A2 Response

Assignment 2: Team Project
In Brief:
This assignment is worth 50%. You will be required to work in a team chosen by you or assigned by your tutor from the start of the unit to complete this assignment (due date Friday week 9, 9 AM).
Remember that although the due date in your timetable is week 9, you need to start on this assignment before the end of week 1. You must also submit a draft which outlines your project by 9 AM Monday, Week 6, in order to receive feedback from your tutor.

With reference to a major Internet business, address the question, ‘What is the fundamental economic basis of Internet commerce?' with your team.
1. You are expected to produce a collective response to the question.
2. Your response should be a substantial piece of communication that can be displayed/distributed for a general audience via the Internet via your group's site on Wikidot (http://www.wikidot.com). Link your group's site, remembering to set the access level to 'public', from NET205's Team Report page. You have to judge the ideal length of your final product based on the criteria.
3. The format is open, i.e., the communication may be in a form/s that you select as a group (e.g. online video presentation, podcast, HTML pages).
4. Referencing still needs to be used, but footnotes and hyperlinks to APA references are permitted.
5. You will need to keep track of your group processes for the second part of your assignment through a group journal. You will draw on this to produce a 750-word report, in addition to your final product, on how your group worked together.
6. Finally, your team is to decide how best to address the criteria, and complete the project together.

As you can see, there are many aspects of this assessment that have been kept open, although your tutor/lecturer may help bounce some ideas around. This is deliberate as part of your learning is the process of working out, with your team, the details of how you will work together, what tasks are involved, what you will produce, the research and analysis involved. For instance, what would be the best way of keeping track of the way your team is working together (item 5 above)? How can you distribute the tasks fairly? This would depend on your team's analysis of what would work best for its members and fulfil the criteria.

To assist you in submitting the best work possible, you must submit an outline for feedback by 9 AM, Monday of Week 6. Please post your link to the "Team Reports (A.2)" wikidot page, under the "outline" section. Your outline must, at the very least, outline your project and include a point-form report on how your group is working together and any problems you are facing as a team. Note that late submissions will not obtain feedback, and, of course, the more complete the outline, the more useful the feedback.

Your work needs to indicate clearly whenever another source is being used. This includes: using the wording of another person, paraphrasing or drawing on information and ideas from another source (even if reworded). Also review the unit outline regarding university policies around assessment.

Through this assignment, we hope you will learn:
1. Ways of collaborating together as a team;
2. To study independently through team-directed goals and tasks;
3. To identify fundamental shifts in economics in relation to the Internet;
4. Skills applying theoretical models to real world case studies;
5. In-depth knowledge of one major Internet business.

What You Need to Produce Together
1. Your final product: a response to the question in the format you have chosen to your group's site on Wikidot (www.wikidot.com).
2. A report on your group process (750 words), also published the same way as item 1.

Criteria for Assessment
Your team will be marked according how well it addresses the following criteria:
1. Your Report on Group Process:
a. Clear and detailed account of the team's processes;
b. Clear identification of tasks and goals;
c. Effective handling of scheduling, fulfilment of tasks, meeting and readjustment of milestones;
d. Effective decision-making processes, critical meetings and dialogues;
e. Effective management of different views and setbacks;
f. Degree the final product is a collective response and the result of consultation between all members;
2. Your Final Product:
. Demonstrate understanding of the principles and practices which sustain Internet commerce;
a. Analyse specific commercial events and occurrences to explain the nature of Internet economics;
b. Suitability for a general audience;
c. The demonstrated appropriateness of the case selected;
d. Identification of key features of the case;
e. The level of depth and sophistication of analysis of the selected case;
f. The coherence, clarity and quality of the presentation;
g. Substantiates discussion with appropriate sources.

Review of Other Groups
This is an important learning exercise and, just as your feedback will be useful to the other groups, you will likewise benefit from their feedback. First, read the page on reviewing others. After the other groups have put up their own work, view their documents and discuss with your group members. Providing feedback is important in all sorts of context. Nominate a representative to post your feedback to the Assignment 2 discussion forum, and rank the top three groups. Your tutor will address and moderate the feedback as part of his/her response to each project.

Issues with Group Work
It is recommended that teams discuss openly what a fair distribution of work should be, people get in touch with their team as soon as they have issues which affect their work, and team members allocate time in the course of the project to discuss task allocation and fulfilment.
If groups are having difficulty addressing teamwork issues within the group, group members should email their tutor as soon as possible.

Kate’s Posts Wikidot Discussion Boards

1.) It's not so much a case study in that the focus is more on the question of 'What is fundamental economic basis of Internet commerce?" and less on the business you pick. The business is a way of examining/answering the question, rather than simply being a look at the business itself. Both the answer and the business you pick are important, I just want to make sure everyone understands the focus/goal of the assignment (ie that it's NOT simply looking at an internet business)
2.) You can choose Google or eBay etc. or another internet business, but it doesn't have to be one of the ones we discuss in the unit. The way to choose one is to think, again, about the question at hand — What is fundamental economic basis of Internet commerce — does the business you pick help to see/examine/explain the answer to that question? And, of course, it has to be a major business, not your local online lolly shop:)
Hope that helps!

1.) It is up to your team how you want to divide up the work for the assignment. Having each member write up a section is an option. Other strategies I have seen is having someone do the research, while others do the writing. You can also have someone write an outline, then another do a draft, then another do a final version.
2.) As it is a team assignment, you are each writing a report together. So, one report per team, not per person
3.) I will take it into account when I grade if you have missing team members or if people withdraw. For example, if your team ends up having a significantly smaller number of members than other teams (this has happened in the past), I can adjust things accordingly. I am striving to keep things as fair and balanced as possible. But, remember too, part of what you are learning (and being graded on) is how effectively you work together as a team and manage challenges such as these. This unit is much more like "the real world" than a typical uni course, and as such is more more independent and self-directed. A good way to think of it would be how might you handle this situation if it were at work?

With reference to a major Internet business, address the question, ‘What is the fundamental economic basis of Internet commerce?' with your team

The economic benefits of internet commerce are

Going from a geographically defined market to an international one

Reduction in the cost of information inc production and distribution

Targeting specific niche markets

Reduction of inventory, just in time production as and when orders arrive

Better marketing i.e. giving customers what they want

Amazon, ebay and yahoo successfully exploit long tail retailing ie. Selling more of less or selling fewer products to more people

Popularity no longer has a monopoly on profitability (Anderson 2006 cited by Flew 2008)

Flew, T. (2008). The Global Knowledge Economy. In New Media: An Introduction (3rd ed., pp.193-217). New York: Oxford

fundamental economic basis of Internet commerce

combinations that have evolved over the years. Now with the emergence of the web, I don’t think the web, in and of itself, invented new or entirely new ways to make money. But it opened up opportunities for some models to evolve faster than others had in the offline world. It also just sort of added a new twist to well understood ways of organizing business

So what are these generic categories of business models? Well if you look at my web page on the subject, you’ll see that I break it down into nine categories: brokerage, advertising, infomediary, merchant, manufacturer, affiliate, community, subscription, and utility models.
Rappa, M. (2009). Managing the Digital Enterprise: Business Models

This is the world of scarcity. Now, with online distribution and retail, we are entering a world of abundance. And the differences are profound.

When you think about it, most successful businesses on the Internet are about aggregating the Long Tail in one way or another. Google, for instance, makes most of its money off small advertisers (the long tail of advertising), and eBay is mostly tail as well - niche and one-off products. By overcoming the limitations of geography and scale, just as Rhapsody and Amazon have, Google and eBay have discovered new markets and expanded existing ones

potentially creating a far larger entertainment market overall. (The average Netflix customer rents seven DVDs a month, three times the rate at brick-and-mortar stores.) And the cultural benefit of all of this is much more diversity, reversing the blanding effects of a century of distribution scarcity and ending the tyranny of the hit.

Forget squeezing millions from a few megahits at the top of the charts. The future of entertainment is in the millions of niche markets at the shallow end of the bitstream.
Rule 1: Make everything available
Rule 2: Cut the price in half. Now lower it.
Rule 3: Help me find it

Anderson, C. (2009). The Long Tail. Wired, 12(10). October

Fundamentally, Goldhaber's argument is that the new economy is characterised by a shift from scarcity to abundance.

Gauntlett also briefly raises a few critiques of the notion of the attention economy, and the shift towards an attention economy.
• Not really going to kill off money.
• Changing the nature of the web (commercialisation).
• Attention economy underestimates the power of money to get attention, but it's still possible.
The theory of the attention economy is definitely useful, but you need to take a critical approach. Try to think about this when it comes to examining your case studies: how well do your case studies fit this theory? Which aspects of it do they support, or undermine? How have their business models demonstrated the ability (or inability) to turn attention into money (or vice versa)

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