You know those nights when you are sitting at home feeling too lazy to cook, thinking of maybe going out to eat but you have no clues regarding where because you’re tired of those two single places you always go to? Or when there’s this new pub open three blocks away but you’re not sure if it has the right vibe or the prices that would deem it interesting for yourself? Well now, in situations like these you clearly need HELP!…and that’s where Yelp! comes in.
Yelp.com was founded in 2004 with the sole purpose: “To connect people with great local businesses”. Today, it is one of the biggest city facilities review websites you can find with over 132 million monthly unique visitors in the first quarter of 2014. That number might seem exaggerated but it seems natural when you consider that Yelpers have written 57 million local reviews… On Yelp.com you can find reviews relating to businesses in the area of restaurants, pubs, shopping, home services, medical and healthcare and many more. So, as the platform is so successful, it is obvious that there are many advantages for both businesses and users to take part in the ‘yelp phenomenon’. Continue reading Yelp me!
We are in the Netherlands and thus, we benefit from fast (well sometimes), ‘cheap’ and mostly ‘RELIABLE’ (‘rofl’) public transportation… So what else would you need? Well, that’s were Snappcar comes in. Snappcar.nl is an online platform which facilitates car renting of personal vehicles to individuals that live in the Netherlands and own a European car driver’s license. Basically Snappcar provides the option for people that rarely use their personal car to not just let it rust in the rain outside but actually make some money out of it while assuring the car is started from time to time. Similarly, Snappcar provides a very attractive opportunity for people that are in need of a car for a specific time period.
The platform presents a classic example of buyer-seller interaction in which the sellers are the individuals that put their cars up for rent and the buyers are the people that use the platform for finding a personal way of transportation. Each group has its own individual motivation to participate. Therefore, although it is obvious that sellers use the platform to earn money, they also understand that their property does not serve its purpose if it’s not used (thus being worthless), so we can safely assume that their motivation is also the desire to share spare resources. Buyers on the other hand, are people that are in search of a method of transportation for a fixed period of time that is cheap, reliable and convenient. In their case, when it comes to motivation, although the idea of being part of a community might play a small role, their principal motivating factor is constituted by the cheaper price the system offers compared to traditional car rental agencies. Moreover, in situations in which the buyer is in need of transportation for long distances or destinations that are not mainstream, the system might prove cheaper even when compared to public transportation. Both types of users are also attracted to the system because it provides a secure environment where cars are fully insured, 24/7 road assistance is provided and participants’ identities and credentials are verified in advance.
Continue reading Smart Social Driving
On the night of 4 October 2013, SK Telecom T1 completed a rout of analyst’s favorites Chinese Royal Club to take home the whooping prize money of 1 million $ net, but more importantly the title and bragging rights of being the world champions 2013 of the multiplayer online game League of Legends. It was a night in which SKT1’s Lee Sang-Hyeok, better known as “Faker”, produced a performance of a lifetime that assures his position in the Hall of Fame of LoL with other midlaner greats such as former Taipei Assasin’s Toys. His expert Gragas play that helped secure the first Dragon in every game, coupled with excellent lane control and mind games lead the team to victory in the sold-out Staples Center Arena (Los Angeles Lakers NBA team Arena): “We put in so much work, and we really trained well […] We expected to win.” Faker said at the end of the match. 
For most people, all of the above still sound like an excerpt from a SF novel, but professional video-games streamed live for an extensive audience are gaining momentum and this is mostly due to Twitch.tv.
Twitch.tv is an active co-creation platform where amateur and professional video-gamers can stream the games they are playing live and interact with viewers. According to Qwilt (a broadband measuring tool), Twitch.tv “is driving more Web traffic than live videos from Major League Baseball, WWE’s popular wrestling matches, or even the news.”  What’s more, Twitch.tv attracts over 45 million unique visitors a month who watch an average of 100 minutes of livestream a day , numbers that seem unexplainable when we imagine the target is a niche. Beside individual broadcasters, the website has also made partnerships with Riot Games to stream the trending eSports championships and with Sony and Microsoft to bring Twitch.tv’s facilities to consoles, thus increasing their reach. The company earns money through personalized ads on the website and through add-free ‘partner program’ subscriptions. Through Twitch.tv, gamers also receive income through donations from their followers or brand sponsorships. The website provides the basis for what seems to be a future valuable area of business – the growing eSports scene. Through its innovative concept, the website created a new business world where passionate people without a traditional career path in sight can now have a proper ‘job’ by being professional gamers or eSports commentators. Continue reading Sports for the New Generation