The Webpage FX blog compiled a list of 13 internet "firsts," from the first email sent (1971) and the first spam, sent out to 400 people (1978), to the first photo posted online (1992) and much later, the first Instagram photo, (2010).
Flotsam General Store: A Post-Structural Online Shopping Experience. A new thing by H. Jon Benjamin (previously) and Eugene Mirman (previously). Here's how it works: You send them money. They send you a sack with things in it. What things? Things they've made. No really what things? You'll have to order a sack to find out. [more inside]
How Naspers CEO Koos Bekker beat the New York Times at its own game by Michael Moritz [more inside]
In 2014, Bitcoin (BTC) has become established as increasingly "real" money with government regulatory interest, law enforcement, and growing acceptance in commerce, but also as the reserve cryptocurrency for hundreds of "altcoins," making them also convertible to legacy money. Foremost among these is Litecoin (LTC), which introduced the scrypt hashing algorithm to cryptocurrency, democratizing coin mining by being best suited to common GPUs rather than Bitcoin's dedicated mining equipment. Recently donated LTC paid for a forest in Madagascar. Peercoin (PPC), next in prominence, introduces "proof of stake" where less energy is spent mining and existing coins pay interest. Dogecoin (DOGE), a fork of Litecoin (previously covered on Metafilter), continues heading to the moon, with more transactions than all other coins combined, thriving markets in digital goods, tipbots, an upcoming party in NYC's Bitcoin Center on Wall Street, much charity, and the recent announcement that new Dogecoins will be generated indefinitely. A selection of other foremost and interesting cryptocurrencies is within. [more inside]
Jesse Willms, the Dark Lord of the Internet. How one of the most notorious alleged hustlers in the history of e-commerce made a fortune on the Web.
The awkwardly titled  book, "FutureConsumer.com: The webolution of shopping to 2010," touches on everything from music downloads to grocery delivery, with a big emphasis on lists. And it's Feather's list for the 50 largest online retailers of 2010 which now stands as a fascinating time capsule of the first dot-com bubble. Naturally, Webvan makes the Top 5.
The first online shopping transaction took place from a Gateshead living-room in 1984, sixteen years before Tesco fully launched the web version of their stores. It didn't take place on a BBC Micro or an Acorn, but through Videotex, a service better known by the Francophone world as Minitel (previously).
The credit card processor Stripe has an interesting policy of email transparency within the company (previously).
Marc Andreessen predicts the end of traditional retail.
Retail chains are a fundamentally implausible economic structure if there’s a viable alternative. You combine the fixed cost of real estate with inventory, and it puts every retailer in a highly leveraged position. Few can survive a decline of 20 to 30 percent in revenues. It just doesn’t make any sense for all this stuff to sit on shelves. There is fundamentally a better model.
"[Joe] Tamargo is not just a walking advertisement. He’s a walking advertisement for businesses that no longer exist."
VisaFacebookCard to rule them all: Forget selling ad space. Facebook should be selling credit, argues The Daily Beast's Steven Weiss.
The current issue of The Nation turns its focus to Amazon: The Amazon Effect by Steve Wasserman, How Germany Keeps Amazon at Bay and Literary Culture Alive by Michael Naumann, Search Gets Lost by Anthony Grafton, and finally Ten Reasons to Avoid Doing Business With Amazon.com.
Open Transactions is an anonymous digital cash system based upon the Lucre anonymized cache cryptographic library. [more inside]
"Today, auctions are a smaller portion of ecommerce than they were in 2001, and even on eBay they are a dwindling . . . [t]hey now account for just 31 percent of all sales on the site and are no longer at the heart of the company’s business model."Why have internet auctions fallen out of favour?
Say goodbye to the foppish Führer? RedBubble pulled the plug on Hipster Hitler's line of satirical products after complaints. The original comic takes on "both hipster culture and the exploits of the Third Reich." Controversial slogans include “Death Camp for Cutie”, “Back to the Fuhrer” and “Eastside Westside Genocide.” Previously.
Omaha rockers Cursive are selling their new album for just $1... No wait, it's $2... $3... $4... WTF?? In yet another twist on the whole, name-your-price (Radiohead), fan-financed (Jill Sobule), take-shrooms-and-cruise-hollywood (Josh Freese) tiered pricing experiment being carried out by what's left of the music industry, Cursive are increasing the price of their new record by $1 each day until its "official" release. Given the popularity of sites like Did it Leak (and the corresponding file-sharing forums that I won't link to here) it seems to me like this is a pretty good way to reward well-intentioned but impatient fans who might otherwise resort to less honorable means of getting the latest stuff from their favorite bands. Or maybe it's just another hare-brained scheme that will only hasten the end of record labels as we know them. Either way, they got my $1... And that was after I already got my hands on the mp3s!
10 out of 13 million tracks available for purchase online didn't sell a single copy. Jut how Long can that Tail be, after all? Is the length of the tail mentioned in the article down to piracy or the state of the music industry as a whole? Is it possible to make a profit or break even on a niche website based on sales alone, and not on advertising revenue?
The Long Tail wags no more - Chris Anderson, Wired editor and populariser of the Long Tail concept admits that "radical inequality is increasingly the norm as markets get more networked", though it may still persist in some industries. [more inside]
Using the Web to buy a carton of milk in Nunavut. Satellite Internet in Nunavut (Canada’s newest territory – the White Stripes played there) is slow and has such draconian bandwidth caps (2GB a month) that nobody downloads audio or video. But they use it for every kind of online banking and E-commerce in a territory with barely any retail stores. [more inside]
We all know The Rapture is coming soon (although "no one knows the day or hour"), and many of us will want to send out appropriate taunting messages from our heavenly perch to our loser buddies that didn't get chosen. At last, a service provider has arisen to serve this need. At You've Been Left Behind, you can store up to 250 MB of documents to be sent to up to 62 separate emails addresses in the event of the Rapture. Rapture is determined to have occurred when 3 of the 5 team members fail to log in to the site over a 3 day period.
Why don't you get yourself a little something? It's only $10!
HowItSucks.com rates products based on recent reviews from other users. The rating system is simple: the longer the red bar, the more it sucks. Just in time for Xmas. Also, comes free of charge with blog, which also sucks. [more inside]
Add to Cart, Buy, Buy Now, Add to Brown Bag? 107 clickable shopping cart buttons on one page. Most popular colour: red. I only recognize the Amazon button--clearly I need to hone my online shopping-fu.
Don't Buy this Book! Seth Godin, author and marketing guru, has his book, Everyone is an Expert, for purchase on Amazon. The problem? He wrote it as an ebook in 2005, and it is downloadable for free. And it isn't even illegal, as it was licensed under a Creative Commons license that allows for for profit reproduction.
The whiskey containing the scorpion is left for several months, which then imparts a unique flavour into the whiskey; it is quite an acquired taste. Tasty pregnant small crickets in salt water brine. Real Cobra Snake whiskey is infused with a real farm raised Cobra snake, ginseng roots and seed pods. All these and more, sold here.
T-SHIRTS T-SHIRTS T-SHIRTS! Funny T-shirts, user-designed-and-voted T-shirts, artistic T-shirts, geek T-shirts, just cool T-shirts, hacker T-shirts, more artistic T-shirts and even offensive T-shirts (NSFW). Like comics? web comic T-shirts. Still not right? make your own T-shirts. Or maybe you'd just like to read about t-shirts.
Polluting the blogosphere businessweek is writing about a new company that is basically paying bloggers to write about products --- disclosure is optional... congratulations marketers --- you ruin everything
This flash demo for IKEA's kitchen stuff is kinda fun to play with. Takes a bit of time to load, when it does, click the mouse & hold down on the right or left halves of the photo, it's interesting. Note - the flash stuff contains audio, so careful with speaker volume
As a proud patriot & supporter of our nation's armed forces, my greatest personal shame comes from the fact that my pugs aren't fit for service (Lola has cuddling issues that would prove a hindrance on the battlefield, whereas Oscar would run afowl of the "don't ask, don't tell" laws). Fortunately, the good people at Pets In Uniform will gladly do an awful photoshop job to make it look like they actually served their nation proudly.
woot.com One item per day, until midnight, or until they run out of stock. Innovative ecommerce at its best.
CribCandy.com is a thumbnail blog of cool stuff for your house, like Uncrate, but just for house related purchases.
Buy a celebrity's soul! For the demon that has everything.
How to Sell Your Book, CD, or DVD on Amazon [From Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools: he has a knack for asking the best questions]
Now THIS is an eCommerce shopping cart. Holy crap. Ruby and Ruby on Rails: You officially have my attention. (Documentation includes a free first edition book. Intro for OS X
friends fiends) and all.
Thingster is an open-source weblogging service for locative media. It's also the backend for BooksWeLike, which describes itself as "activist e-commerce" and is sponsored (partially) by AlterNet. It's part of a movement for social sharing services, which seems to be an extension of what was previously discussed here.
Russian may have solved Riemann hypothesis. Financial disaster ensues.
Scott McCloud and Clay Shirky are trading ideas on Micropayemnts again. Clay Says user-pays schemes can't simply be restored through minor tinkering with payment systems, because they don't address the cause of that change -- a huge increase the power and reach of the individual creator.. Scott Says micropayments, well, BitPass are here to stay this time.
As a content producer I like the idea, but as a content consumer I'm just not sure yet.
If mefi went Micro, would you pay?
As a content producer I like the idea, but as a content consumer I'm just not sure yet.
If mefi went Micro, would you pay?
A small company with an obscure patent is suing e-commerce site owners. If you sell something on the web, you may be next. It's hard to tell if they have any legitimate claims or if they're simply extorting money from the people they threaten.
Escrew Service. Worried about getting scammed on an Internet auction? "Just use an escrow service," is the customary advice. Not so fast. The latest auction scam is an elaborate swindle involving creation of fake escrow services, complete with convincing Web sites like www.escrow-is.com
The Shy Girl's Guide to becoming a Whore is an online tutorial for women considering becoming an escort by using the technologies of the Internet. The web has changed the nature of prostitution offering women more opportunities than the traditional street walker, escort. or brothel models. We now have the 21st century CyberWhore model, and this is an overview as to how it is done.
The founders of Webshots.com sold out to Excite@home in '99 for $82.5M, they just bought it back--for $2.4M. $6.7B Excite.com goes for $10M and Blue Mountain Greetings ($780M) goes for $35M. A billion here, a billion there and pretty soon we're talking more than pocket change.
Is E-Commerce dead, past its prime, or just resting? This journal special issue has some interesting thoughts about the future of E-Commerce. I especially liked the paper by Peffers. The conventional wisdom at this point is that B2C E-Commerce is viable only for certain types of products or contexts. Others (e.g. Andy Grove, Michael Porter) seem to think that in the future, all commerce will be E-Commerce and will be integrated with physical companies. Then there is the M-Commerce angle- e.g. DoCoMo. What do you make of all of this? How will we be shopping and communicating in the future?
From the ashes, rises the phoenix. A company named WhyRunOut has taken over where Webvan left off (or they just bought my personal data from the webvan firesale). Hopefully they'll expand slowly and get profitable, it'd be nice to see Kozmo and Webvan like services come back.
I always knew that the proper supply chain management ebusiness plan could free me from the hell that is cleaning those pesky pig intestines.
"Sony Corporation of America and Yahoo! Announce Multi-Faceted Relationship. Agreement Includes Co-Branded Web Site, E-Commerce, Enterprise Advisory Services, and Content Integration and Promotion".
The Cluetrain Manifesto gives real insight into the future of commerce on the net. Anyone with a stake in the online business scene should study this document.
Wine.com Inc. ceases operations and refers customers to eVineyard, billed as the largest online wine retailer. The email they sent doesn't make it clear if we are now eVineyard members or if we have to sign up again -- and recreate my my 10-page wine.com wish list. Ugh.
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