Quora: New way for Answers & Questions

Nowadays, if you have a question in mind, what would you do? Google it? Check Wikipedia? Either these ways are the most common method we use for searching an answer. However, what if the question is more complex that you can barely find a relevant answer by google or Wikipedia? There is a new choice you should try – Quora. It is basically a Q & A website which provides a platform for people can ask questions in variety areas. As guideline gave by Quora:

Quora works by having the community ask and answer questions.
When you want to know more about something, Quora delivers you answers and content from people who share your interests and people who have first-hand knowledge — like real doctors, economists, screenwriters, police officers, and military veterans.

beginning page

You need to sign in by email or facebook/google account before start using website, then choose topics interested you. After several step about personal information, you can start ask a question or answer a question from other people, or just check discussions from topic interested you. You can also follow people in Quora, but that will cost you credits, an important element which will be explained in the next paragraph. The recommendation agent works vigorously at Quora by active and passive content filtering and collaborative filtering. By the topic you select in the beginning, Quora displays relevant contents on your homepage and by the questions you are viewing, it shows relevant or similar questions on the ride-down side of screen.

topic choosing

However, how to evaluate quality of answers to the question or the question itself? Continue reading Quora: New way for Answers & Questions

Parking Monkey: Getting paid for leaving!

Parking Monkey is a new app that allows city dwellers of the San Francisco area to auction their parking spots from 5 to 20 dollars. The app works like this, once you park your car in San Francisco, something apparently not easy, you can post the location of your spot, when you want to leave and the price of your spot. Then, interested drivers seeking for parking spots access the app and enter the maximum amount they are willing to pay for stop driving around the city and the app offers a map with locations of available parking spots for that price, and if there is competitors, you will have to bid.  The app developer profits from taking a commission in the transaction. The platform works basically as other auction sites, like Ebay.

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I don’t know what to wear… people help me out!

It’s that time again… you open your wardrobe, stare at a pile of clothes but you soon come to realize you have nothing to wear. Or maybe you do, and you just need some creative advice on how to match that lovely dress you bought two months ago, with the price tag still on it.

A personal stylist would be really handy in this case, but what if you could actually have a personal styling community for free?

The mobile app Jaqard, a social network for fashion enthusiasts, might be exactly what you are looking for. It was launched October 2013 for iOS and it will soon be also available for Android.

To exchange fashion tips, the user posts a picture and asks a question:

How could I pair these new shoes?”2

He will receive feedback from other users, who can give a personal advice

They would look great with that white dress you posted three days ago.

but also choose the perfect match from a combination of clothes from an integrated catalog, linked to the fashion brands and online shops.

In a user-friendly and very visual platform (all the advice must be accompanied by a picture) the developers were able to co-create value for all the parties involved:

Continue reading I don’t know what to wear… people help me out!

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a Dwarf! It’s a Druid! It’s Nerd Fitness!

Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 12.28.30 AM

Companies recently discovered the opportunity to combine products with online communities, to support continuous usage of their product(s) in evolving ways; creating a whole new experience for customers. While previously consumption ended after the tangible product had been purchased, the online community continues the consumption period and becomes more important to the customer than the product itself. We call this a “continuous consumption community.”

To keep these online communities functioning, there must be some level of community commitment that is either need, affect, or obligation-based (Bateman, et. al, 2011). An online community would ideally like to evoke affective community commitment, or “an emotional attachment to the organization, which leads them to act in ways that further the organization’s interests,” (Meyer and Herscovitch 2001). Specifically within online communities, this type of commitment stimulates both reply-posting and moderating behavior among users (Bateman, et. al, 2011).

So how do these websites attract users and create “emotional attachment”? The fitness community 1-2 Sports (www.1-2-sports.com) tries to attract users through an easy-to-use website and mobile app, lowing the barrier of entry for novices to join the community. Some online communities create attachment through a common identity; the gaming community World of Warcraft evokes identity with graphics (www.warcraft.com).

World of Warcraft Website with "Nerdy" Fantasy Graphics
World of Warcraft Website with “Nerdy” Fantasy Graphics

Upon first glance at the website of another online community, Nerd Fitness, you might think it was created in 1997 instead of 2009; the graphics are out-of-date and the interface is rather tricky to navigate. And yet it has successfully created an online fitness community of nearly 200,000 users! How?!

Nerd Fitness attracted users by creating affective commitment through a sense of belonging to this fantasy fitness realm, where users create avatars and join guilds. Continue reading Look! Up in the sky! It’s a Dwarf! It’s a Druid! It’s Nerd Fitness!

Facebook, a powerful customer service tool

Facebook was founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, with some other students of Harvard University. The purpose of Facebook back in those days was a social network that allows members of Harvard University to create social relations through the site. Gradually the website, allow users from other universities and finally it was opened to anyone who was older than 13 years old. However, nowadays Facebook is more than just a social network website that allows people to crate social relations. Facebook now, represent a tool for companies that allows them to create a profile, which can be used to promote its products or its services, or on the other hand it can be used as powerful tool to offer customer service to the customer, in which they can add reviews or comments about the services or products that they just purchased or have the intention to it.

Facebook represents a powerful tool to offer customer service especially for companies who sell services instead of products; this is the case of banks or airlines, among others. Since it is not common that they sell their services through a third party website, which is the case of products, and probably the best example of it is Amazon, where customer can add a review of the products purchased; and on the other hand they do not provide spaces for customer review in their own website either. The reason of this might be that Facebook can reach a larger amount of people than their own website.

Continue reading Facebook, a powerful customer service tool

LibreOffice: The Document Foundation

In 2011, LibreOffice was voted one of the best open-source software. An open-source software has the particularity to have “its source code made available and licensed with a license in which the copyright holder provides the rights to study, change and distribute the software to anyone and for any purpose” (Andrew, 2008). In simpler words, it’s a software that anyone (with the right knowledge) can change, use, copy, improve and share.


LibreOffice, the homonimic non-profit organization, made a sustainable business plan out of this main product. They even exhibit a growth that most multinational corporation would envy.  But how could a firm make a business out of a product that is free and on which the firm accepts to give up the control?


LibreOffice generates its revenue through mainly through donations.  These donations are either directly cash or either materials.  These donations come from enthusiastic users or from “strategic Advisory Board Members”, understand a long list of firms that have some interests in seeing a free competitor challenge Microsoft’s Office quasi-monopolistic position on this market.  Although the number of employees and there wages are still undisclosed, these donations are sufficiently large to allow the company to run and to hire some in-house developers.  The next straightforward question is now: why would so many people and firms pay give so much?  What do they get from it?

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Into the Darkness

Disclaimer: Don’t worry, this post ain’t related to any kind of dark power, magic or any other horrifying stuffs. So… continue scrolling in peace. 🙂

Having stayed in Singapore for 8 years, I have always been impressed on the varieties of dining out options it offers. For a country as small as this little red dot, Singapore has grown into an international haven for the foodies. From the traditional food court for simple and cheap local delights, the recent craze of ramen (Japanese noodle) huts and coffee places, to the top-notch Michelin star restaurants; Singapore gastronomy business indeed never sleeps. Now, living thousand miles away from Singapore doesn’t keep me away from the updates of new cool restaurants popping up there (thanks to the social network and my circle of friends who always likes to ‘boast’ around). Well, this was how I came across Nox, Dine in the Dark.

Nox opened less than a year ago in Singapore. The concept was not entirely new. Indeed, there were several restaurants located across the globe that are using the same concept. I think I’ve heard it before too somewhere, but it was not until recently when I heard a real experience directly from my friend that I was curious to read further about it. Word of mouth is still as powerful as ever!

So, for those of you who are on the same boat as me, and as curious as ever.. let’s reveal this darkness!

DarkImagine a view like this for dinner – a total pitch darkness. You can’t see the cutlery, the table, the food, not even your own hand in front of you.

Continue reading Into the Darkness