Chad Nordean


ITS 380 – Social Networks, Auctions, and Portals


Chapter 11



Case Study Questions:


1.     Contrast eBay’s original business model with its current business model.


-         eBay originally started as an auction site. When eBay started diving more into their business they realized that many more people would be willing to buy products at a fixed price as well due to the convince factor. This way people wouldn’t have to rush to last minute sales. In the beginning anyone could basically sell anything on eBay. eBay eventually made the switch to a mix of auctions and buy it now as well as restricting would could be sold on the web site. eBay turned into a basic e-commerce outlet mall.


2.     What are the problems that eBay is currently facing? How is eBay trying to solve these problems?


-         The key problems facing eBay include driving revenue and tough online competition. eBay’s revenue has slowed up because small retailers couldn’t move the quantities needed to make it powerful enough. eBay has now moved to focusing on larger corporations and large scale operations. eBay also has the challenge of rebranding itself. They face competition such as Walmart and Amazon. Which both have large operations and budgets behind them.


3.     Are the solutions eBay is seeking to implement good solutions? Why or why not? Are there any other solutions that eBay should consider?


-         With competition like Amazon and Walmart, the solutions must be good. The solutions set forth to focus on the mobile platform has been a really smart move for eBay. The new target seller have also been a really smart move that might bring stability to the platform. I think with these two solutions eBay can stay relevant, even with Amazon in the mix. The only solution that I think should also be considered is to add another unique feature like adding “in-website” coupons or something that will make eBay stand out again.


4.     Who are eBay’s top competitors online, and how will eBay’s strategy help it compete?


-         eBay’s top competitors online include Amazon and Walmart. eBay’s mobile has kept eBay relevant through all of this tough competition while they try to reestablish themselves as a auction/ buy it now site. eBay is a well-known brand and still has a massive following. With this support they may be able to re-brand and come back with a strong push to become number 1 in the industry.




Project Questions:


1.     Find two examples of an affinity portal and two examples of a focused-content portal. Prepare a presentation explaining why each of your examples should be categorized as an affinity portal or focus-content portal. For each example, surf the site and describe the services each site provides. Try to determine what revenue model each of your examples is using and, if possible, how many members or registered visitors the site has attracted.

-         Facebook is an affinity portal. It is a site for people to join and connect with other friends. Facebook’s main revenue source is advertising. It is reported that in 2018 the company earned over 40 million dollars.  Services offered by Facebook are Messenger, marketplace, Page Manager, Audience Insights.

-         LinkedIn is also a focused-content portal. It is a free site dedicated to linking business men and women together to help the users prosper in their career. Members can access jobs, top tier executives, and boast their personal resumes. This sites revenue model is a mix of advertising and subscription based for gold LinkedIn members.




2.    Visit one of the social networks in Table 1.1 and compare it to Facebook. In what ways is it similar and different to Facebook> Which do you prefer and why?


-         The social network I have chosen to compare Facebook to is MeetME.








Chat, feed, ads, friends, videos, groups, businesses, Processing capability, marketplace

Chat, feed, friends, groups


More users/ Easy use/ Brand aware

New/ user friendly/ great communication


Overall, Facebook is user friendly and offers a wider variety of services. I would prefer Facebook over MeetME because it is much more intuitive and also has a much larger audience!