the history of online shopping

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Today, we can shop online in almost everywhere for almost everything, for some of us, we shop online as frequently as, if not more than, shop in stores. However just about 10 years ago, the idea of having products delivered to your door with few clicks on a website would be thought as a fantasy.

the rise of E-commerce started in 1990 when Tim Berners-Lee created the first World Wide Web server and browser, which opened for commercial use in 1991. Surprisingly enough, Pizza Hut led the way in online shopping. In 1994, they were the first national chain to offer online ordering with the option of home delivery. therefore the first product sold online was actually a pizza.

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Amazon was launched in 1995 and was originally designed to be an online bookstore. However, it soon became apparent that there was a massive demand for other goods as well and the company quickly diversified soon offering an eclectic collection of merchandise.

then in 1998, Paypal is founded. This enabled transactions of money without sharing financial information and gave customers the flexibility to pay using their PayPal account balances, bank accounts, PayPal Credit and other credit cards.

the convenience of shopping online and the range of online products grow continuously to this very day. Today’s shoppers combine online shopping with real life shopping, using access to WiFi and the showrooming trend. They often make purchases in a retail stores at the same time as using mobile devices to buy something online. In fact, this Forbes report tells us that 74 per cent of people use their mobile phone to help them while shopping, with 79 per cent making a purchase as a result.

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a habit changing 3-month

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I’m not proud to say that, just a couple of months ago, I was one of those who never paid for the songs they listen to. However, I’ve been a converted member of Apple Music, ever since it lunched in June 2015. And I’m positive to say that I’m not the only one whose music listening habit has been changed by Apple Music’s 3-month free trail.

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After “revolutionized digital music” with iPod and iTunes, Apple introduce this music streaming app for all ios, Mac, as well as Windows and Android devices. apart from listening and downloading music, the users can get access to music radios like Beats 1. The app also offers customizing functions. As soon as you log in to Apple Music and go to the “For You” tab, you will see an array of bubbles offering genres and, on a separate screen, artists, so you can select which artists and genres you prefer. This feature tells the company what music you like and what artists you are indifferent to, so as you listen, you can continue to tap on hearts to tell the company your tastes  – defining your personal algorithm – so that it can make educated guesses on playlists and other content.

The 3-month free trail appears to be a successful tactic as of February 2016, Apple Music had exceeded 11 million subscribers since ending the initial trials in September 2015. However the fact that the Apple company is not paying the artists when their songs are listened in the first 3 months, has occurred great controversy in the music industry. Taylor Swift wrote an open letter publicly criticizing Apple’s decision to not reimburse artists during a user’s three-month free trial period and announced that she would be holding back her album 1989 from the service. She said the policy was “unfair” as “Apple Music will not be paying writers, producers, or artists for those three months”.

I’m almost invisible online

I’m not sure whether to be happy or worried about the fact that while everyone else in this blog are shocked by the visibility of their personal details, I can find very little about myself when I searched my name in Google. Other than my own facebook account, the search results are all other people who share my name (male and female) pursuing professions I would never imagine myself do. for example, I found this girl who writes songs and plays them on Youtube which is quite cool:

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I also found out that my name is shared y a Taoist priest (if you don’t know what Tao is check here), and that is just bizarre.

I think the reason of  why there is not much about me in Google search is that I seldom use my real name on social media platforms, so if you are worried about your personal information getting leaked, perhaps using an “nick name” is a way to protect privacy.

which concerns me more about online visibility is the security of my information in E-shops, as I shop online quite often, I have this constant worry about my bank account information or my address being exposed, which would be truly problematic for my real life.

All your favorite blogs in one place

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I love reading about fashion, beauty and lifestyle contents, but I was not keen on reading blogs, because I found it hard to keep up with all the bloggers on different platforms, and it’s just not as convenient as browsing on Youtube or Buzzfeed, which I can easily do on my mobile. However, all has been changed, since I was introduced to Bloglovin’.

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Bloglovin’ is a platform that allows users to read, organize, and discover their favorite blogs on mobile and desktop. It is a design-focused platform that aggregates feeds from sources with RSS feeds, allowing users to discover and organize content. It is funded in 2007, but it started to gain popularity from 2011 and onwards, along with the rise of the lifestyle crowd and “beauty guru” on Youtube.

Basically, the site offers a interconnecting platform between blogs and blog readers. Bloglovin shares many of the social-network-for-blogging tools that are familiar from Tumblr, but it can be used to read any blog site as well as larger news sites, too. The one thing it doesn’t do is host blogs itself.

The downside of Bloglovin is that due to the contents on the site, most of its audience is female, “‘Fifteen non-alcoholic summer drinks’ was one of the most popular articles we ever had”,  said the Bloglovin CEO, so it’s not necessarily, a site that’s suitable for all. Nonetheless, if you have an interest on  such contents, Bloglovin will be a great all-in-one site to visit form web to all your mobile devices.

the sims 4: stepping into online community

The Sims series has been the king of DLC(downloadable content) games for the past decade, Sims 4, which was introduced in early 2014, is no exception, to this very day it is perhaps still one of the most user-driven games out there. the most intriguing part of the game is that, we, as gamers can have control on almost everything in it.

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Similar to its predecessors, sims 4 starts with creating your own sims, during this process one can manipulate every detail of the “sim”‘s appearance, from hairstyle to body parts, as well as age and personality(even the way they walk!)

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the player’s creativity can be further extended, in the building mode where the player has full control of designing buildings for various purposes.

The sims is traditionally a single-player, off-line game, however, sims 4 introduced a new feature–the gallery, which allows importing Sims and houses other people have made from The Gallery into the player’s game. This impacts the world around the player’s Sims. Players may publish their creations into the Gallery for other players to download into their game instantly. The new feature is the Sims’ first try  of building an online community, in which players can explore and share their creations, instead of playing the game alone.

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A ‘nation of media multi-taskers’

while media convergence is making the media platforms more collective and attractive, it has given rise to a specific audience behaviour, known as social or organic convergence,–basically it means to  use different forms of media at one time. we may all have being through this — sitting in the living room watching TV programmes, while having a laptop or tablet on our laps to browse websites or play games, meanwhile constantly checking our smart phones to see if there is any message. If you find yourself to be such a “media stacker”, don’t worry, it has already become a national phenomenon in the UK. according to a survey conducted by Ofcom in 2013, 59% of people use their smartphones and tablets for completely unrelated activities while watching TV every week (that’s ‘media stacking’)ukcm-1-22

Research has also showed that younger adults(our generation) takes more time on media stacking, which has probably impacted our academic life. A large portion of students uses digital technologies for off-task purposes during classroom lectures, with social networking (especially Facebook, instant messaging, texting, emailing, and web-browsing being used most commonly. One experimental study compared the impact of using 4 different technologies for off-task purposes including MSN, email, texting and Facebook, to three control groups during real classroom lectures. The three control groups included one group of students who were free to use any amount of technologies as they wished including any on-task or off-task purposes. The other two groups were on-task note-takers who took notes either on paper or on a laptop. The results showed that students in the MSN and Facebook conditions scored lower on a memory test than the paper notes control group.

Get Higher Education On Reddit?

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We have all probably heard of reddit, if not, it is an entertainment, social networking, and news website where registered community members can submit content. reddit is famous for sharing and possibly leading pop culture, however the website has a subreddit called /Ureddit/, as in University of Reddit, which offers a wide range of academic courses, and with an account, everyone can attend the courses online.

The “university” was established in 2010, when user eawesome3 posted on r/askreddit that the site “should offer classes taught by people with college degrees in an online format”. In the past 5 years Ureddit has grown into a worldwide community, It now features a variety of classes spanning Art, Computer Science,Fun & Games, General Studies, Language, Mathematics & Statistics, Music, Philosophy, Science, and Social Sciences. AS a member, you can participate as a student for free, or, if you have a talent and are willing to dedicate your time,  you can become a teacher of your own course.

I think it is a very interesting and useful website for all students, but especially so for us media students. It offers an outstanding example for us to see that how information can be sufficiently shared on the Internet, via the power of social media.