February 28, 2007
Two of the largest book publishers, HarperCollins and Random House, make their books freely available. They have made digital versions of their books, which can be searched and even be placed on weblogs. They hope to sell more books with this strategy.
I think this is a good attempt, because consumers value the discovery of new digital products. By making books fully available on the Internet, consumers can search through books and discover books of their interest previously unknown to them. Brynjofsson (2003) argues that discovering previously hard to find products increases consumer welfare. Maybe the next step they can make is combining books to new digital products.
December 29, 2006
StumbleUpon lets you “channelsurf” the best-reviewed sites on the web. It is a collaborative surfing tool for browsing, reviewing and sharing great sites with like-minded people. This helps you find interesting webpages you wouldn’t think to search for. [https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/138/]
Another service that lets you discover (unknown) digital products, this service uses websites as modules of a digital product. Like my research conclusions make clear, the service tries to interact as much as possible with their consumers.
The first site I stumbled upon was Musicovery (a combination of Liveplasma and Pandora), what a coincidence ;). Impressive first result as this is a site that shows similarities with Pandora and Last.fm. The second ‘discovery’ was Pandora by the way, the third Blogmusik and the fifth Finetune.
Read more: http://www.stumbleupon.com/about.html
November 23, 2006
Today is the day that my thesis is finished. I handed it in on November 15, and today I graduated with honor (cum laude) 🙂
The past months were very intense, but all was worth it. For everyone who’s interested, the public version of the thesis can be downloaded from here.
Thesis customization in the Internet economy
My aim is to keep posting to this weblog every now and then. The thesis is finished, but the topic is still alive and research never ends.
October 25, 2006
At this point in time I am writing the conclusions of my thesis. During the journey of this research, my interest for topics that are related to my research is increased significantly. Therefore I keep track of some sites that regularly write about related topics, for instance TechCrunch of Michael Arrington. Yesterday TechCrunch posted about a new startup called iLike. It has some similarities with Last.fm and Pandora. Recently, many services started which can be compared to Last.fm and/or Pandora.
The reason I write about iLike, is because one of my conclusions it that recommendations are important in these kind of services. I did not try the service, but it is nice to notice that companies like this are there, and that they are related to my study. My first impression is that it can be compared to Last.fm, because they seem to support a community.
I think it would have been a service that could have been of value for my thesis, if it had just existed six months ago…
October 2, 2006
I ran into an interesting article today, where mass customization of television is the subject.
The best thing of this article is that it has some similarities with my research, and that some early conclusions seem to correspond. The experience when customizing digital products seem to be very important, which is rather different than with mass customization of physical products. The interaction length of time should be as short as possible when customizing physical products, while it seems it should be long when customizing products. The experience is still important when customizing digital products, but not during the interacion process, but during use. With digital products, the interaction process with the supplier and the use of the product happens at the same time. This shows some similarities with services; services are always produced and used simultaneously. One can only value a digital product after it is being used.
The above argument shows similarities with the following quote from the article: “Community based interactive channels and programmes let viewers feel they are a part of the programme, that their views and opinions make a difference and that they are part of an active community. This emotional connection will not only keep them watching, but also participating.” Close relationships between supplier and consumer are important, what indicates that a high degree of customization (consumer involvement) should be available.
Social also communities seem to be important for experience goods. “The real challenge for us all is to create cost-effective, revenue-generating interactive services, whether for brand promotion, product sales, social networking or gaming, that deliver both shared and unique experiences and foster active communities of interest.”
It seems that customization of television shows similarities with customization of digital music. Nice for further research…
September 28, 2006
Today I received an invitation to test uPlayMe, a free social networking application designed to link people with similar tastes in musical artists, songs or genres. I received the invite because of the contents of this blog, in particular because I have blogged on AudioScrobbler (now Last.fm).
It made me curious, so I played with the application a bit. According to uPlayMe, uPlayMe is free software that you download to your computer. After it’s installed, it looks at the digital media (like songs, videos, and podcasts) that you play and matches you with people who are playing the same things as you. It works based on the things you actually have recently played, not all the stuff in your entire library (uPlayMe support).
The comparison with Last.fm can be made because you can find fans of particular artists or tracks, called ‘matches’. Also, a match is made when you have recently listened to music that someone also listened to recently. It is possible to contact a match through email.
The comparison ends there, because you are not able to discover music directly, you can only see what your match recently listened to. The program is still in beta, so maybe more features are coming soon.
If you wish to try the program, please drop your email address and I will send an invite. Currently it is on an invitiation basis only.
July 26, 2006
While I am writing my thesis, and reading literature on mass customization, characteristics of information products and other parent disciplines for this research, it is getting clearer that existing literature has a gap on customization of digital or information products. That makes my research interesting for me and maybe for some other people too.
As can be read on this blog, digital products are being customized and personalized on the Internet. Digital products in the form of music, or music stations, can be customized on Last.fm and Pandora. As I had contacted Frank Piller before on this research, he showed his interest in the subject. Now on his mass-customization weblog this topic is getting attention, as he has reviewed Pandora and some other services that allow music to be personalized.
It makes me curious if customization and personalization is getting more attention in scientific literature in the near future. But if Frank Piller is starting to mention it, I’m sure it will.