Featured Cases

How to determine the net benefits for a distributed workforce

View Case Details

Advice needed for smaller businesses for the credit crunch, can you help?

View Case Details

Where is GPS headed? Make your wishlists and predictions here, and they may come true someday...

View Case Details


Telecom / Broadband / Wireless rss feedInsight Community Cases (All Public)

Sort by: Most Recent | End Date

How Do Web Performance Issues Impact Your Life Online?Case Details

 

Closed: 24 Dec 2013, 11:59PM PT

The top insight will receive a one-year Watercooler Subscription on Techdirt

We've all seen the digital panic that ensues when a massive service like Gmail or Facebook goes down for even a small portion of users. Smaller versions of the same thing take place every day with services that are less widely adopted but just as important to the people who rely on them. It doesn't even take an outage to cause problems — frequent slowdowns and interruptions can quickly cause a massive productivity traffic jam. With the degree to which we live our lives and do our work online, service problems are much more than a minor inconvenience, and at the wrong moment can be a disaster.

So we want to know: how does this impact the way you use the web? Are you prepared for interruptions in the online apps and services you use most? Have you ever abandoned an app for spotty performance, or adopted one specifically for its reliability? We're looking for everything in the way of insights, anecdotes and ideas about performance issues online.

You can share your responses on the Insight Community. Remember, if you have a Techdirt account, then you're already a member and can head on over to the case page to submit your insights.

One best response chosen by New Relic and the Techdirt editorial team will receive a free one-year Watercooler subscription on Techdirt (regular price $50). The subscription includes access to the Crystal Ball and the Insider Chat, plus five monthly First Word/Last Word credits, and can be applied to your own Techdirt account or gifted to someone else.

The case will be open for four weeks, with the best response announced shortly afterwards. We look forward to your insights!

0 Insights

View Case Details

How Do You Manage The Performance And Reliability Of Web Apps And Services?Case Details

 

Closed: 27 Nov 2013, 11:59PM PT

The top insight will receive a one-year Watercooler Subscription on Techdirt

For providers of online apps and services, great success equals great responsibility. As users come to rely on something, the consequences of it failing become dire, and the importance of maintenance and performance monitoring grows.

So Techdirt and our sponsor New Relic have a question for all the developers, entrepreneurs, technicians and others out there: how do you tackle this challenge? Not only does a growing user base make it more important to closely track the performance of a web app, it makes it more difficult too. How do you make sure your service is running smoothly? How do you identify major failures or performance issues as they happen? What are the biggest challenges therein, and what tools do you use to overcome them? We're also interested in any feedback you have on New Relic's own performance monitoring tools.

In exchange for your insights, we're offering some perks. Firstly, anyone who signs up for New Relic and installs the service will receive a free Nerd Life t-shirt. The basic account is free and comes with a 14 day trial of the pro service, and there's no commitment or credit card required.

Additionally, one best response chosen by New Relic and the Techdirt editorial team will receive a free one-year Watercooler subscription on Techdirt (regular price $50). The subscription includes access to the Crystal Ball and the Insider Chat, plus five monthly First Word/Last Word credits, and can be applied to your own Techdirt account or gifted to someone else.

The case will be open for four weeks, with the best response announced shortly afterwards. We look forward to your insights!

1 Insight

View Case Details

Performance Matters: Share Your Insights On Web & Mobile App Hosting For A Chance To WinCase Details

 

Closed: 13 Oct 2013, 11:59PM PT

The top insight will receive a one-year Watercooler Subscription on Techdirt

No matter how useful, unique or fun and online application is, nobody's going to use it if it doesn't perform well. But as these applications scale, it gets harder and harder for developers to keep track of their performance and identify bottlenecks before they become critical. On today's web, noticing a problem only after users have reported it is too late.

New Relic, a powerful application performance monitoring tool, aims to make this challenge easier, and is seeking input from developers and startups involved in the design and operation of web and mobile services. In a series of Insight Community cases, we'll be gathering insights from Techdirt readers, with prizes for the best responses.

This month, we're starting with an open question: what are your experiences with app hosting online? We're interested to know where, how and why various apps for web and mobile are hosted, what works and what doesn't, and what the biggest ongoing challenges are when it comes to deploying a reliable, high-performance app or service. If you try out the New Relic service and share specific insights based on what you discover, even better!

In exchange for your insights, we're offering some perks. Firstly, anyone who signs up for New Relic and installs the service will receive a free Nerd Life t-shirt. The basic account is free and comes with a 14 day trial of the pro service, and there's no commitment or credit card required.

Additionally, one best response chosen by New Relic and the Techdirt editorial team will receive a free one-year Watercooler subscription on Techdirt (regular price $50). The subscription includes access to the Crystal Ball and the Insider Chat, plus five monthly First Word/Last Word credits, and can be applied to your own Techdirt account or gifted to someone else.

The case will be open for four weeks, with the best response announced shortly afterwards. We look forward to your insights!

2 Insights

View Case Details

Video Contest: Create A PSA Video Showing The Impact Of Technology On CreativityCase Details

 

Closed: 28 Oct 2011, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $1,000 for Insights on this case.

A few weeks ago we wrote about a contest that NBC Universal was putting on, officially through New York City, asking students to make propaganda films, repeating NBC Universal/MPAA talking points about how copyright infringement was damaging NBC Universal.  In going through the fine print on the contest, we noted a few oddities.  First, you were not supposed to actually use facts or data and make a case.  Instead, the rules flat out told you what your position was.  You had to support the claim that "piracy costs jobs."  Think the data shows that the real problem is legacy companies like NBC Universal not adapting to embrace new opportunities?  Too bad.

Even worse, the detailed fine print in the contest (which is pretty difficult to dig out), shows that if you win, you lose the copyright on your video.  Seriously.  It's pretty amazing that a video contest promoting the supposed importance of copyright to creators involves requiring creators to give up their copyrights.  The prize?  A measly $500.

So we're offering a competing contest, here via our Insight Community platform.  We're asking people to create PSA videos showing the impact of technology on creativity today.  We're not asking you to advocate any specific position at all, because unlike that other contest, we're pretty secure in our beliefs and won't melt like the wicked witch of the west should someone submit a PSA that challenges some of them.  We believe that the best videos will be both creative and have a factual basis.

Also, as per our standard Insight Community terms and conditions (and again unlike that other contest), you retain the copyright to whatever you do.  We would recommend a permissive license -- with our favorite being something like the CC0 Public Domain license or the WTFPL license, but it's entirely up to you.  The only condition -- as per our Ts & Cs, is that we're granted a license to make use of the work as well, for the sake of showing it on our sites (Insight Community and Techdirt).

Oh, and while that other contest is offering $500 to the winner, we're offering $1,000.  As a result of our original post, a bunch of you stepped up and offered up about $500 in donations for this contest, and we're matching that with another $500 ourselves.

Finally: in order to enter, you need to:

  1. have an Insight Community account (your Techdirt login will work if you have one, or create one on the Insight Community site),
  2. create your video and upload it somewhere public, such as YouTube or Vimeo,
  3. include your Insight Community username at the end of the video,
  4. add an "insight" entry to this case, in which you link to your own video.

That's it.

 

4 Insights

View Case Details

The New World of LogisticsCase Details

 

Closed: 15 Dec 2010, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $100 for Insights on this case.

UPS loves logistics and is looking to start engaging with others who share its passion -- and who have an appreciation for the modern complexities of combining the latest technology with efficient supply chains. The global economy is more interconnected than ever before, and global logistics can make the difference between success and failure. The competitive advantage that integrated global logistics provides can help to improve customer service, to expand into new markets and to improve the bottom line -- and we'd like to hear about your stories.

To start off this conversation, we're interested in hearing about "new logistics" -- such as experiences involving small businesses that have leveraged logistics to take advantage of international markets, or how logistics helped you and your company to better compete with larger companies by creating new opportunities, or simply explanations of what "new logistics" means to you and how it has helped build up your company's operations.

Relevant information to include in your insights:

  • The type of business you're describing and how logistical obstacles are met
  • Summaries of how your logistical challenges were ultimately successfully resolved
  • Examples of modern logistics -- describing the challenges for smaller businesses just starting out
  • Technologies that have advanced (or will improve) logistic operations (eg. RFID, 4G wireless networks, etc)
Based on the responses we receive, we'll follow up with future cases on other topics -- or cases that further delve into viewpoints on related subjects.

 

6 Insights

View Case Details

Everyone Offers Collaboration Software, But Who Really Needs It?Case Details

 

Closed: 30 Sep 2010, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $200 for Insights on this case.

Enterprise 2.0 has been a catch-all description for the shift towards better collaborative software tools that help groups communicate in real time to increase employee productivity.  As part of this movement, IBM sees a progression away from a world centered on emails using Microsoft Word and Outlook.

Supporting this idea, IBM has a whitepaper entitled: "Collaboration 2.0 -- Taking Collaboration to the Next Level: From the E-mail and Document-centric World of 'Enterprise 1.0' to the People-centric World of Enterprise 2.0".  Register to read it, and IBM would like your feedback on it.

Download the whitepaper here.

Interesting critiques of this whitepaper include, but are not limited to, questions such as:

  • How can this whitepaper target its audience better?
  • What specific business communities would benefit most from employing Collaboration 2.0 tools?
  • How could this whitepaper be improved?  What points could be added? 
  • Given the recent demise of Google Wave, what lessons can be learned for collaboration software providers?

The type of insights we're looking for will generate useful discussions regarding the capabilities of collaboration tools.  You can also tell us about your experiences using collaboration tools (what you like or don't like about them).  Additionally, you can help us out by sharing this whitepaper with others and aggregating feedback on it.  Ultimately, we're interested in creating an interesting collection of opinions (and factoids) for folks who might be evaluating various online collaboration apps.  We may re-print your submissions as blog posts on other websites, and your insightful aphorisms may be quoted in future publications.    

The topic of this Insight Community case is sponsored by IBM. Of course, the content of this case consists entirely of the thoughts and opinions of the author(s) and not of IBM.

14 Insights

View Case Details

Looking For Feedback On IT Innovation ResourcesCase Details

 

Closed: 30 May 2010, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $200 for Insights on this case.

As you know, we've been running the ITInnovation.com tab within Techdirt since last year, sponsored by Sun (now Oracle) and Intel.  We've had a series of fascinating discussions within blog posts and webinars during that time.  We've also continued to regularly refresh the IT Innovation Resource Center, which includes a rotating list of useful tools and white papers provided either by us or the sponsors of IT Innovation.

We'd like to get some feedback and insight into the quality of these resources and how they might be improved upon.  Listed below are six currently available white papers in the Resource Center.  If you are familiar with these topics (i.e., you work in IT), please review the white papers and write up your insights and comments on the whitepapers: what's good about them, what could be improved, what would make them more useful, etc.  You are free to provide insights on as many of the white papers as you would like, but we ask that you submit insights on each white paper as a separate insight, rather than combining them into a single response.

  • Best Practices for Managing Datacenter Costs via Application and Server Consolidation

    Server sprawl, software licensing fees, and facilities costs are sending datacenter operational expenses through the roof at a time when every penny is being scrutinized. As a result, low utilization rates and wasted power/cooling resources are no longer acceptable, and smart companies are looking to consolidation and virtualization to trim expenses and increase operating efficiency.

  • Why Solid-State Drives Usage Scenarios Are Expanding for the Datacenter

    To accomplish the objectives of making more-efficient use of IT resources, lowering power consumption, and reducing operating expenses, many companies are turning to server consolidation and virtualization efforts—endeavors that increase server CPU utilization and reduce the number of discrete servers in a datacenter.

  • The New Economics of Midsize Enterprise Computing: Oracle’s Sun Systems Based on the Intel® Xeon® Processor 5500 Series

    Midsize companies often face the same competitive pressures as large-scale enterprises. However, they may not possess the resources and staff to invest heavily in complex computing systems. Yet it’s critical for IT organizations within these companies to ensure that they have the strongest, most expandable systems in place, so that their companies have the requisite flexibility to adapt quickly to changing market conditions, roll out new products and services in shorter cycles, and become more effective competitors.

  • New Blades and Networking Solutions Ensure Solid Return on Investment

    Traditionally, when companies need more computing power to deal with expanding amounts of data, they increase the number of servers, the number of compute cores per server, and the memory capacity of each server. Today’s high-powered blade servers save space and help enable significant gains in computing performance, especially when workloads are consolidated efficiently and datacenter resources are utilized most effectively. To accommodate this increase in capacity, however, the network infrastructure carrying the data must also be upgraded.

  • Reassessing Server Costs for Midsize Companies

    Most companies keep their servers for three to five years—a time frame that seems reasonable given current economic conditions. Despite the savings this would seem to imply, however, extending server life in the datacenter in this way may not be the best strategy, even in the toughest economic times.

  • Oracle Solaris Operating System — Optimized for the Intel® Xeon® Processor 5600 and 7500 series

    This document is intended as a technical guide for developers and system administrators that want to understand the precise details of how Oracle® Solaris and the Intel® Xeon® processor 5600 and 7500 series can improve your application solution environment.

     

     

20 Insights

View Case Details

IT Predictions for 2010 And BeyondCase Details

 

Closed: 28 Dec 2009, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $100 for Insights on this case.

As 2010 looms, we're continuing our series of cases here to develop interesting, engaging and useful discussions for our new sub-site, IT Innovations. We're looking for insights that might help IT managers stay informed and keep their operations competitive.  

For this case, we're looking for your predictions for the upcoming year for data centers or IT management.  What changes do you anticipate for 2010?  What are you most looking forward to?  What trends from 2009 will really pick up in 2010?  What events are you planning for in 2010?  These are just a few of the questions we'd like to see answered.  It's hard to look into the crystal ball and predict the future with certainty, so if you want to evaluate past predictions and correct the predictions of popular IT pundits, feel free to do that, too.  Our main goal is to try to offer an insightful and practical outlook for the year ahead. 

This case isn't necessarily restricted to just 2010, either.  If you have predictions for the distant future, please share your thoughts on what you think will happen in the next decade and beyond as well.

7 Insights

View Case Details

A Look Back At 2009 For ITCase Details

 

Closed: 28 Dec 2009, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $100 for Insights on this case.

We're continuing our series of cases here to develop interesting, engaging and useful discussions for our new sub-site, IT Innovations. We're looking for insights that might help IT managers stay informed and keep their operations competitive.  

As the end of the year approaches, we're looking for your views regarding significant trends or events that happened in 2009 that will affect (or have already affected) data centers or IT management.  If you have a list of the "top 10" IT milestones for 2009, that would be great.  But if you only think there was *one* major event, and you'd like to delve into that topic -- we're open to that discussion, too.

If you're really ambitious, an overview of the past decade could be interesting as well.  Looking back at the past can help everyone plan for the future, so recent lessons from the past year (or even the last few years) could be enlightening.  How has the financial crisis affected the IT landscape?  How does the current environment compare to the dot-com bust?  What were the most game-changing products/services/concepts that were introduced in the recent past?  These are just a few of the topics we'd love to hear your opinions on....

4 Insights

View Case Details

Picking The Right Spot For A Data CenterCase Details

 

Closed: 16 Dec 2009, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $100 for Insights on this case.

If you haven't noticed, we're starting an ongoing series of cases here to develop interesting, engaging and useful discussions for our new sub-site, IT Innovations.  We're looking for insights that might help IT managers stay informed and keep their operations competitive.  

So for this case's topic, we'd like to delve into the subject of picking a data center location. We're not too interested in lengthy narratives about horror stories in selecting a server farm back in 1998.  But that's not to say we don't want to hear your personal experiences.  We're just aiming more for concise, non-generic advice that might help your fellow IT gurus (or gurus in training).  A few hundred words should suffice.

If you're not exactly a writer, you could submit something like a mashed-up map for where data center locations are optimally located -- just as long as your contribution is relevant and useful.  A picture can be worth a thousand words -- and is sometimes more illustrative of a point.  

And this topic isn't restricted only to geographic factors.  There are likely a multitude of reasons for choosing a data center, and we'd like to hear what you think are some of the most important.  

 

7 Insights

View Case Details

The Importance Of Skilled Immigrants To The American EconomyCase Details

 

Closed: 27 Oct 2009, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $50 for Insights on this case.

One of the most difficult concepts to grasp, at times, is the difference between a zero-sum game and a non-zero-sum game. This becomes especially evident when discussing skilled immigration in America. There are many who are quite against the idea of giving visas to skilled foreigners to come to the US, believing that these individuals "take away jobs" from Americans. The only problem is that this is not supported by the data. That's because jobs are not a zero-sum game. There is not a set number of jobs that cannot change. And skilled immigrants have a long history of not just coming to the US, but also in creating a significant number of new jobs.

The importance of skilled immigrants in driving new jobs has been known for years, but the trend has only accelerated over the past decade. That older study found that 25% of Silicon Valley companies were founded by immigrants. A more recent Duke study found that this number has spread throughout the US: of tech- or engineering-related companies founded across the US, over 25% were founded by immigrants. In Silicon Valley, the number is now 52.4%. These companies are creating tremendous new job opportunities, not taking them away. Growing jobs is quite important.

Furthermore, it's difficult to see how keeping skilled immigrant labor out of the country helps the US. Those same workers do not disappear. Instead, they join tech companies in their homeland, where they end up competing against US companies. Shouldn't we want the best and smartest individuals working for US companies and helping to create US jobs, rather than the alternative?

Many of the concerns about skilled labor immigration tend to focus on the controversial H-1b program, with most of the complaints pointing to various abuses with the program. But we shouldn't be throwing out a good idea (encouraging skilled labor to come build companies in the US) with the fact that the program itself has been abused at times. If there are abuses, let's fix the abuses, while looking at better ways to encourage immigration from those we want to help us building our economy.

The Innovation Movement is an effort by the Consumer Electronics Association to make more people aware of such issues, and to make sure that Congress actually takes these issues into account, rather than just focusing on the patriotic headline while ignoring the unpatriotic results.

In this Insight Community Conversation, we're looking for thoughtful and well-written discussions on skilled labor immigration, and how to best encourage it. These can be ideas on how to respond to critics of skilled immigration programs, how to improve our current programs (such as the H-1b), or even brand new ideas for how the US could best encourage skilled immigration and enabling the creation of more jobs in the high tech sector. The best results will be used as posts on the Innovation Movement website.

10 Insights

View Case Details

Mandates To Buy American Should Be More Carefully ConsideredCase Details

 

Closed: 23 Sep 2009, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $100 for Insights on this case.

We all know that the economy is in tough shape these days, and (as always happens in such situations) there's often a misguided push to put up trade barriers to try to force people to "Buy American." Of course, time and time again, such trade barriers have proven to actually do tremendous harm to Americans, rather than help them. We're already seeing this with friendly trading partners like Canada threatening to retaliate. That retaliation harms American jobs much more than any jobs "gained" from such protectionist barriers (as pointed out by the non-partisan and highly respected Peterson Institute). On top of that, by adding barriers on goods that Americans want, the end result is only that Americans end up paying *more* for their goods -- not exactly an outcome consumers are likely to appreciate during an economic downturn.

Granted, it's quite easy to understand the patriotic feeling behind a "Buy American" clause -- and we all want to support our country. But the problem is that in not paying attention to the actual impact, and pretending that there are no "unintended consequences," a Buy American clause can be detrimental to America in the long run. That doesn't seem particularly patriotic.

The Innovation Movement is an effort by the Consumer Electronics Association to make more people aware of important policy issues, and to make sure that Congress actually takes relevant data into account, rather than just focusing on the patriotic headline while ignoring the unpatriotic results.

In this Insight Community Conversation, we're looking for thoughtful and well-written discussions on the pros and cons of a "Buy American" clause for US policies. The best results will be used as posts on the Innovation Movement website.

12 Insights

View Case Details

How To Prevent Copyright From Interfering With InnovationCase Details

 

Closed: 9 Sep 2009, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $50 for Insights on this case.

As anyone who reads Techdirt regularly knows, copyright is a big issue around here -- with particular concern in how certain industries have used copyright law not for its intended and stated purpose (to promote the progress) but for exactly the opposite reason. It's been used time and time again as a weapon against progress and innovation, by industries who saw that innovation as a threat to their business model. In the 1980s, Hollywood tried to outlaw the VCR, declaring it "the Boston Strangler" of the movie industry. The reality was exactly the opposite. The VCR helped revitalize the movie industry and provided the fuel that grew the industry throughout the last two decades. Then, a decade ago, the music industry tried to kill the first MP3 players, again insisting that a portable MP3 player would destroy the music industry. Once again, they failed -- and once again, their own failure has helped to save them. A recent Harvard study found that the success of the digital music market has grown the overall ecosystem and resulted in much greater output in music.

But, still, the industry fights such advances, often using a variety of different tactics, including lobbying and lawsuits. On this front, they've been winning a lot more than losing lately, to their own detriment. Copyright has been extended and changed over and over again, now covering significantly more than it ever did and ever was intended to cover. And certain industries are using that to their advantage. In two recent court rulings, the Hollywood movie studios were able to prevent two different innovative products from hitting the market, since both involved making backup copies of DVDs. Even though these were both designed for perfectly legitimate reasons, both were banned, due to copyright or copyright-related issues.

Imagine how different the movie industry would be if the VCR were not allowed? Imagine how different the music industry would be today if the iPod was illegal? Yet, we're unable to know how different the music industry would be today if Napster has been allowed to live, and the industry had found a way to monetize via its platform. And now we likely won't be able to find out how the movie industry would be different if people could back up their movies legally (there are, of course, unauthorized options for both, but that, too, limits their ability to advance and innovate).

The Innovation Movement is an effort by the Consumer Electronics Association to make more people aware of such issues, and to make sure that Congress actually takes these issues into account, rather than just focusing on the patriotic headline while ignoring the unpatriotic results.

In this Insight Community Conversation, we're looking for thoughtful and well-written discussions on the importance of not letting copyright stand in the way of innovation. How can politicians better understand the negative impacts of certain industries using copyright to protect old business models and take away consumer rights? The copyright system supporters can always point to the past -- noting the successes of the industry and (often incorrectly) attributing it entirely to copyright. But it's hard for innovators to point to the future of what could be if they were allowed to innovate freely. We're looking for discussions on ways to better make this point to politicians, journalists, consumers and (yes) the very industries that have been fighting so hard to protect their old business models. Present a convincing argument on why innovation is key, and holding it back with copyright is bad for everyone. The best results will be used as posts on the Innovation Movement website.

18 Insights

View Case Details

Rethinking Print In A Technological EraCase Details

 

Closed: 27 May 2009, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $200 for Insights on this case.

 

The business of print has always been a risky one. While the printing press made it much cheaper to print, there were still significant fixed costs involved. In order to make it economically feasible to print something, you had to make sure there were enough buyers, which involved significant forecasting. There were also significant costs associated with setting up each print run, such that it wasn't economically reasonable to do really custom work. Thankfully, in the past few decades advances in various technologies have made it cheaper and cheaper -- even as the rise of the internet has led many to write off the opportunities for print publishing, and even suggest that paper was dying.

Yet, what if that same trends, of ever decreasing technology costs combined with increasing quality and internet connectivity, enable a new era of print? These trends have the ability to enable things that simply couldn't be done before. We're seeing the beginnings of this with print-on-demand and self-publishing services, but where does it go from here? How far will these technology trends take us in creating totally new opportunities for print? When it's easy and cost effective to not just self-publish, but *micro-publish* suddenly the entire stream of possibilities becomes different. A photographer can publish a special magazine for every attendee at a wedding (even with the attendee's photo customized to be on the front). Or a novelist can let fans buy each chapter to be delivered fresh each month (or week!) as she finishes it. A textbook maker can create a totally customizable textbook, listing out a series of chapters online, allowing professors/teachers/students to create their own combination based on what works best for them.

And those are just a few starter ideas. HP is sponsoring this conversation (with more info at futureofprint.com) about how these trends will enable all sorts of new possibilities and business models. What new opportunities will be enabled thanks to ever cheaper print-on-demand offerings that combine customization, high quality and the connectivity of the internet? What new businesses may spring out of this convergence? What new hobbies, side projects, cultural artifacts? We're looking for creative thinking on where these trends will take us and what they'll enable.

28 Insights

View Case Details

Building A Web Presence For Your Small BusinessCase Details

 

Closed: 11 Feb 2009, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $100 for Insights on this case.

Continuing our string of useful conversations, Register.com is sponsoring a series of discussions at the Insight Community concerning the development of a web presence by small business owners. Selected insights generated here will be featured on Register.com's Learning Center to benefit beginners in the small business community who are looking to build robust online websites.

For this first case, we're looking for recommendations on how business owners and entrepreneurs can get started with their efforts to expand their business online. Given the maturity of online advertising and the internet as a communication channel for customer service, how can small businesses take advantage of email, websites and web services to acquire new customers or increase customer loyalty? What metrics should a small business monitor to judge its online efforts? What kind of expertise does a business need to create a long-term online plan?

These are not the only questions to answer, but merely a sampling of some interesting topics. When submitting your contribution, avoid simply answering the questions listed here and develop your own unique insights for an approximately 200-500 word article that a small business audience would find interesting and enlightening.

Selected insights from this case will be re-published on Register.com's small business resource website, and the goal is to create a collection of educational articles aimed at a non-technical audience.

18 Insights

View Case Details

What Does Virtualization Mean To You?Case Details

 

Closed: 3 Dec 2008, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $500 for Insights on this case.

Intel and IBM would like to get the Insight Community's thoughts on what virtualization (in the IT context) means to you.  

They will be hosting the best thoughts on this subject on their new site, Virtualization Conversation.

Pick ONE of the following topics and expand on it to discuss your views on the subject in approximately 750 to 1,500 words.

  • Maximizing the business value of data centers
  • Virtualization benchmarks
  • The benefits of virtualization
  • Improving efficiencies in the work environment

We're looking for views from folks in the IT world, giving some insight into their real world experiences on these topics. Eight Three responses will be chosen and placed on the Virtualization Conversation site.

Update: Intel and IBM were so pleased with the quality of responses, that they have increased the number of insights that they would like to use from three to eight.  Thanks everyone for your excellent insights!

17 Insights

View Case Details

Keeping Productivity High For On The Go WorkersCase Details

 

Closed: 2 Dec 2008, 11:59PM PT

Qualifying Insights Split a $3,000 Bonus.

From both the digital nomad's perspective and the perspective of anyone who manages digital nomads, one of the biggest challenges is in maintaining productivity on the go. For some, the freedom of being a digital nomad allows them to be more productive, by letting them work at the best time and the most convenient places. However, for others, the lack of structure makes productivity difficult. For those of you who are digital nomads, what strategies do you employ to make sure you remain motivated and productive on the go. For those of you who manage digital nomads, what strategies are there to employ to keep your workforce motivated, even if they're not under the same level of supervision and communication as in-house employees?

Dell is sponsoring the conversations here, and the best results will be placed on a site sponsored by Dell: http://whitepaper.digitalnomads.com/. The content may later also be added to a whitepaper and a wiki on the subject, representing the world's first "crowdsourced whitepaper." While Dell is sponsoring the conversation, the content is vendor neutral. Just provide your insights on the question at hand.

25 Insights

View Case Details

Should Cell Phone Use Be Banned In Restaurants, Theaters and Classrooms?Case Details

 

Closed: 6 Nov 2008, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $100 for Insights on this case.

LetsTalk's PhoneTalk blog wants to add new voices to its website, and they're posting regular Cases here for the Insight Community to add interesting new content to their site. The winning submissions for each Challenge Case will be posted (perhaps with some editing) on the PhoneTalk blog -- with credits to the author. The following is LetsTalk's next assignment:

Talking loudly on a cell phone in public is pretty much universally frowned upon. There have been plenty of attempts to ban mobile phones in classrooms and theaters, but is there a better way to let phone users know when it's not appropriate to use their phones? Are there technological solutions that would help? What do you think of subvocal microphones or software that would prevent dangerous or impolite phone use? What kind of etiquette rules would you suggest for various locations? How could these rules best be enforced?

 

14 Insights

View Case Details

When Will Mobile Computing Really Take Off?Case Details

 

Closed: 29 Oct 2008, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $100 for Insights on this case.

LetsTalk's PhoneTalk blog wants to add new voices to its website, and they're posting regular Cases here for the Insight Community to add interesting new content to their site. The winning submissions for each Challenge Case will be posted (perhaps with some editing) on the PhoneTalk blog -- with credits to the author. The following is LetsTalk's next assignment:

More and more mobile phones are flaunting Qwerty keyboards and fast internet connections, and at the same time, smaller than sub-notebook computers are trying to break into the market to offer phone-like portability. Will these approaches eventually converge? Would you buy a Nokia subnotebook? How will 3G data plans affect the evolution of mobile computing? How would you predict the growth of smarterphone (or sub-subnotebook) adoption? What factors will accelerate the growth of mobile computing? What sort of milestones will signify a new era of mobile internet devices? When will these milestones occur?

13 Insights

View Case Details

How Can Digital Nomads Stay Connected With Coworkers?Case Details

 

Closed: 5 Nov 2008, 11:59PM PT

Qualifying Insights Split a $4,000 Bonus.

We're looking to get insights into how individuals and the workplace are changing due to an increasingly "mobile" workforce -- thanks to things like widespread laptop and mobile device usage, as well as wireless connectivity. These days, "working" no longer means "being in the office." People and employees have truly become "Digital Nomads."  We're hosting a series of cases exploring different aspects related to this new mobile workforce. Dell is sponsoring the conversations here, and the best results will be placed on a site sponsored by Dell: http://whitepaper.digitalnomads.com/. The content may later also be added to a whitepaper and a wiki on the subject. While Dell is sponsoring the conversation, the content is vendor neutral. Just provide your insights on the question at hand.

One of the biggest challenges a digital nomad faces is keeping in touch with coworkers, team members or partners, when the group is not in the same physical space most of the time.  These days, many rely on tools like instant messaging, wikis, collaborative workspaces, email and other tools to keep everyone on the same page.  What are some tips and tricks that you've found for keeping a group of digital nomads working together well?  What were some of the downsides and challenges?  How were those overcome or minimized?

24 Insights

View Case Details

ROI On Digital NomadsCase Details

 

Closed: 30 Oct 2008, 11:59PM PT

Qualifying Insights Split a $3,000 Bonus.

We're looking to get insights into how individuals and the workplace are changing due to an increasingly "mobile" workforce -- thanks to things like widespread laptop and mobile device usage, as well as wireless connectivity. These days, "working" no longer means "being in the office." People and employees have truly become "Digital Nomads." Over the next few weeks and months, we'll be hosting a series of cases exploring different aspects related to this new mobile workforce. Dell is sponsoring the conversations here, and the best results will be placed on a site sponsored by Dell: http://whitepaper.digitalnomads.com/. The content may later also be added to a whitepaper and a wiki on the subject. While Dell is sponsoring the conversation, the content is vendor neutral. Just provide your insights on the question at hand.

We all know that more employees are becoming Digital Nomads, but from a business and IT perspective, how do you determine if this is a net benefit or a net loss?  Do you do anything to measure the specific ROI of having a dispersed workforce?  If so, how are you measuring it?  What have you found?  What would make it easier to determine the ROI of having a distributed workforce?  Basically, we're looking for any discussion that can speak to the ROI (good or bad) of having a workforce made up of Digital Nomads.

16 Insights

View Case Details

<< first | < prev |
| next > | last >>