procedure every time it sat idle after a packet of data went trough TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) and IP (Internet Protocol) protocols.

Basically how this new rewrite worked was like this. One of the computers would send a ping (a small message) of up to 64 kilobytes to the other computer to see that if it was still connected. The other computer is supposed to send back the same ping reaffirming the fact that it is still connected. However, a flaw in the coding of the ping was found by hackers. This flaw made it possible for the hackers to send a very small ping that said that it was 64 kilobytes, but was actually much smaller. In response to this the other computer would send data from its memory to make up the difference. How did this happen, the writer of the Heartbeat Extension forgot to place many of the standard limits and checks built into many non-open source TLS protocols. This allowed hackers to get access to data that other wise would not have been sent. This data could include anything and there was now way of knowing what was sent. The fear is that sometimes  data like encryption codes, access codes, passwords, and other sensitive personal information could have been sent.

The scary thing about this flaw is the fact that it went undetected  for over two years. Many internet connected companies have been using this open source based software. It has been estimated that between half to two-thirds of the world’s internet connected companies may be affected. Much of this depends upon the browser you were using and the server software was in place at the website you visited. In addition a lot depends on the server software your ISP (Internet Service Provider) was using at the time.

Here is partial list via the McAfee Blog.Heartbleed_svg

Vulnerable:

  • The full list of clients in not yet known
  • Android
  • Browsers on Linux platforms could be vulnerable
  • Third-party code using Python/Ruby/Perl OpenSSL libs may be vulnerable
  • Windows programs linked against vulnerable versions of OpenSSL may be vulnerable
  • OpenVPN
  • Many vendors are currently evaluating their position
  • Applications using OpenSSL 1.0.1

Not vulnerable:

  • Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome: all use the Windows Crypto implementation
  • Internet Information Server
  • Applications using OpenSSL 1.0.1g or later

Sources previously not linked:

http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/04/how-heartbleed-transformed-https-security-into-the-stuff-of-absurdist-theater/

http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/84001351/

http://web.nvd.nist.gov/view/vuln/detail?vulnId=CVE-2014-0160

http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/720951

http://gizmodo.com/how-heartbleed-works-the-code-behind-the-internets-se-1561341209

http://cwe.mitre.org/data/definitions/119.html

 http://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-ssl-and-vs-https/

http://kb.iu.edu/data/anjv.html