Tag Archive: Web 2.0 Patterns


It has come to the final pattern of Tim O’Reilly. Today’s blog topic will be focused on the last pattern of web 2.0 application, which is “Lightweight Models & Cost-Effective Scalability“.  Lightweight Models & Cost-Effective Scalability is defined as Agile software-development techniques are ideally suited to support rapid release cycles, so they have a readiness for change. Integrate lightweight development and deployment processes as complements to the perpetual beta. Combine this with low-cost, commodity components to build a scalable, fault-tolerant operational base. (Tim and John 2006)

To explain this pattern in the real world, I have chosen eBay as my example to demonstrate the benefits of this pattern. eBay is  an American multinational internet consumer-to-consumer corporation that manages eBay.com, an online auction and shopping website in which people and businesses buy and sell a broad variety of goods and services worldwide. (Wikipedia)

eBay is using Lightweight Models and Cost Effective Scalability in a great way. For example, eBay does not provide any products for sale, they just providing the facility to allow customers to sell to another customers. eBay does support million of users and making money of each transaction. Therefore, eBay does not have deal with storing products and their system scale to support as many users as it requires. eBay generates revenue from various fees. The eBay fee system is quite complex; there are fees to list a product and fees when the product sells (Final Value Fee), plus several optional adornment fees, all based on various factors and scales.

Moreover, eBay did not develop their payment system. eBay sellers are allowed  to offer a variety of payment systems such as PayPalPaymateProPay, and Moneybookers. In addition, In October 2002, PayPal was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion, so that eBay is having an entire payment system that they did not develop and can make sure all eBay users are using Paypal for their payments transactions. Paypal has three types of accounts which are personal, premier and business and all of them free joining and the user of paypal can upgrade the account at any time with free charge. Therefore, eBay has access and make revenue from Paypal services.

Like any other business models, there are also issues with eBay for the sellers. I will just provide a list of the issues and you can visit this page for more information.

1. Management
2. Feedback Policy
3. Small Businesses Get Shut Out
4. Lack of Communication
5. Payment Policies
6. Fees/Lack of Profitability
7. Unwarranted Account Suspensions
8. The Buyers Themselves
9. Glitches
10. Lack of Innovation

Here are 2 best practices that can be recognised from eBay business model and  for using Lightweight Models & Cost-Effective Scalability:

  • Design software so that it improves as more people use it: By embracing network effects, the best Web 2.0 software, such as eBay, becomes better as more people use it.
  • Facilitate emergenceIt: is often surprisingly difficult to predict the best design for a piece of software, the optimal interface, or the ways in which users will use the application. Every software application faces this challenge. Web 2.0 applications impose less upfront structure and minimize the number of hard-wired assumptions to let optimal use and structure emerge over time, based on real-world application and not unreliable predictions. This encourages unintended uses and allows user behaviour to influence everything from product direction to interface navigation.
here is a question to answer, even though this pattern is wonderful and interesting, what are the implications of having such models for your organisation?

Reference

Tim O’Reilly & John Musser. (2006). Web 2.0: Principles and Best Practices. Retrieved May, 11 2012

Wikipedia. (2012). eBay. Retrieved May, 11 2012

Chris Crum. (2009). Top 10 Frustrations for eBay Sellers. Retrieved May, 11 2012

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Today’s topic will cover Leveraging the Long Tail in web 2.0 application patterns. Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of Wired Magazine, has been discussing a concept he calls The Long Tail for quite some time now. “The theory of the Long Tail is that our culture and economy is increasingly shifting away from a focus on a relatively small number of “hits” (mainstream products and markets) at the head of the demand curve and toward a huge number of niches in the tail. As the costs of production and distribution fall, especially online, there is now less need to lump products and consumers into one-size-fits-all containers. In an era without the constraints of physical shelf space and other bottlenecks of distribution, narrowly-targeted goods and services can be as economically attractive as mainstream fare.”  (Anderson, 2004). The Long Tail is about focusing on the less popular content that previously couldn’t be accessed because of some physical limitation: most often shelf space. (Porter, 2005)

I will be using eBay as an example to explain what The Long Tail is really about, thus the graph being tailored to eBay. The dark grey portion of the market refers to those items that are main stream and are available from regular retail outlets such as brick mortar stores. This comparatively small range of items comprises “the head” of the graph and essentially controls a large portion of the market. However, the light grey portion, which is referred to as “the long tail” is comprised of all other items which, although individually do not sell much, as a whole, comprise a sizeable market share. This situation can be summarized below:

Dark Grey: Few types of products, each sell high number of units

Light Grey: Large types of products, each sell low number of units

Now, if it isn’t obvious, the reason why the Long Tail is of a comparable size is because of the sheer number of non mainstream products out there. Although each individual product will not have a big market, it will have a Niche Market. The number of such Niche Markets adds up considerably to form this concept of “The Long Tail”. As a business, eBay has done a rather excellent job of cultivating this.

Here is an example of a product that might be found in a retail store:

Harvey Norman – PS3 160GB Gaming Console

And the same product on eBay

eBay – PS3 160GB Gaming Console

Here is a video explaining how eBay is using the long tail on their products and how they are making money from leveraging the long tail.

This “potential” in the long tail had previously been left untapped. This was due to many reasons, such as the small physical reach of traditional Brick Mortar stores, cost of purchasing inventory, storing and distributing the products. Only recently have these factors become negligible in cost, and have therefore allowed the tail’s potential to be recognised and cultivated.

Reference

Anderson, C. (2004). The Long Tail. Retrieved May 2012.

Porter, J. (2005). Long tail and Web 2.0. Retrieved May 2012.

O’Reilly T (2005) What is Web 2.0: Design patterns and Business model for next Generation of Software

Wikipedia (2012). The Long Tail. Retrieved May 2012.

Today’s topic will cover “Perpetual Beta“. Perpetual Beta, commonly speaking, is a piece of software that is in constant development – although complete features and lack of bugs may be found, new features and consolidated scripts are continually being added. In fact, some people believe that agile software development (a commonly used practice that development teams utilize) promotes perpetual beta as “new features are slipped in every iteration“. Perpetual beta just happens to be one of Tim O’Rielly’s core patterns to Web 2.0 applications. Because it relies on a sort of symbiotic relationship between user and developer, I would say that this pattern has an element  of Harnessing Collective Experience, combined with Rich User Experience and a dash of Innovation in Assembly.

For the sake for my topic today, I am going to talk about a well-known software platform that almost all of us are using, FacebookFacebook, a well known and popular website,  in fact utilizes perpetual beta. If you use Facebook, you will notice how you are never prompted to update the software, and yet new features are constantly being added. Only recently Facebook updated the image view section of their website to Ajax. Then there is Facebook’s many and varied attempts to change its look and feel. Some of these have been brought about by responses from the user. One notable and recent example was all those changes to the privacy settings. I believe this is a fine example of how perpetual beta works, because for a large part the changes were user driven. Few months ago Facebook has released a new feature which is Timeline which will lead the user to provide information about their past before even Facebook existed.

Some of us more veteran Facebook users may remember those nasty bugs such as the; multi-status, the chat session that crashed the system, and the missing status updates. I’m sure there are more. I am constantly getting status updates from one friend or another whining how their favourite game or application is not working.  For the most part theses thing do get fixed, usually after someone (or one thousand) has complained to Facebook Help.

Facebook is continuing to  release new versions, revisions or updates of their products based on users’ feedback which gives the developers the chance to see the user experience to improve the application easily. Here is the question to answer, Do you think Facebook needs improvements or releases new services? If not do you think Facebook should not be a beta anymore?

Reference

Facebook Privacy (2012) http://www.facebook.com/privacy/explanation.php

O’Reilly T (2005) What is Web 2.0: Design patterns and Business model for next Generation of Software

Wikipedia (2012) Perpetual Beta

These days, smartphones such as iPhone are being used massively among us, which lead the consumers wanting to access or use these mobile devices for almost everything that they can use in normal PC.  Such services can be provided to users via “Software above the level of a single device”, which a web 2.0 pattern. Tim O’reilly defines this pattern as ” every web application is software above the level of a single device.”

For today’s topic, I will use WordPress App for IOS as an example. WordPress for IOS allows the users to do almost everything to their blogs in the move and the app supports the following features:

  • Effortless Comments.
Moderate, edit, or reply to comments — This feature makes it easier to stay in touch with your readers. For popular posts, you can quickly bulk moderate comments through the intuitive interface. When using this feature wish is provided in this App, the user will have the same experience as using a normal PC or laptop to do the commenting activities including editing, replying and approving comments.
  • Elegant Composing
Creating and editing posts is at the heart of the WordPress experience. Write, add photos, check your spelling, and even create links without having to write a single line of code or HTML. When you’re writing and you’d like a bit more room, just rotate the screen. WordPress will automatically adjust to a more comfortable widescreen layout.
  • Gorgeous Photos
Add as many photos as you like — WordPress will automatically insert them into your post. Both high resolution and web optimised photos look and work great. This feature uses ” Rich User Experience patterns” as it provides a platform as the users can upload as many photo as they want into their blog. In other words, this feature provides the same experience as if the users are using a PC or laptop.
  • Location Mapping
On the iPhone, sharing your location when you post to your WordPress blog is a cinch. Just tap the Geotag icon on the Write screen, and watch as WordPress locates you on the map. It’s a great way to share where you were when you posted to your blog. This feature uses “Harnessing Collective Intelligence” as it uses the data of location of the users.
In this App the user can do more than approving or posting a new topic, the users can even view the stat of their blog to check how many visits they have. It just amazing how web 2.0 technologies allow us to do many things such as commenting on post as we in the move and providing the same experience as using our laptop or PC.
Reference
WordPress. (2011). WordPress for IOS

Today’s topic of the blog will focus of the 4th pattern in Tim O’Reilly’s “Design Patterns and Business Models”

First of all, I will start by defining this pattern. Rich user experience means that applications are more pervasive, dynamic, and interactive. Rich internet applications (RIA) work more like desktop applications than traditional web applications as for example webmail and static mapping applications. This is enabled by new technologies, such as Ajax and Adobe Flex. RIAs show the states of the application and the progress of the tasks better than these traditional web applications. RIAs also have faster response times.

Now, I will talk about Ajax and Adobe Flex technologies. Ajax stands for Asynchronous Java Script (Ajax) is not a new technology, but it is a combination of already existing web technologies such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript and XMLAjax technologies have been said to make web faster, more interactive, and more user-friendly. Ajax engine, which works synchronically between the server and the user, enables refreshing only parts of the web page. Refreshing is done dynamically and in real time, and Ajax engine reduces the number of queries from the server because the whole web page does not need to be refreshed. It is also possible that the page does not need to be refreshed at all after user action because JavaScript is already downloaded before the page can be used, and that is why some actions can be completely performed on user’s computer. For example Gmail’s user account page already includes all the information that different user actions, such as reading new mail, require. The reduced number of server queries speeds up the use of the web pages.

Ajax enables more interactive user actions, such as the drag-and-drop of user interface elements. Ajax also enables mashups and dynamic information gathering. Many Web 2.0 companies and web sites are exploiting Ajax even though its usability has been studied very little. Typical applications using Ajax technology include Gmail, Google Maps, iGoogle and Flickr.

Now, I will expand on the service that is using Rich User Experience pattern. Google’s mapping application Google Maps includes the world map. With Google Maps it is possible e.g. to search for places and routes on the map. Ajax technology enables e.g. moving  the map with drag-and-drop method and zooming the map by using the mouse wheel. With  Google Maps it is also possible to move the route on the map by drag-and-drop method. The map can also be moved with the help of arrow buttons and zoomed by clicking the zooming axel or by double clicking the correct place on the map.

Reference

Tim O’Riely. (2005). Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software 

Annika Valtari.(2009). Web 2.0 User Experience: Social Media and Ajax Technology

Donna Maurer. (2006). Usability for Rich Internet Applications

Becky Gibson. (2006). AJAX Accessibility Overview 

 

Today’s blog will focus of the third patterns of web 2.0 application which is “Invocation in Assembly” that was defined by Tim O’Reilly in web 2.0 conference. Innovation in assembly is defined as ” innovation in assembly of systems and sites composed by pulling together features from distributed, independent developers (a kind of “open source” development)”

My blog will focus on the business social platform of the Saleforce company. Moreover, Salesforce.com’s PaaS product is known as the Force.com platform. The platform allows external developers to create add-on applications that integrate into the main salesforce.com application and are hosted on salesforce.com‘s infrastructure. These applications are built using Apex (a proprietary Java-like programming language for the Force.com platform) and Visualforce (an XML-like syntax for building user interfaces in HTML, Ajax or Flex).

SaleForce‘s Business social platform has helped many company to achieve their business objectives. now, I will talk about burberry.com success story for using the business social platform of Saleforce. Burberry uses Force.com to share their vision of the social enterprise, in which customers accessing Burberry on any device, from anywhere, receive the same rich experience every time. As a result of using such platform, Burberry acheived ” Engage customers and employees in everything you do”

Another Website that is using SaleForce Platform is database.com. The Database.com APIs enable you to expose custom REST APIs that simplify mobile client development by aggregating and encapsulating complex, transactional logic within the cloud to enable more efficient and robust communication between the device and your database. Database.com’s social framework automatically generates data feeds that push relevant information to each individual user. This provides a very efficient way to consume data from mobile devices with a limited form factor. Database website is using the Business social platform of SaleForce to securely share data inside the company and outside the company with your customers.

There are many success stories of companies that are using the SaleForce Platform. a list of all the companies is available here. Most Importantly, it is amazing how such API/Platform of SaleForce can achieve and help many companies, it is just amazing.

hope you enjoyed reading!!

Reference

Tim O’Riely. (2005). Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software 

Wikipedia. (2008). Web 2.0 

Burberry Company

SaleForce Company

Database Company