Posts Tagged 'online'

Why do you shop online?

A news tidbit offered up some interesting numbers about Canadian shoppers.
Online shopping up to $15 billion (almost $13 billion in 2007)
The number of orders are up since 2007. (95 million from 70 million)
Men more likely to buy something online than women (42% compared to 37%).
Most common product being travel services.

So why do you shop online?
I do it mostly out of convenience. When I’m at work and I want to buy something I can do it by a click of a button. Biggest complaints about in store shopping: store stock, lineups, the people, and parking. Nothing is worse than driving to the mall to buy something on sale only to see that “out of stock” sign. Then I feel obligated to buy something to ensure that the whole trip was not a waste. Who likes coming home empty handed?

Lineups suck, plain and simple. Nobody likes to be stuck behind the chatty senior, or the lady shopping for a family of 12 and two shopping carts, or in the so called “express lane” where the cashier is waiting for a price check on an item. Lines suck.

People suck too. I’m talking about the rude, smelly, fat, talking loudly on your cell phone losers who you’re grouped together with all looking for that item on sale. Doesn’t it suck too when they get the last one just ahead of you? GGrrrrr.

OMG, over there, the holy grail of parking! Oh wait, that’s a handicapped zone. *sigh, keep circling. End up following someone to their car, only to have them take 10 minutes to buckle their seatbelt, and fix their hair, before even starting the car. Then you park, rush in to buy your item, find out it’s out of stock, get back to your car to see your car door dented because of the idiot who parked next to you. Who designs these parking spots to be so small in the first place?!

Free shipping almost always seals the deal for me. If you can offer me delivery to my door at no extra cost I am more likely to buy stuff from your website, even if it’s not on sale.

Ready, set, shop

I guess I’ve been doing it all wrong. Work and play seem interchangeable at work but it seems that Wednesday is the prime time for everyone else. A British study concluded that most online activity occurs around 4PM on Wednesday. A noticeable increase in online shopping activity happens, as much as 50%. On the one hand productivity takes a hit. On the other, economic revenue is generated. It’s possible that it is tied to an emotional response. The middle of the week can be a bit of lull and hence making an “exciting” purchase may boost endorphins. Whatever you do, don’t ignore your work duties. Keep shopping but remember to finish up that Johnson report.

Online Storage to be a luxury?

Let’s face it, we’ve been spoiled when it comes to storage of online data. Whether it’s Facebook or MySpace, or Google, Yahoo, or MSN, we’ve all benefited from free online storage services. But perhaps the good times are over. With the current economic situation, offering these luxury services for free may be a thing of the past. HP recently announced that it would be shutting down it’s online storage services. This follows a previous announcement by Yahoo to end it’s 10 year old program “Briefcase“. So far nothing announced from Google.

Companies tend to scale back on their service offering when times get tough. The Internet is no different. Free online data storage may soon be a thing of the past. Reflecting on your current backup routine it’s a good time to revisit good old trusty CD-R and DVD-R backups. They are cheap, fast, and accessible to almost everyone. Perhaps it’s something you should consider instead of buying that 1TB external drive to back up your photos or accounting data. Old technology doesn’t mean that they are still not useful.

Online storage companies can go bankrupt

Online backup and storage is one of the more popular methods for protecting important data. Despite the technology industries normally resilience to fluctuating financial situations occasionally even IT companies fail. A few users found out that these companies aren’t immune to the current economic troubles.

A company called Digital Railroad recently shutdown much to the chagrin of its many users who depending on their services. An announcement was posted on the site on October 28. The company was just 4 years old and was popular among the photography industry for it’s e-commerce platform and backup solutions. As you can imagine their customers panicked when they realized they had only 24 hours to access their data.

While online storage solutions are still viable it’s worth reconsidering if you rely on these services on a day to day basis. Perhaps it might be a good idea to invest in your own NAS for in house solutions as well. Or perhaps even a RAID server as they are becoming easier and easier to setup and maintain.

MTV taking on YouTube, iTunes?

MTV has jumped into a few arenas recently. Cracking open the vault MTV has started up a new site offering pretty much every single music video they’ve ever got their hands on. It’s an impressive library with a few exclusive live events. Have you forgotten about the geeky girl in the corner called YouTube? MTV will bring a new hotness to online music videos.

In addition to this it seems MTV is making moves on other people’s girlfriends too. This opens up music/ringtone downloads through the MTV network. Hello iTunes, how’d you like a bitch slap? Things are starting to get a bit crowded.

More content, more traffic, more advertising revenue? I’m sure Google is laughing all the way to the bank. (link)

81 year finds pootie tang online

Ever try online dating? I’m sure you’ve seen those sultry models giving you the “sexy look” from various flash ads. No matter what site you go to, they seem to find their way on to your screen. But do you risk clicking on the image? Possibly install a virus, malware, or worse. However this story proves there’s hope for us … -er YOU lacking in social skills.

Seriously if an 81 year Chinese man can find pootie tang online, I’m sure anyone can. A few things to be aware of. You aren’t going to hit a home run on the first try. Pictures will get more attention. Don’t give out specific personal information (home address, security number, mother’s maiden name, etc.) and if you’re really serious about giving this a try, just be honest. Pretending to be someone else won’t get you any hot dates.

My avatar made me do it

Online gaming has millions of characters (and the people controlling them) interacting virtually. Some co-operatively and others, not so co-operatively, more like coercively. A Dutch court has imposed real life penalties to a couple of youths who robbed another of his virtual possessions. Have we crossed a boundary between virtual actions and real world consequences?

The case has set a precedent by dishing out punishment for online activity. This raises many questions about avatars, characters, online accounts and virtual crimes. If my character does your character wrong can I be punished in real life? I guess if you can prove that my virtual actions caused you real life suffering then I could be in a bit of trouble. Also why should I be punished for the actions of my character, why not just punish my character? Also does a real life organization need to police characters in game? Isn’t that for the game developer to decide? One thing is clear, online games are changing the was we recognize virtual possessions. No longer can we commit crimes online and hide behind the Internet.


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