Writing, publishing, geekdom, and errata.

The Internet's Demand Cone

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I've mentioned the Long Tail (and internet sales) before, and I was
reminded of them again tonight. Couldn't you rewrite the demand cone
equation suchly:

Total Percieved Cost = t+oc+p


t = monetary transportation costs (whether shipping & handling or gas/bus fare)
oc = opportunity costs for time investments (travel time, search for
the item in question, checkout time, wait for delivery)
p = sticker price

This equation includes the prices of transportation (both in time and
money), and also reflects the time and shipping of items from the
internet. It also illustrates where "t" can become fixed (such as
with Amazon Prime or free/discounted shipping) and the percieved
lowering of "oc" due to improvements in search technology, or the
percieved raise in "oc" due to difficulty navigating a website or web
checkout process.

This model would also reflect the emperical effects noted by free/flat
shipping and the "one click" checkout process (both of which increase
sales of online merchants). It considers time used to learn to use a
computer as sunk costs.

This model also demonstrates why the demand cone for internet
retailers is considerably flat - and vastly larger - than that of a
brick-and-mortar store. This explains the viability of relatively
"niche" products on the internet that you can rarely find in a store
(save in a large metropolis).

The implications are fairly straightforward, and fit right in with all the other long tail implications: niche markets and retailers will practically always increase demand by selling over the internet.

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Challenges I don't Understand

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I simply do not understand those who challenge the residency rule. Being paid by the city itself - but unwilling to live there or support it - seems rather parasitic, doesn't it?

Veteran city worker challenges Dayton's residency rule

The senior-most, city traffic signal electrician told the Dayton City Commission Wednesday that he's moving to Jefferson Twp., thus challenging a long-standing employee residency requirement.

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Integrating Worlds

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Considering how often people have a SL window open while doing other things (I'm looking at you TiaFix), wouldn't it be wonderful to have ways of communicating between SL and RL?

Scripts in SL that automatically SMS you in the real world. Scripts that read Twitter posts and parse them to have your avatar do appropriate things.

While it might originally start out as a toy (teledildonics, anyone?), this sort of thing could provide that "office" feel to virtual officemates. Need to walk down the hall to the office cooler? Your avatar can - and your RL officemates get a text/IM of your convo even though you're worlds away.

This kind of integration of the virtual and the real could either be a great big distraction - or provide yet another big "R" in the way things are done.

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Bad Landlords: Leveraging the Interweb

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Especially for commuter schools like the one I attend, there are a lot of students who have problems with landlords. Sometimes those problems are warranted; there are bad student renters. Then there are those landlords who simply do not follow state laws.

The legal department at my school handles lots of cases with landlords who violate contracts and state laws - and with a lot of repeat customers. Why not have a clearinghouse of such information, to create a reputation economy like that of eBay?

The military had lists of landlords that you simply may not rent from off base (and other businesses to avoid). They create these lists simply because so many soldiers have had problems with them, they've violated equal rights laws, and the like. These lists have huge amounts of power in the local community, especially when the base is a major economic force.

Universities and colleges are likewise economic forces in thier community. They should use this power to assist thier students. It is in the best interests of themselves and the students they serve.

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