Thao Le

ITS 380

Professor Shin-Ping Tucker


Chapter 11: Social Networks and Online Communities

Case Study

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

EBay began their business as an “all auction” Web site, which was an innovation at the time. It depended on millions of small sellers to sell unwanted products. Then it moved into a more professional seller environment where small retailers would purchase goods from others, and then re-sell on eBay at a profit. Then in 2009, eBay’s revenues fizzled, and Amazon’s retail model became popular. The current business model is like Amazon’s, dependent more on professional retailers and large online stores to sell products at fixed prices.


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

The main problem Ebay is currently facing is to drive revenue growth. EBay’s revenue growth partially stalled because the small retailers using eBay couldn’t create the sales volume that eBay requires. Therefore, eBay has moved to underline larger scale and professional large volume retailers. Moreover, eBay had to get the better of its own brand. Because eBay was widely known as an auction site, it was very difficult to create a new brand image more similar to Amazon’s as a site which sells just about everything at a fixed price. However, eBay is keeping to move in that direction, and successfully. It now obtains 70% from its revenue from traditional e-commerce.


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

Yes, because eBay’s market strategies are adapting in order to accommodate the frequent changes in the evolving technologies and internet users. Furthermore, the company has created an identity crisis and had a new focus on the secondary attracted the interest of bulk seller. .Finally, Tweaked search ordering algorithm favors power sellers

Some other solutions that eBay should take into consideration are: Spin off retail arm, Mobile e-commerce and Package pickup.


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

-         Top three online competitors of eBay are Amazon, Google, Ebid.

-         eBay’s strategy gives the company as advantage to compete because of the following:

·        The variety of products/services offered

·        eBay Community

·        eBay website

·        eBay’s brand name

·        eBay’s global reach


1.      Visit one for-profit and one nonprofit sponsored social network. What organizational objectives is each pursuing? How is the for-profit company using community-building technologies as a customer relations management tool?

-          For-profit sponsored social network: Giantnerd

It is a company that sells outdoor equipment for outdoor activities like hiking, biking and snowboarding. This company is known as one of the best examples of social media integration seen online today. Their emphasis is on giving their customers the most value possible while becoming friends with them in the process. They’ve created a social network on their site that’s completely different from other social networks like Facebook or Twitter. Their one-click process to join their network makes it easy and fast to join the group and they incentivize new membership by offering a discount to all new members with their “Nerds save 5%” promotion. Giantnerd has incorporated the Like button on their site and they promise their fans exclusive deals and promotions when they click “Like” and join their Facebook community. Finally, Giantnerd provides multiple social methods to get feedback from other social buyers.

-          Non-profit sponsored social network: The Human Society

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is considered as a non-profit sponsored social network. They have an active account on Twitter and other social media platforms, but the main social media they use is Facebook. In 2013, nearly 5 percent of their donation came from Facebook with $200,000 in a year. To maintain numbers like these, HSUS employed two critical tactics. Firstly, each person that comments on any of their platforms receives a personal reply from the organization. Second, they include donation forms within custom Facebook tabs with lower donation amounts to encourage people to give what they can afford. These forms are easily to be shared so donors can also tell their friends about their contribution and invite them to get involved


2.      Visit one of the social networks listed in Table 11.1 and compare it to Facebook. In what ways is it similar to Facebook, and in what ways is it different? Which do you prefer, and why?

I have visited Instagram, another famous social network besides Facebook.

-          The similar things between these two platform are :

People can create account and make new friend from everywhere

People can sell their products online via these social network.

They can share their thinking, their images, and their stories.

-          The difference between Facebook and Instagram:



·        A general social networking platform.

·        Is multifaceted which lets you do anything; you can create and join groups, shop, share photos and videos, create an event, and more with Facebook.

·        is a multi-purpose application with lots of features which makes it a little hard to process everything

·        For people at every level of age. 




·        Mobile centric photo sharing app.

·        All about photos and videos; it’s a photo-sharing application.

·        Is a neat app without much clutter which makes it easy to navigate and work your way around.

·        For young people.