Monday, March 17, 2014

social cataloging!

Hello friends, we are widely using internet for shopping and trading. our previous post was regarding e-shopping(online shopping, particularly in India.) Now we are going to discuss social cataloging!

For this, lets start with the meaning of catalog(catalogue). Catalog is a list or itemized display, as of titles, course offerings, or articles for exhibition or sale, usually including descriptive information or illustrations.
Now a days we find two types of catalogs: physical catalog and digital catalog.
Physical catalog is a paper based, pamphlet or booklet which in which the catalog is printed. its distributed physically by post or by other means to everyone! Its widely called printed catalog. its main purpose is to showcase the company and its offerings.

Cyber/ Digital Catalog is an Internet-based presentation of a set of items available for purchase, including description, price, and ordering information; also called  electronic catalog and web catalog.The comparatively lower costs of on-line catalogs, compared to print catalogs requiring paper, printing, and postage, lowers the entry barriers to catalog selling. A great difference between on-line catalog and print catalog selling is that on-line catalog customers find the marketer rather than the marketer finding them. Consequently, on-line catalog customers tend to differ demographically and in purchase behavior from print catalog customers. On-line catalogs give the marketer worldwide exposure, 24-hour accessibility, and the ability to quickly change price and product. In addition to selling, on-line catalogs are used to increase brand awareness, increase product usage, generate print catalog requests, collect prospect addresses and demographics, and provide two-way communication with customers.

 To date, one of the biggest on-line catalog successes is, which is serving as a model for on-line catalog marketers. An online catalog might refer to:
The retail product offerings of an online shopping service(amazon, flipkart, ebay,...)
An electronic library catalog( Project Madurai,Traditional Knowledge Digital Library, Bookshare,...)An electronic library is a focused collection of digital objects that can include text, visual material, audio material, video material, stored as electronic media formats, along with means for organizing, storing, and retrieving the files and media contained in the library collection.

Digital libraries can vary immensely in size and scope, and can be maintained by individuals, organizations, or affiliated with established physical library buildings or institutions, or with academic institutions. The electronic content may be stored locally, or accessed remotely via computer networks. An electronic library is a type of information retrieval system.

Role of E catalogs:

Now a days social cataloging is playing a major role in our lives. Its a type of ecatalog and is defined as "A social cataloging application is a web application designed to help users to catalog things—books, CDs, etc.—owned or otherwise of interest to them. The phrase refers to two characteristics that generally arise from a multi-user cataloging environment:
The ability to share catalogs and interact with others based upon shared items;
The enrichment or improvement of cataloging description through either explicit cooperation in the production of cataloging metadata or through the analysis of implicit data( for example people who like teddy bear also like other soft toys!)"

Social cataloging applications:

Books: Goodreads, Google Books, LibraryThing.
LibraryThing is a social cataloging web application for storing and sharing book catalogs and various types of book metadata. It is used by authors, individuals, libraries, and publishers.The primary feature of LibraryThing ("LT") is the cataloging of books by importing data from libraries through Z39.50( application layer communications protocol for searching and retrieving information from a database over a TCP/IP computer network) connections and from six stores. 
Users can import information from 690 libraries, including the British Library, Canadian National Catalogue, Library of Congress, National Library of Australia, and Yale University. Should a record not be available from any of these sources, it is also possible to input the book information via a blank form!
Other Book cataloging sites works in similar fashion! University of mysore is listed as a partner by Google Books. On March 28, 2013, Amazon announced its acquisition of Goodreads for an undisclosed amount. 
On the Goodreads website, users can add books to their personal bookshelves, rate and review books, see what their friends are reading, participate in discussion boards and groups on a variety of topics, and get suggestions for future reading choices based on their reviews of previously read books. Once a user has added friends to his profile, he will see the friends' shelves and reviews and can comment on friends' pages. Goodreads organizes offline opportunities as well, such as IRL book exchanges and "literary pub crawls".The website facilitates reader interactions with authors through the interviews, giveaways, authors' blogs, and profile information. There is also a special section for authors with suggestions on promoting their works on the Goodreads site, aimed at helping them reach their target audience.In addition, it has a presence on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and other social networking sites.

Data: Jumper 2.0
Jumper is Enterprise 2.0 software that empowers users to compile and share collaborative bookmarks by crowd-sourcing their knowledge, experience and insights using knowledge tags. ApexKB (formerly Jumper 2.0), is an open source web application script for collaborative search and knowledge management powered by a shared enterprise bookmarking engine that is a fork of KnowledgebasePublisher. Users tag, link, and rate structured data and unstructured data sources, including relational databases, flat file databases, medical imaging, content management systems, and any network file system. It is an interactive, user-submitted recommendation engine which uses peer and social-networking principles to reference any information located in distributed storage devices, either inside or outside the firewall, and capture the collective knowledge about that content, media, or data.

  • Search any content, media, data, or people
  • Reference data in any distributed storage system
  • Create true Global Namespaces
  • Build Faceted classification systems
  • User published data profiling
  • Hyperdata linking of distributed data
  • Group-based permissions
  • Object level access controls
  • User and user role management
  • Descriptive tag (metadata)

Devices: gdgt
gdgt also known as Engadget is a news, reviews and opinion outlet with obsessive coverage of cutting edge gadgets, consumer electronics and the science and technology they're built upon. Its currently operates a total of ten blogs—four written in English and six international versions with independent editorial staff. Engadget has in the past ranked among the top five in the "Technorati top 100" and was noted in TIME for being one of the best blogs of 2010, although it has not appeared in that listing in the past several years.

Films: Internet Movie Database
hope you all know, IMDb? Internet Movie Database (abbreviated IMDb) is an online database of information related to films, television programs and video games, taking in actors, production crew, fictional characters, biographies, plot summaries and trivia. Actors and crew can post their own résumé and upload photos of themselves for a yearly fee. U.S. users can also view over 6,000 movies and television shows from CBS, Sony and various independent film makers.

Music: Discogs,,, Rate Your Music
Discogs, short for discographies, is a website and database of information about audio recordings, including commercial releases, promotional releases, and bootleg or off-label releases. The Discogs servers, currently hosted under the domain name While the site lists releases in all genres and on all formats, it is especially known as one of the largest online databases of electronic music releases, and of releases on vinyl media. Discogs currently contains more releases than there are English-language Wikipedia pages, at 4.7 million releases, by 3.25 million artists, across nearly 600,000 labels, contributed from over 185,000 contributor user accounts – with these figures constantly growing as users continually add previously unlisted releases to the site over time.,, Rate Your Music works similarly!

Scholarly citations: Bibster, CiteULike, Connotea, refbase
Bibster is a Java-based system which assists researchers in managing, searching, and sharing bibliographic metadata (e.g. from BibTeX files) in a peer-to-peer network. In the everyday life of researchers, one has to search for publications or their correct bibliographic metadata. Currently, people search with engines like Google and CiteSeer(a public search engine and digital library for scientific and academic papers, primarily in the fields of computer and information science,)Another method is by simply asking other people that are likely to know how to obtain the desired information.At the moment bibliographic data has to be handled manually and as a result it is not always possible to have an overview over these data masses. It is a time consuming business to search for special topics or publications, be it locally or on several bibliographic databases.
CiteULike is a web service which allows users to save and share citations to academic papers. Based on the principle of social bookmarking, the site works to promote and to develop the sharing of scientific references amongst researchers. In the same way that it is possible to catalog web pages (with Furl and delicious) or photographs (with Flickr), scientists can share citation information using CiteULike.When browsing issues of research journals, small scripts stored in bookmarks (bookmarklets) allow one to import articles from repositories like PubMed, and CiteULike supports many more. Then the system attempts to determine the article metadata (title, authors, journal name, etc.) automatically. Users can organize their libraries with freely chosen tags and this produces a folksonomy of academic interests.Connotea was a free online reference management service for scientists, researchers, and clinicians,discontinued in March 2013. It was one of a breed of social bookmarking tools, similar to CiteULike.
Conotea was aimed primarily at scientists, and while users could bookmark any webpage they chose, it incorporated special functionality for certain academic resources.
refbase is web-based institutional repository and reference management software which is often used for self-archiving.It can import and export a variety of standard bibliographic formats, including BibTeX, Endnote, RIS, ISI, MODS XML, PubMed, Medline, RefWorks, and Copac. It can generate formatted bibliographies and citations in LaTeX, RTF, HTML, and PDF. refbase also has advanced search features and can generate RSS feeds from searches. Links using DOIs and URLs can be added, as can links to files. refbase supports the Search/Retrieve via URL (SRU) and OpenSearch web services as well as COinS and unAPI metadata.refbase packages have been put in the official Gentoo Linux and Mandriva Linux repositories and has been used by the United States Geological Survey.

Places and products: KartMe
KartMe is a social networking website and mobile application that specializes in social cataloging. Members organize and share favorite links, products and places in lists called "Karts". The mobile application was an Apple "Staff Pick". The full service has been called a beauty lifesaver, a step beyond bookmarking and useful for home design projects.

Recipes: KeepRecipes
KeepRecipes is a social networking website and mobile application that specializes in social cataloging. Members organize and share favorite recipes from any website. KeepRecipes was started by the team from KartMe. They began by launching charity cookbooks with the most renowned chefs in the world!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

How a typical online store works?

Fore ground:

To begin with, we will look at a straightforward online store like or Such stores sell physical objects like books, DVDs and clothing, and digital information like MP3 music files, digital videos and software.
Most online stores have the same fundamental structure:
  1. An interface that allows you to search for products or services
  2. A shopping basket where you can list items you wish to purchase
  3. A checkout procedure
Some online stores will require you to create an account with them before you can purchase anything. Others will allow you to do once-off purchases without signing up for an account.

Why sign up for an account at an online store?

An account can be useful:
  • It allows the site to record your credit card and contact information so that you do not have to re-enter it every time you want to make a purchase.
  • It can keep a record of things you bought in the past.
  • It can generate suggestions for things you might want to buy, based on your past browsing and purchasing record.
Some sites offer additional benefits to account holders, such as:
  • Member discounts and special offers
  • Newsletters or updates on the items you purchased

The checkout process

Most sites make it very easy to buy online. Every step is clear, and you will have many chances to change your mind. You can cancel the process at any point and see the total you will pay, including shipping costs, before you make the payment.


In this example, we are assuming that you have searched for and found an item you wish to buy on
Choose the item you want, and add it to your shopping cart by clicking on the “Add to Cart” button. The “Buy with 1-Click” option means that you will bypass the checkout procedure described below and buy the item immediately.

If you first want to check what you are about to buy, you can go to your “shopping basket” by clicking on the shopping basket icon at the top of any page. The shopping basket is a page that keeps track of all the items you wish to buy or have bought in the past. Notice the “Save for later” and “Delete” buttons in the screenshot below.

If you are ready to buy, click the “Proceed to Checkout” button. This button takes you to a page where you can specify how you wish to pay for the items in your cart.

This will take you to a series of pages in which you can fill in your personal details, your postal address and your payment method – for example, your credit card number. There may be several “continue” buttons. These will take you to the next page, and won’t trigger payment.
When you have filled in all the necessary information, you will be shown a final page on which all the details are displayed.

If you are satisfied, you can click on the “Place your order” button. This button will trigger payment. On other sites, this button may be called “purchase”, “submit payment”, “pay now” or something similar. Don’t click on this button more than once, as in some cases it could result in more than one order being placed.

Once your order is processed, the site will give you feedback on its success. This may take the form of a page containing an order number, or an email with the details of your transaction. This is important information. You will need it if anything goes wrong with your order or if you are not satisfied with the product you purchased.

Some tips for pain-free checking out

  • Stay calm. You can change your order or cancel at any stage – right until the final stage of submitting payment. Many sites even allow you to cancel the purchase after that point, but that is obviously not ideal.
  • Don’t hit the “back” button of your browser, as this may confuse the process. If possible, look for “edit”, “delete order” or “cancel” buttons in the shopping site itself.
  • Only hit the final button if you are sure. An incomplete checkout won’t be processed, and no payment will be made.

Shopping safely

  • Check the URL in the address bar. If you are about to enter sensitive information on a website, always have a quick look at the URL of the site in the browser’s address bar. If it is a secure site, the URL will start with the letters “https”. A normal site will have the letters “http” without the final “s”.

  • Look for the lock. Your browser will display a small lock icon. Depending on the browser you use, it may be in the status bar at the bottom of the browser or in the address bar at the top.

  • Take care when sharing your information. Never give your credit card number over the telephone unless you initiated the call. Never respond to an email that asks for sensitive information.

Back Ground:

eCommerce stands for Electronic Commerce, which is in itself a broad term for selling on the internet through a website, electronically. With the ability to process credit cards electronically on the internet, just about anything can be sold on the web.eCommerce websites are built differently, but they all use the same basic functions. The ability to accept credit cards is clearly a defining factor. Most times the credit does not actually process through your website, for security reasons, but processes through a payment gateway(like paypal.) A payment gateway is a company that works with the credit card companies to be sure that all credit card transactions are processed securely and credit card numbers are not stored by small businesses. 

You must have an account with a payment gateway to accept credit card on your website. Although your transactions will process through a gateway, the viewer will never know or be directed away from your website. Your website will be guarded with 128-bit encryption using an SSL certificate, making fraud nearly impossible. When a purchase is made the money will be transferred directly into your businesses' bank account. 
When an order is placed, the customer's purchase and payment information will come into your administration section. You will login with your desired username and password to view this information.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Ecommerce in India


India's e-commerce market grew at a staggering 88 per cent in 2013 to USD 16 billion, riding on booming online retail trends and defying slower economic growth and spiraling inflation.

WHY: The increasing Internet penetration and availability of more payment options boosted the e-commerce industry in 2013. Unique to India (and potentially to other developing countries), cash on delivery is a preferred payment method. India has a vibrant cash economy as a result of which 80% of Indian e-commerce tends to be Cash on Delivery. According to the survey, India's e-commerce market, which stood at $2.5 billion in 2009, reached $8.5 billion in 2012 and rose 88 per cent to touch $16 billion in 2013. The survey estimates the country's e-commerce market to reach USD 56 billion by 2023, driven by rising online retail. As per responses by traders and organised retailers who participated in the survey, online shopping grew at a rapid pace in 2013 due to aggressive online discounts, rising fuel prices and availability of abundant online options.To make the most of increasing online shopping trends, more companies are collaborating with daily deal and discount sites. The prominent points like ease of shopping from home, home delivery, no traffic congestions to be faced are some of the factors helping E-commerce industry grow in India.

And then there are factors which is hampering E-commerce growth in India like lack of trust , not able to touch and feel the item which consumers want to purchase etc. Let us see one very interesting infographic about why people do not buy online in India.

WHAT: The products that are sold most are in the tech and fashion category, including mobile phones, ipads, accessories, MP3 players, digital cameras and jewellery, among others.

WHO: According to a survey, India has Internet base of around 150 million as of August, 2013. Among the cities, Mumbai topped the list of online shoppers followed by Delhi, while Kolkata ranked third! In which, 65% of online shoppers are male while 35% are female.

Besides,age-wise analysis revealed that 35% are aged between 18-25 years, 55% between 26-35 years, 8% in the age group of 36-45 years, while only 2% are in the age group of 45-60 years. Having close to 10 per cent of Internet penetration in India throws a very big opportunity for online retailers to grow and expand as future of Internet seems very bright.

WHERE: Top 10 Online stores in India are:

1. Flipkart- is an Indian e-commerce company founded in 2007, by Sachin and Binny Bansal and head-quartered in Bangalore, Karnataka. It is considered as the e-commerce company that made online shopping popular in India. Though e-commerce investment opportunities are shrinking in past 1.5 years, Flipkart continue to be dominant player in the online shopping in the sub-continent. In last 3 years nearly 53 e-commerce Indian firms have raised $853M from venture capital, but only 11 have managed to raise further rounds of funding. They are continuously proving themselves to be gigantic, unbeatable leader in e-commerce (India) and shutting down all doors for new or existent competitors, there by alarming possibility of ‘’Lets Shop it’’ being replaced soon by ‘’Lets Flip-kart it’’ in near future,

2. eBay India- is stepping up investment in India to boost its share of a market dominated by domestic players such as Flipkart and fend off encroachment from arch-rival The e-commerce company dipped a toe into the Indian market seven years ago and stuck with a cautious approach, even as local upstarts made splashy grabs for business in a tiny but growing market.,

3. Snapdeal- started in February 2010 as a daily deals platform but expanded in September 2011 to become an e-commerce company via a marketplace model.With 20 million registered users, SnapDeal is one of the first and largest online marketplace in India offering an assortment of 4 million+ products across diverse categories from over 20,000 sellers, shipping to 4000 towns and cities in India.In the 3rd round of funding of $50 million eBay came out as the largest investor in Snapdeal.The investment also includes a commercial partnership under which eBay will get access to Snapdeal’s 20 million registered users, logistics software and distribution network.from its co-founder we came know that Snapdeal will offer a limited number of products on eBay India and eBay too will list its merchandise on Snapdeal, following the partnership,

4. Amazon India- market place is a platform where third party retailers can sell books, movies and TV shows. Entry of Amazon in the Indian market will increase competition for existing market leaders like Flipkart.

5. Myntra- established by Mukesh Bansal, Ashutosh Lawania, and Vineet Saxena in February 2007, it has been funded by Venture Capital funds like IndoUS, IDG & Accel Partners. It currently offers products from more than 350 Indian and international brands in fashion and casual lifestyle products,

6. Shopclues- is an online retail website, headquartered in Gurgaon, India. The company was founded in the Silicon Valley, USA. As per the citation, ShopClues joined as 35th entrant in the Indian e-commerce in 2011 and is reported to have made its way to the list of the top 6 and is known to be popular among shoppers in the 18–24 years age group who regularly shop from the wide assortment of items including mobile phones, laptops, tablets, electronics,home décor, footwear, apparel, fashion accessories, books & music, etc.,

7. Domino's- domino's pizza is a familiar pizza chain in the world and you can order pizza online. Domino's India group was very successful in offering its services through Cash on Delivery.This company shipped about 3.7 crore pizzas in the year, equaling to 1 lakh pizzas sold per day.The pizzas sold for a total of Rs 600 crore, translating into an average price of Rs 162 per pizza.The business operated via 380 stores in 90 cities; that is, approximately four stores per city. Each store sold approximately 1 lakh pizzas a year or about 300 pizzas a day. That’s about 25 pizzas an hour. The company recorded a net profit of Rs 90 crore. This equals to Rs 25 per pizza or a 15 per cent margin on the sale price. thus proving that CoD is not too bad for an online store ,

8. freecharge- was started in August, 2010 by Kunal Shah of Accelyst Solutions Pvt. Ltd. It provides online facility to recharge any prepaid mobile phone in India. By January 2012, the number of registered users of the website were 1.5 million which increased to 2.8 million by November 2012. The company currently has a patent pending status for its business model., It provides online facility to recharge any prepaid mobile phone in India. The amount paid by the user for recharge is returned in form of shopping coupons of some of the top retailers in India, thereby making the recharge virtually free.

9. Jabong- is an Indian fashion and lifestyle e-commerce portal, started operations in January 2012. It retails apparel, footwear, accessories, beauty products, fragrances, home accessories and other fashion and lifestyle products. The company is headquartered in Gurgaon, NCR. In March 2013, Jabong was shipping 6000-7000 orders a day. In March 2013, the annual revenues of Jabong was estimated to be 100-150 mn USD. In less than 20 months, became the third-most visited online shopping website.During September 2013 Jabong was shipping 14000 orders on daily basis out of which 60% were from small towns.and

10. Tradus- is an online auction company that operates in Europe. The company, a subsidiary of South African media group Naspers since March 2008, operates across Europe using many different brands. Tradus operates a business model similar to eBay. Therefore it tends to concentrate in countries where eBay is either not present nor is the market leader and where Tradus is (or can be) market leader.

Despite of growth in ecommerce industry in India, many companies are losing the battle! according to an analysis, its said the CoD model in India is the main cause of the shut downs.

About 100 to150 e-commerce ventures have folded up in 2011. Over two dozen have already shut shop this year. The mortality rate is high, especially among the e-retailers, and we expect the numbers to increase manifold this year. The market structure right now doesn't allow profitability and hence not a single company in the space has posted profits so far. Price war among the firms, many of whom burned huge cash on promotions and marketing, ended up going under or getting acquired by larger players.

One of the other major factor apart from price war is cash on delivery mode which hurts bottom line of cos like Flipkart, Snapdeal due to extra associated costs. Ecommerce companies may be growing at an explosive pace, but their overdependence on cash-on-delivery mode of payment remains worrisome, particularly since online retail ventures in India are not yet profitable.Cash-on-delivery, where customers pay for products at the time of receiving them, still accounts for up to 60% of transactions, according to a study by Internet and Mobile Association of India and audit firm KPMG. This, despite sales at some of these ventures expanding at over 500% annually. With the additional processes required for cash-on-delivery orders, their longer payment cycle, higher instances of returns and associated costs are hurting margins.These transactions add about 3% additional costs which translates to an increase in cost by at least 30 per transaction for E-commerce companies. "Extra costs are incurred for the additional verification calls for cash-on-delivery orders, collection charges by courier companies as well as two-way transportation charges in case of returned goods.The problem of returns is that we have to bear the courier charges for the return and goods can get damaged during the returns process." says the business head!

ALL THE BEST to the online shoping sites in India!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Document/Books File Formats and softwares

In our daily routine, we come across many documents/ books. These usually have to adhere to a specific file format in order to be useful. A file format is a text or binary format for storing documents on a storage media, especially for use by computers.

Some of the common Documents/ Ebooks we See:

.doc (Word document) — Structural binary format developed by Microsoft. .docx (Office Open XML) is XML-based standard for office documents, ISO standard. .OXPS (Open XML Paper Specification) All the above specified formats are supported by Microsoft word.

.Pdf  Open standard for documents exchange. ISO standards from 2001, 2005, 2008. It is readable on almost every platform with free or open source readers. Open source PDF creators are also available. We can view PDF files using Adobe reader, Adobe acrobat and Here is a video regarding its differences

.Txt  ASCII nebo Unicode plaintext Text file.We can use it with notepad, a familiar one!

.prc; .mobi - Mobipocket e-book format is based on the Open eBook standard using XHTML and can include JavaScript and frames. It also supports native SQL queries to be used with embedded databases. There is a corresponding e-book reader, Mobipocket Reader.

.epub EPUB/ OEBPS format is an open standard for e-books created by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). It combines three IDPF open standards. We have an Epub reader for these documents. 

.pdb Palm media/ EREADER is a freeware program for viewing Palm Digital Media electronic books which use the pdb format used by many Palm applications. Versions are available for iPhone, PalmOS, Android, Symbian, BlackBerry, desktop Windows, Macintosh,... The reader shows text one page at a time, as paper books do. Some Ereaders like nook, supports these file types.

.lit   Microsoft LIT are DRM-protected LIT files are only readable in the proprietary Microsoft Reader program, as the .LIT format, otherwise similar to Microsoft's CHM format, includes Digital Rights Management features. Other third party readers, such as Lexcycle Stanza, can read unprotected LIT files. Microsoft lit reader is the best software available for these files

.lrf; .lrx; .lrsBroadband eBooks (BBeB) format is used by Sony Corporation. It is a proprietary format, but some reader software for general-purpose computers, particularly under Linux, have the capability to read it, like sony Ereader

.chm Compiled Html format is a proprietary format based on HTML. Multiple pages and embedded graphics are distributed along with proprietary metadata as a single compressed file. Microsoft lit reader can be used.

.fb2  FictionBook is a popular XML-based e-book format, supported by free readers such as FBReader, Okular,CoolReader, Bebook and STDU Viewer.

.ibooks Apple Ibook format is created with the free iBooks Author ebook layout software from Apple Inc.. This proprietary format is based on the EPUB standard, with some differences in the CSS tags used in an ibooks format file, thus making it incompatible with the EPUB open standard.

.azw; .kf8 kindle also released Kindle Format 8, their new file format. The .kf8 file format supports a subset of HTML5 and CSS3 features, with some additional nonstandard features; the new data is stored within a container which can also be used to store a MOBI content document. Amazon Kindle has a proprietary software.

.exe or .html Eveda / A multimedia ebook is media and book content that utilizes a combination of different book content formats. Adobe software are used for creating this type of ebook and adobe digital edition software supports these files

Surprisingly, this list only shows a small number out here. There are a variety of documents/ Ebooks, I have not mentioned because they are proprietary or software-specific, or because they are just not really used.