Coded Spaces of Consumption

Keywords:

-Prosumption

-Customisation

-Brick and Mortar

-Architectural

-Captabases

-Spacial Fetishism

-Interdependendencies

 Definition:

Customisation is the allowance to personalize a product for a single individual creating a unique object. Customisation always existed but only for wealthy people whilst in our days it is available for everyone. It burdens our demands creating new markets giving greater demands for greater goods. It offers the chance of being more unique but most of all it allows the producers to use customised products in order to benefit in the production line. A clear example of customisation is seen with vehicles. This is because for an individual there are so many “possible permutations (engine specs, paint colors, interior trim levels, and accessories) that each vehicle can be almost unique” (Kitchin & Dodge, 2011 pp.187). Other examples are the customized phone cases and coca cola bottles where, the addition of letters, names or personalised quotes give more value to the product in the eyes of a consumer as he/she feels different and more important than the others giving a sense of major desire on purchased personalised products.

A short summary of the Article:

Coded Space of Consumption looks at how the software is reforming the nature of consumption in various ways. In the 20th century the West developed very much in terms of purchasing goods and services. Individuals no matter their class started to accumulate items giving them short-term value just for status, desire and novelty.

The software now has the power to shrink space and time giving each individual the flexibility to purchase in every place at every time. Coding in fact changed completely the way in which we purchase, giving space to new e-commerce possibilities and building relationships with customers making them feel part of the market but most of all keeping them loyal to their brands.

The way we purchase has changed completely too. There is no more the physical transfer of goods and primitive money has disappeared. What we live of in our days is just virtual and ‘direct debit payments;’ “virtual money consists of nothing more than a digital record residing in captabases, and software mechanics that enable value to be transferred electronically between accounts” (Kitchin & Dodge, 2011 pp.182). The article ends showing that software has enabled businesses to become geographically centered making others dissapear from stores and that there will be so many more advances in the digital world in terms of coding that will give the possibility to track a consumer/user reatil activities.

A brief reflection:

Software is making a difference to how consumption proceeds is because it reconfigures consumption’s underlying spatial relations” (Kitchin & Dodge, 2011pp. 181).

Space with technology does not exist anymore. It disappears the same way that time/temporality shrinks space bringing everyone and everything much more closer. For example with shopping, people can request any kind of object form every single retail store in the whole world at any time and in every place without even questioning the opening and especially the stress of the closing times of a store. There is no more stress since everything is now so close to all us human beings. It is absurd that by just turning on any kind of device and accessing networks individuals can satisfy their needs. It may seem a positive aspect which is sometimes but, the issue is that no one is realising how quickly everything is speeding up therefore we tend to forget how big is the impact that time has on space. This is because all of a sudden technology has the power to make everything become much smaller since all of a sudden the relationship between space and time expires very easily. This is clearly shown with facetime for example that thanks to this network, no matter how far two people can be, they share the same space just by looking into a small screen.

A question for classroom discussion:

Is the rise of mobile devices going to stop us from having real life experiences in terms of purchasing and communicating keeping us as human beings locked up from the outside world?

 

References: 

Kitchin, R., & Dodge, M. (2011). Chapter 9: Consumption. Code/space: Software and Everyday Life. MIT Press. Pp: 181-212.

Meet the Players in the New Advertising Food Chain

 Keywords:

– Paid Search

– Search engine optimization (SEO)

– Google search formula

– Purchase funnel/consumer decision journey              

– Google search formula

-Pay-per-click

 Definition:

Search engine optimization is a concept where companies focus at designing their advertisement in such a way where the many people searching for any product or service related to the company would at least follow the company’s link. Google ranks companies in their search list according to the prominence of the company as determined by Google.

A short summary of the Article:

Marketers are in a frenzy excitement about the search engine advertisement. The traditional advertisement designs were complex and not as effective as the current search engine advertisement. In the past, advertisements were designed based on consumer decision journey, which complicated the process of advertisement, as firms would have to design adverts according to the perceived design of the consumers. Today, the search marketers are using the search engine advertisement to reach a huge number of consumers. Today, marketers strive to connect Google searches with products that reflect more on the search terms. The search engine advertisements are of two major kinds: the search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search.

Through the search engine optimization, marketers always attempt to have their position in the Google search list on the top. Google uses a formula to determine which companies rank top in connection to specific search terms, the higher the rank, the better for the companies.

For the paid search, companies have a better opportunity though not always guaranteed to have their listing in Google search at better position. The process involves auction of bids for certain search terms by different companies. The company determines the bid winners through some complex process that includes the company’s reputation, relevance of the product and bid price. Google determines how it gets payment from the bid winning company.

A brief reflection:

“Google’s signal contribution to search engines was to define a site with a high reputation as one that has many other sites linking to it” (Turow, 2011 pp.66)

Technology has indeed changed the world mostly for the better; search engine advertisement has in essence been very convenient to consumers who are equally living in a world of such busy and tight schedule. Moreover, internet access all over the world has essentially increased especially with the mobile phone technology, which has increased connectivity. As a result, consumers have resorted to looking up for products and services over the internet. Many companies have tapped into the internet craze. Today if one wants to buy a camera for example, he/she only needs to Google certain words and Google will automatically bring search results depending on the relevant company. For example, if one wants to buy a camera, he/she only needs to type certain words such as “best cameras”. Google will automatically bring search results of related company lists. For this example, “best cameras”, Canon is the company whose name appears on the top most search results, followed by Amazon. This way, a consumer can choose to navigate through the different companies and determine which one is suitable according to his/her desires. It gets even better in cases where the company such as Amazon accepts online payment and delivery to the customers location. The method has been very effective yet there seem to be a lot that can be added to make it even more profitable, based on the possible improvement strategy.

A question for classroom discussion:

What can be done to ensure that companies all have equal opportunity for listing under the search engine optimization?

 

 

References: 

Turow, J. (2011). Chapter 3: A New Advertising Food Chain. The Daily You: How the New Advertising Industry is Defining Your Identity and Your Worth. Pp. 65-88.

Ad-Blocking

Keywords:

– Cookies

– Filter lists

– Third-party

– Ad-Blocking              

– Web privacy

Definition:

A cookie is a self-help technology more precisely a text file that saves your web browser. This creates a personal profile to the user. Despite its inconveniences: fragility, manual updating and expiry it remains the most adequate web tool because it conveys implicit consent. Many online advertising companies such as: ‘Interclick, Specific Media, and Quantcast’ used cookies with the purpose of tracking users. It has been discovered that one of the most famous global companies: Microsoft used cookies with the purpose of “syncing an advertising identifier across web properties” (Mayer, Mitchell, 2012 pp. 421)

A short summary of the Article:

People are really annoyed by web advertisements. They are finding techniques in order to avoid ads or more specifically to block them. According to Ads and Ad-Block usage in the Wild the most concerning source for advertising industries is, Adblock Plus. The reading shows that this tool is a great threat to advertising industries since “More than 30M users surf the web daily […] with this extension enabled.” (Pujol, Hohlfed, Feldmann, 2015 pp.1) This brings obnoxious advertisements to appear in the web and revenues of industries decline. This is because, “Ad-Blockers […] ‘evade paying’ for the content they consume.” (Pujol, Hohlfed, Feldmann, 2015 pp.1) The basic functionality of this tool is to filter advertisements which appear in a users filter list and if they match a URL, Ad-block Plus will immediately block the site from the browser, reducing web traffic and avoiding the advertisements. There are 22.2% of active Ad-Block plus users. Furthermore, it is shown that “Adblock Plus users […] do not configure it to protect their privacy” (Pujol, Hohlfed, Feldmann, 2015 pp.7) but just to get rid of the invasive adverts.

Looking closely, Third-Party Web Tracking: Policy and Technology focuses majorly on ‘privacy implications’ examining how First-party websites enable Third-party to gain information from users. In other words, how the evolution of the web has made easily identifiable the identity of the users through out Web tracking and Third party. This is clearly shown with Facebook for example that “over 800 million users […] provide their real name to the service.” (Mayer, Mitchell, 2012 pp.415)

A brief reflection:

Privacy issues are a huge concern to society. This is clearly shown with the social network ‘Twitter’ that gives access to third parties to browse a users activity by looking at the exact time and location of publication. Taken this case, a competitor of a company could easily track a consumer profile looking at his browsing activities and can sell and steal the tracked data from the company profile just for their benefit. A very clear example is one of the most common scenarios which has been reported: “A hacker breaks into a tracking company and publishes its tracking information, causing some embarrassing fact about the consumer to become known and inflicting emotional distress.” (Mayer, Mitchell, 2012 pp.416) This is a clear harm to the consumer and it shows that there is no market pressure since the majority of the users unfortunately do not know the existence of many Third Party websites.

A question for classroom discussion:

Is the subscription to Ad-Blocking tools going to make adverts disappear or is it going to continuously track individuals searches and store huge amounts of information that will result in future threats to whom is accessing the web?

 

References:

Mayer, J. R., & Mitchell, J. C. (2012, May). Third-party web tracking: Policy and technology. In 2012 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (pp. 413-427). IEEE.

Pujol, E., Hohlfeld, O., & Feldmann, A. (2015, October). Annoyed Users: Ads and Ad-Block Usage in the Wild. In Proceedings of the 2015 ACM Conference on Internet Measurement Conference (pp. 93-106). ACM.