Viewers and Reviewers: the YouTube Challenge to Amazon

When Amazon started its website in 1995, it was meant as a place to build a community of like-minded souls, pooled together by the passion for books (Pinch and Kesler, 2011). In this context, selling books wasn’t the only point of Amazon. The mission was to recreate the atmosphere of local bookstores, where customers feel “at home” and receive advice. Amazon wanted to offer specific suggestions for books, exactly as local bookstores do. So, professionals were hired to write book reviews. In accordance with the idea of building a community, Amazon encouraged members to write their own reviews, sharing opinions and feelings. Then, Amazon realized users were indeed providing reviews of the books for free, and they could provide many more reviews than paid editors. So, Amazon dismissed his professional editors, and let users do all the work. But why would users do that?

Malone et al. (2010) indicate three main motivating factors, namely love, glory and money. All three factors play a role here, even though to different extents.

– Love: is the most important factor. People write review because they love the product, for enjoyment, to help others, and to develop a sense of community.

Glory: since Amazon ranks its reviewers, a part of the motivation to write a review lies in desire for glory. The more helpful reviews you write, the higher in the rankings you will find yourself.

Money: top reviewers are often sent products. The higher you are in the rankings, the more likely you are to get freebies.

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Tutor ABC

Totor ABC

There is no doubt that English is important at work. However, many people give up studying English after graduation, because they cannot make time for it. Tutor ABC is a perfect online platform to study English. The idea is to offer workers a flexible and convenient course which fit into their working schedule. Tutor ABC succeed with two online platform characteristics we discussed in class.

  1. Customization: In the beginning, Tutor ABC will offer exam to evaluate your English skill, level from one to twelve. Based on your level, you can choose small group or one to one teaching. Moreover, you can email teacher to choose specific topic for your own course, for instance, preparing a business presentation or practicing an international dinner party. In other words, Tutor ABC is different from traditional online education of the level of interaction.
  2. Pricing Schemes: Different targets have different need. Tutor ABC creates five price packages for different market, Platinum Package, Gold Package, Silver Package, Business Package, and Citizen Package. These packages are different in course period, group or individual study, and the way to schedule the class. For instance, Citizen Package offers group study with standard teaching material in one year, but students need to schedule the class one day before. On the other hand, Gold Package offers one to one lecture, prompt online teacher in two years.

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