Project Outline - Due Mon, 2nd July

Assignment 2 Question

With reference to a major Internet business, address the question, ‘What is the fundamental economic basis of Internet commerce?' with your team.

Project Outline

The Internet Explorers Team will answer the question with reference to Here's our proposed project outline:

1. Home page - Nicholas

2. Amazon timeline - Angus

From an economics point of view, this topic will provide a visual overview of the developments, obstacles and milestones of the world's largest online retailer, Amazon. Among other things, the timeline will provide an insight into how a business can use the affordances of the internet to grow an idea into an international multibillion dollar company.

3. Amazon's business model - Sam

In its relatively short history Amazon has grown to be one of the most successful online retailers in the world. This topic will show in detail the business model that has has driven Amazon to reach this level of success. The topic will also cover how the business model has changed throughout the years in order to stay ahead of the competition.

4. Knowledge economy- Colin

This section will investigate the rise of the knowledge economy, of ideas and intangible assets as sources of wealth creation as opposed to the traditional tangible, physical assets of production/manufacturing companies, and how Amazon has been able to capitalise on the competitive advantage of harnessing the Internet in its business processes, making it one of the most successful E-Commerce companies of the 2000s.

5. Attention economy - Moo Dean

Dollars are waiting to be spent but where should they go? Information abound on the internet. Advertisements claim to have the answer, willing the user to delay that click of the mouse long enough to give it another look and decide if this is something that is much needed or wanted. Friends and family share from personal experience, pointing the direction where the eyes ought to turn for answers. But in the final reckoning, who has the best solution?

The advent of the Internet has brought about the era of the ‘attention economy’ where the actual commodity being contested for is the attention of the user. We still have 24 hours a day to spend and we need help to decide which direction we should look for what we need.

This section will examine how Amazon has placed itself strategically to exert its greatest influence in the Attention Economy, where the first priority is to get as much attention to flow its way because it is deemed to be a more valuable commodity than information or even money itself due to its scarcity. This is the structure through which as eyeballs turn to it, the money, in whatever amounts, starts coming in.

Gauntlett, D. (2004). Basic Web Economics: How things work in the 'attention economy'. Retrieved 1 July 2012 from

6. Network economy - Angeline

According to Kelly (1997) there are twelve principles in network economy also known as the information economy. This topic will examine which principles are adopted by Amazon to create its value in the network economy.


Kelly, K. (1997, September). New Rules for the New Economy:Twelve Dependable Principles for Thriving in a Turbulent World. Wired, Issue 5.09. Retrieved June 30, 2012, from

7. The Kindle - Natalie

The Amazon Kindle – an electronic book reader was first brought out by Amazon in 2007. This device has been a huge success for Amazon and revolutionised the way we read. This section will explore what fundamentals of the Kindle have made it such a success for Amazon, along with the way that Amazon has evolved into ‘the age of access’ (Rifkin, 2001) with the production of the Kindle.

Rifkin, J. (2001). Entering the age of access. Age of access: new politics of hypercapitalism new politics of hypercapitalism, where all of life is a paid for experience 2001 ch. 1 pp 3-15. Retrieved from

8. Innovator's dilemma - Michelle

Innovation has seemingly been a major influence in Amazon's success in the online marketplace. This article will explore the effects of first-mover advantages and disadvantages for business, in specific to Amazon. This article will also explore if Amazon's innovation has been disruptive in the marketplace and whether innovation can be accounted for the causation of Amazon's large marketshare in online shopping. Furthermore, there seems to be substantial texts existing about disruptive innovation and the innovator's dilemma. The article will aim to critically analyse how Amazon could support or refute some of these existing viewpoints.

9. Tangible and intangible goods - Rachel

This section will discuss Amazon's sale of tangible and intangible goods, as well as the positive and negative effects that the sale of these goods online provide both Amazon and their customers. In additon this section will examine how the products that Amazon supplies are less dependant on the products position in what is known as the "Long Tail".

Anderson, C. (2009) The Long Tail. wired.. 12(10). Retrieved 30 July 2012 from

10. Glossary - Everyone

11. References - All to contribute, Angeline to check

12. 750 Word Team Report - Nicholas

Point Form Team Report

After initial discussions on the NET205 wiki forum, the team decided that two platforms would be used as the main method of collaboration and communication. These are:

  • MindMeister, an online mind mapping software that presents the team’s ideas and thoughts in a visual way, and;
  • Wiggio, a collaboration tool that allows the team to communicate and share information in a single online environment.

Topic Brainstorming + Delegation

  • The team used Wiggio to brainstorm the topics to cover in our answer to the assignment question.
  • Project manager (Nicholas) gave the team a deadline to decide the topics.
  • After much discussion, the topics were decided and team members chose which topic they wanted to write about.


  • The team has demonstrated its ability to communication effectively. For example, within a couple of days of creating our Wiggio account, team members were interacting and discussing what skills they could bring to the team that would assist in meeting our project outcomes.
  • Individuals within the team have showed they are happy to take on and share tasks and responsibilities such as creating and setting up project sites and communication tools.
  • The team has been able to recognise future work and plan ahead. For example, team members have taken it upon themselves to be responsible for writing weekly journal entries.


  • Some issues were experienced with team members having trouble signing up to the communication tools. We are currently still waiting on one team member to sign up.
  • Working in an online environment as a team can generate many issues. For example, because of different team member’s availability or time zones, forum posts can often take quite some time to develop into meaningful discussions. I think this is just as much of an achievement as an issue as the team has adapted very well to working in such a diverse environment with many different learning styles.
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