Monday, April 21, 2008

News Report 10: MySpace's Collaboration With Top Record Companies

According to an article found on the New York Times website entitled “Three Record Companies Team Up With MySpace for Music Web Site” just that is planning to occur. On April 4, 2008 Jeff Leeds and Brad Stone wrote about the launch of a music website created by MySpace in conjunction with the top recording companies. The companies will use the website to make their entire music collection digital in a way to compete with the iTunes store. Myspace wants to differeniate itself from facebook by remaining a good site to discover music and network with other music fans. The site intends to be a complete stop for all music through the addition of streaming music, shared custom playlists, and downloadable tracks. Over the past couple years album sales in the United States alone have been dropping and the amount of individual digital tracks purchased has increased. However, overall music sales have decreased and there is a strong need to compete against Apple’s strong business model.

MySpace has become a place where people look to discover new music. I think that from a business perspective the record companies are trying to diminish their losses and recognize the new shift that has occurred in the music industry due to the presence of technology. I believe their sales will most likely increase because of this new website. From a music fan point-of-view, I think the new website is a good idea also. I find new music through MySpace and usually wonder how I can download the track to my mp3 player. These songs are often not available to purchase online. This site might make that easier, however; if the music selection on this website is limited to only artists signed by the top 3 record labels there still might be a lack of selection and a big problem. MySpace has become known for Indie music and hopefully this site would make that Indie music available without stealing the profits from the artist. Through this venture, MySpace is definitely taking leaps to become a tough competitor with,, and Apple iTunes. (WordCount: 345)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Reading Report 5: Web Hoaxes, Counterfeit Sites, etc.

This article, Web Hoaxes, Counterfeit Sites, and Other Spurious Information on the Internet, was very informative and eye opening. It is very interesting to learn that I've wrongly assumed websites are displaying facts when they may be counterfeit or fake. I only seem to question material on websites when they are very poorly designed and do not look professional. However, the article helped me realize how cautious I have to be when researching or reading material online because the internet is becoming more and more unreliable. Also, it is becoming easier to design websites, which makes it easier to make websites look professional and believable. I think that websites that might be counterfeit or not should be carefully monitored especially with the ongoing terrorist threats and war. These sites, that may be a joke, could potentially be taken seriously. These monitors should be warning internet browsers about certain fake sites so that people don't fall prey to the misinformation. Furthermore, it seems like a lot of these sites are purely for entertainment and humor rather than to deliberately misinform readers. For example, the article wrote about a site some creative writing students made up to make fun of current events; this is clearly harmless fun. The article talked about categorizing websites which would be extremely difficult to categorize all the pre-existing websites and try to keep up with every website added every day. Ultimately, I found the article rather monotonous because I can not imagine who would take the time to categorize the billions of websites out there and have everything remain up-to-date. It seems like an impossible feat. (WordCount: 268)

Monday, April 7, 2008

News Report 9: Library of Fear

According to an article in The Edmonton Journal, published on April 5th, 2008 by Jim Farrell, an area surrounding an Edmonton, Alberta, Canada library is extremely dangerous. A man stumbled into Stanley A. Milner Library and collapsed on the ground apparently due to a stab wound in the stomach. The victim had been involved in an altercation with another man outside the library and came into the library as a place to receive attention. A security guard used CPR to revive the man and get him breathing again. The man was taken to the hospital and no one had been arrested yet. The library is located in downtown Edmonton and the area has been increasingly violent with assaults and muggings becoming more common. A security guard claimed, “It’s the library of fear.”

Libraries are known as a safe place, but this is definitely an extreme definition. It is very scary for the residents of Edmonton that their library is becoming surrounded by frequent criminal activities. I have read of several libraries updating their facilities to attract more visitors and welcome younger generations. This library is definitely in a predicament. I would be hesitant to visit especially by myself; libraries should be a place where the patrons feel safe inside and out. I think the Edmonton authorities should take action to restore their library and downtown area to the safe-haven for people and readers alike. Increased security and perhaps renovation of the facilities will make the area more attractive for visitors and less attractive for criminal activity. (Word Count: 255)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

News Report 8: Appointments Made Easy

In the article found on the New York Times website entitled “Making Appointments for Doctor or Dinner” Bob Tedeschi informed readers of new online booking companies. These companies take one of the most dreaded business tasks, setting up appointments, and make it incredibly easy with their online interface. The companies HourTown, Genbook, and BookingAngel are especially helping small service businesses that waste a lot of time by playing phone tag and writing e-mails to set up appointments. The way it works is that the person trying to book an appointment will have access to a calendar and can mark all the times they will be available for an appointment. The business they are trying to book with will go in and look at those times and send something back to them confirming which time works for them.

With technology constantly surrounding us and people spending more time using their phone for the internet rather than actually talking on it, these online booking agents will be incredibly attractive to use. It can be a bothersome process to try to book an appointment if you are trying to book with smaller service business that might only have a couple of employees. This can also be an important feature of a business that does actually have an appointment maker. These businesses can market this addition to busy professionals who do not have time to book their appointments by phone. If they simply enter their availability they will get a response which will fit their schedule. I think it is a good idea and I would probably use it on occasion, but I like the interaction with the business. The service will make business less personable. (WordCount: 282)

Article published March 31st, 2008