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Intelligence Level: E-Learning

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E-learning comprises all forms of electronically supported learning and teaching. The information and communication systems, whether networked learning or not, serve as specific media to implement the learning process. The term will still most likely be utilized to reference out-of-classroom and in-classroom educational experiences via technology, even as advances continue in regard to devices and curriculum.

E-learning is essentially the computer and network-enabled transfer of skills and knowledge. E-learning applications and processes include Web-based learning, computer-based learning,virtual education opportunities and digital collaboration. Content is delivered via the Internet, intranet/extranet, audio or video tape, satellite TV, and CD-ROM. It can be self-paced or instructor-led and includes media in the form of text, image, animation, streaming video and audio.

What e-learning has done was remove the borders of a classroom. With the internet being a platform for e-learning materials, the world becomes the classroom where anyone can learn about anything and everything. Lecturers can conduct lessons from home, or on virtual reality sites like SecondLife to see replicas of the 7 wonders of the world. There is essentially no limitations to what can be learnt/taught with e-learning. Even if you do not wish to learn something academic, but a new skill. There are tons of videos or blogs that provide instructions on how to, lets say, tie a hangman’s noose. And you can ask questions to the poster on their blog, or even reply with your own video to show how you are following the instructions and yet still getting it wrong. E-learning creates an informal learning environment where students can become teachers and teachers become students. It elevates the pressure of a learning from a classroom setting, and absorbing knowledge in an engaging and interesting way. E-learning is definitely a step in the right direction of education for the future.

Here is a fun instructional video:

Here are some interesting facts about e-learning that I found on http://www.degreescout.com/featured/surprising-facts-about-online-education:

Written by Jacob

April 19, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

The E-Entrepreneur

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The one thing that deters people from starting up a business is the start up cost. Having to pay for location, utilities, inventory, etc. And if you want to sell food products, you have to get permits or licenses from the Agri-food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA). Before even opening for business, you would already be greatly in debt and you would have to climb a steep incline.

The idea of having a business on the internet is one of the most ingenious business ideas of our time. As the internet hosts many free real estate for people to sign up and use, it was like the bargain of the century. But of cos that would mean your website would be long and harder to remember because the name of your website is tagged with the name of the web site that is hosting yours. Very much like this blog. So to have a cleaner looking web link you would have to purchase a domain name, which is still a lot cheaper than renting or buying physical piece of real estate. Having an e-business reduces cost greatly because you do not need to run physical shop therefore no utilities cost, you can choose to only create inventory based on the number of orders which reduces the chance of wastage, as well as the barriers in terms of licensing and what nots are greatly reduced or non existant. For example, my aunt is running a dog bakery e-business (shameless plug-in and advertising: http://www.sgbarkery.com/). Because it is an online business, her products do not need to be inspected by the AVA. This encourages entrepreneurs to start up an e-business rather than a physical store business because the losses if the business fails is very much lower. However, having an e-business is like being thrown into the ocean. There are millions of other e-businesses out there competing with you. So an e-business has to work hard on advertising. I would even say harder than a physical store business because a physical store will get known just by the people within the locality. There is no such thing as locality for e-business. So even though you may have a phenomenal product, that in itself would not sell unless a lot of advertising is done as well has a user friendly and easy to navigate website.

Here are 5 tips to help your e-business that I found on  http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/223348:

1. Build an effective shopping cart.
Some small businesses use services such as PayPal for making and receiving online payments. But building a full-featured shopping cart directly into your website might be a better option. Shopping carts allow for more customization and the potential to provide more product information.

Austin, Texas-based Volusion is an all-in-one shopping-cart tool that starts at $19 per month and handles checkout and payment processing. It offers more than 120 customizable online store templates that are smartphone and tablet-friendly. You also can showcase product options, add unlimited photos and make product comparisons.

Related: Three Secrets to Using Google Analytics for Measuring Your Website’s ROI

BigCommerce, another Austin-based shopping-cart software provider, offers a similar packagestarting at about $25 per month. It includes customizable designs and can be integrated with social media and third-party services such as Google Product Search.

2. Recommend related products. 
Even if you can’t interact face-to-face with web customers, you still can demonstrate old-fashioned salesmanship. An online store can include a “recommendation engine” that suggests complementary products, upgrades and additional services. For example, if a customer puts a grill in his online shopping cart, he can be prompted to also consider buying tongs and a spatula.

Facebook offers a free downloadable recommendation box that can be copied and pasted into your website code. Paid plug-ins such as Stevenson, Wash.-based 4-Tell’s product recommendation software, which starts at $49 per month, can generate recommendations based on sales data.

3. Optimize your site for search engines.
A website can’t sell if it can’t be found. So, you might consider trying some free tools offered by Google that can help your site show up more prominently in online searches. To use them properly, however, you will need both time and expertise.

Another option is an online search optimization service. Two examples are Nashville, Tenn.-based Raven Tools, which starts at $99 per month, and Israel-based Sheer SEO, which starts as low as $7 per month. Both services can help shorten the learning curve for identifying proper keywords and building links that can help pull your site out of the search engine cellar.

4. Start a contest or promotion.
An online contest or promotion can help attract attention in social media channels and lure potential customers to your site. Giving away a high value item can stir up the most attention but frequent, simple contests with smaller perks can also be effective.

For Web-based contest platforms, one option is Anaheim, Calif.-based Viralimpressions, which runs $2.99 per campaign, plus 79 cents per day. You might also consider Conshohocken, Pa.-based WizeHive, which starts at $249 per contest, plus $3 per day. Wisehive comes with the ability to customize a giveaway and to judge multiple entries, say, for a writing or photography contest.

Related: What’s a Call From a New Customer Worth to You?

Both can make it easier to organize and run promotions such as simple giveaways, coupons and sweepstakes. They manage the basics of asking visitors to like your page, fill out a form or join an email list.

For creating deeper customer engagement, consider a service such as San Diego-based Artistic Hub. It starts at $299 for a 30-day contest and lets people upload images and other media that can be judged by management or turned over to customers for voting.

5. Develop a shipping strategy.
When it comes to e-commerce, free or steeply discounted shipping is quickly becoming the standard. But to compete with big online retailers, you’ll need to ship strategically. Instead of opting for either costly or completely free shipping, you might consider something in between. You could make only ground shipping free and set a minimum purchase amount to qualify.

Shipping companies often offer tools that make analyzing shipping options easy. UPS, for example, provides a set of free shipping tools, including UPS WorldShip, that can be built into existing accounting tools. FedEx also offers a suite of tracking and logistics tools.

You also might consider a third-party option, such as Malvern, Pa.-based Malvern Systems, which starts at $149 per month. It offers several options for managing shipping, discounts and relationships with customers.

Written by Jacob

April 19, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Networking like a Boss

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Everybody knows what social media is these days. Young kids may not know what social media is, but they would know the examples; such as the almighty Facebook and the most common species of bird Twitter. Social networking is an act that is carried out on social media platforms. It is the activity of adding people, be it existing friends and family or strangers, to be a part of your social media platform. At first, networking was a term used by professionals to meet other professionals to expand their contact list in hope of doing business with each other. Although now on social media you can still network for professionals, but it is mainly used for recreational purposes. Social networking is also able to introduce you to meet people of the second, third or of even more degrees. This is particularly good because it shows the trail of people to which you are connected to.

But these are things that the general public would know. So here are 6 interesting facts about social networking which I found on http://blog.bufferapp.com/new-social-media-facts:

1.) Females Are Most Active Social Networkers

I found this to be one of the most interesting finds from the survey. Even more striking is that females account for 62% of all Facebook pageviews according to Nielson. If sorted by age group people between 18-34 years old were the most active people on Social Networks.

Interestingly, there are 2 networks for which male users dominate. On LinkdedIn and Wikia, men are more likely to log on than females each day.

2.) 23% Of All Time Spent Online Happens on Social Networks and Blogs

Close to a quarter of all our time we end up visiting Facebook, Twitter and other Social Networking sites, together with blogs and news sites. Second in line here is online gaming, that however only accounts for 9% of time spent.

The most important part here is that time spent is a lot more valuable than users. Twitter’s latest usage stats have also started to move away from overall users, to daily people signing in. Which Social Network is the stickiest one for you?

3.) Internet Users Spend More Time On Facebook, Than On Any Other Web Brand Combined

When Mark Zuckerberg mentioned that Facebook doesn’t care about how many users, but how much time each of them spend on the site, it seems that there work is paying off.Over 53.5 billion minutes have been spent by US Facebook users in May 2011.

What strikes me the most that this is more than on any other online brand combined, beating the likes of Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr with ease.

4.) More Women Watch Video On Social Networks, But Men Watch Longer

Have you tapped into video marketing yet? If not, these figures might help to get you started. The survey found that women start streaming a lot more videos on Social Network but lose interest a lot faster.

Whereas men, only commit to watching a video if it makes sense to them. This of course leads to men watching longer and spending more time with few videos.

5.) Active Social Media Users Are Influential Offline

This is one of the most surprising stats for me. The argument Nielson develops with their data is quite compelling though. Active Social Media users have developed a strong sense of networking and know how to speak up for themselves.

They are more likely to write reviews for restaurants and other offline experiences and become more proficient in the offline world through this. If you are looking for a way to make the best use of this, then you can take a look at Klout’s latest experimentYou are only allowed to attend an offline event if your Klout score is 40 or higher.

6.) Social Networking Sites Reach 60% Of Global Internet Users

The last figure might appear quite obvious, but real data for these claims, that many have in their heads is still very powerful. In over 10 Global Markets the analysis has shown that Social Networking sites are reaching 60% of active Internet users.

This holds true for example for countries like Brazil, where Orkut dominates, or Japan, where the site FC2 blog is visited by over half of Japanese users.

Written by Jacob

April 19, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Muzzling The People

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Fine, the title might be a little harsh. But social media has given disgruntled customers courage and megaphone. Word of mouth is the most powerful form of advertising and it works both ways for a company. Praises increase sales, and bad mouthing can shut down business. So it is important, if not crucial for companies to include a strategy to appease customers via a social media platform. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said, “If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell six friends. If you make customers unhappy on the internet, they each tell 6,000 friends.” Here are some cases of which social media had or had not work for businesses.

 

When Netflix, a movie rental service, decided that customers should sign up for two different accounts if they wanted to watch movies online and rent physical DVDs, a massive uproar by the customers flooded social media websites like Twitter and Facebook. The wildfire of unhappy customers ranting to their friends and their friends’ friends and their friends’ friends’ friends forced Netflix to reconsider their decision on dividing the business and stick to a single user account to watch movies online and rent physical DVDs.

 

Fast-food giant McDonald’s launched a social media marketing campaign where it encouraged users to tweet happy tales about dining with the company.Unfortunately, the #McDStories tag ended up being used to express many people’s less than positive thoughts about the home of the Big Mac. This made the smiley Ronald McDonald a rather sad clown 😦

 

For high-end denim retailer MiH social media has helped it launch its online presence. The company’s denim is sold in high-end department stores such as Saks and Harrods, as well as specialist boutiques. The website is its first solo outing. “Since going online we’ve basically doubled our business every season,” says Guusje Wentrup, the company’s e-commerce and marketing coordinator. Social media has proved to be a crucial driver for the brand, adds director of sales Caroline Tighe. “We’ve been active on Twitter and Facebook for about four years, but it was only when the e-commerce site launched that it became so important, because it’s now all about driving traffic to our website. It gave real purpose to it.” The company uses Facebook, Twitter and image-based networks Instagram and Pinterest.

 

But should a brand-spanking-new start-up worry quite so much about being so focused? “It’s important to find the [social network] that works for your brand,” says My Book Corner’s Emma Perry.

Continue reading the main story

“They’ve all got their separate identities, audiences and manner of using them. It becomes a matter of exploring each one and analysing which works well for you. Facebook is where the majority of my demographic tends to be.” My Book Corner’s website provides interviews with authors, reviews of children’s books, and lets users post their own reviews and talk about what they’re reading. “I started off slowly just to get an idea of how it worked from a business point of view,” she says. “The first small hurdle is to gain 25 ‘likes’, once you’ve achieved that then the page name is yours. Social media is very immediate. You’ll get an instant response to what you’ve posted, or not, as the case may be!” And there are other advantages. “I used Twitter to connect to some great authors … [and] from a search engine point of view, it also helps with the elusive Google ranking results.”

 

To end off, here are some tips for social media success by Peter Shankman:

  • Listen to your customers, to your past customers, to your potential customers.
  • Use social, if for nothing else, to fix small problems before they become big problems.
  • Avoid lengthy debates online with your customers. Take it offline.
  • Never respond with your emotions

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17549278

Written by Jacob

March 30, 2012 at 6:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Interesting Internet

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Being one of those kids that grew up with the computer at home running on DOS and the “bakkwa” sized floppy discs, I was still too young to fully understand the technological leap when the interent was domesticated.

But taking this module made me think of how fascinating the internet is so here are 18 interesting facts about the internet:

1. The technology behind the Internet began back in the 1960′s at MIT. The first message ever to be transmitted was        LOG.. why? The user had attempted to type LOGIN, but the network crashed after the enormous load of data of the letter G. It was to  be a while before Facebook would be developed…

2. The Internet began as a single page at the URLhttp://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html, which contained information about this new-fangled “WorldWideWeb” project, and how you too could make a hypertext page full of wonderful hyperlinks. Sadly, the original page was never saved, but you can view it after 2 years of revisions here.

internet facts and statistics

3. The first emoticon is commonly credited to Kevin Mackenzie in 1979, but was a rather simple -) and didn’t really look like a face. three years later,:-)was proposed by Scott Fahlman and has become the norm.

4. Did you know – the Japanese also use emoticons, but theirs are the correct way up instead of on the side, and a lot cuter!

~~~ヾ(^∇^)

5. The first webcam was deployed at Cambridge University computer lab – its sole purpose to monitor a particular coffee maker and hence avoid wasted trips to an empty pot.

internet facts

6. Although the MP3 standard was invented in 1991, it wouldn’t be until 1998 that the first music file-sharing service Napster, would go live, and change the way the Internet was used forever.

internet facts

7. Ever since the birth of the Internet, file sharing was a problem for the authorities that managed it. In 1989, McGill University shut down their FTP indexing site after finding out that it was responsible for half of the Internet traffic from America into Canada. Fortunately, a number of similar file indexing sites had already been made.

8. Sound familiar? Even today file sharing dominates Internet traffic with torrent files accounting for over 50% of upstream bandwidth. However, a larger proportion of download bandwidth is taken up by streaming media services such as Netflix.

9. Google estimates that the Internet today contains about 5 million terabytes of data (1TB = 1,000GB), and claims it has only indexed a paltry 0.04% of it all! You could fit the whole Internet on just 200 million Blu-Ray disks.

10. Speaking of search – One THIRD of all Internet searches are specifically for pornography. It is estimated that 80% of all images on the Internet are of naked women.

11. According to legend, Amazon became the number one shopping site because in the days before the invention of the search giant Google, Yahoo would list the sites in their directory alphabetically!

12. The first ever banner ad invaded the Internet in 1994, and it was just as bad as today. The ad was part of AT&Ts “you will” campaign, and was placed on the HotWired homepage.

internet facts and statistics

13. Of the 247 BILLION email messages sent every day, 81% are pure spam.

14. The very first spam email was sent in 1978, when DEC released a new computer and operating system, and an innovative DEC marketeer decided to send a mass email to 600 users and administrators of the ARPANET (the precursor of the Internet). The poor sap who had typed it all in didn’t quite understand the system, and ended up typing the addresses first into the SUBJECT:, which then overflowed into the TO: field, the CC: field, and finally the email body too! The reaction of the recipients was much the same fury as users today. It wasn’t until later though that the term “spam” would be born.

15. So where does the word spam come from? One urban legend traces it back to the Multi User Dungeons of the 1980′s – primitive multiplayer adventure games where players explored and performed actions using text only. One new user felt the MUD community and experience was particularly boring, and programmed a keyboard macro to type the words SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM repeatedly every few seconds, presumably imitating the famous Monty Python sketch about spam-loving Vikings.

16. Twenty hours of video from around the world are uploaded to YouTube every minute. The first ever YouTube video was uploaded on April 23rd 2005,by Jawed Karim (one of the founders of the site) and was 18 seconds long, entitled “Me at the zoo”. It was quite boring, as is 99% of the content on YouTube today.

17. Internet terrorism is very much a real threat. In February 2008, 5 deep-sea cables that provided Internet connectivity to the Middle East were cut. Curiously, US-occupied Iraq and Israel were unaffected.

18. The most common form of “cyber terrorism” is a DDOS, or Distributed Denial of Service attack, whereby hundreds if not thousands of systems around the world simultaneously and repeatedly connect to a website or network in order to tie up the server resources, often sending it crashing offline. Anonymous released a tool this year that users could download and set on autopilot to receive attack commands from a remote command source. Similar DDOS attacks are often performed by the use of malware installed on users computers without their knowledge.

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/18-fun-interesting-facts-knew-internet/

Written by Jacob

March 30, 2012 at 5:15 am

Posted in Uncategorized