sample essay - Topic: What are some commercial applications...

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Topic: What are some commercial applications / entrepreneurial idea using a social networking platform? One idea for a commercial application using an online networking platform could be a site called Textbook Trader. The concept is that for a per-semester subscription fee, students would have access to a network by which students freely trade – not sell – textbooks to each other. At $75 for one semester’s access to the site, the fee would pay for itself compared to a single, typical used textbook at retail. The startup involved would include the cost to create the website that Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace would redirect to, and the cost of initial inventory and a storage unit. Which books to purchase could be determined by finding the top schools in student population and learning what textbooks they require for their assembly classes. In this way, the most commonly-required textbooks will be purchased which will increase the likelihood that patrons will find what they need. A starting inventory would need to be purchased by the entrepreneur, but the site should be self-sustaining thereafter. To accomplish that, each student who subscribes to the site must post their own useful textbooks they are willing to trade for free. “Usefulness” will be determined by comparing the pledged book’s ISBN number with universities’ and colleges’ published lists of future semesters’ textbooks. Social network platforms can be used to target customers by searching for school affiliations and keywords in interests that would indicate they are students. Banner and column ads could then be posted on students’ pages, redirecting them to Textbook Trader. The site’s home page would need a lookup feature whereby students without active accounts can check if a textbook is available for trade (textbooks in shopping carts should not be considered available). Once a customer has paid a subscription fee, they would be allowed full access to “shop” the site. To prevent many students from pooling their money into one user account, I would only allow users to order a maximum of three books in a four-month period. Once a student locates a textbook they would put it in a shopping cart, just like other websites. When a student has chosen the textbooks they need, they would pay a flat shipping rate to each “seller”, set at the current Media Mail rate from the U.S. Post Office. The success of Textbook Trader hinges upon the reliability of the “buyers” posting and actually mailing good textbooks of their own. To that end, I would employ a method of using feedback, similar to Ebay. If a “buyer” never receives a textbook from a “seller”, the “buyer”
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sample essay - Topic: What are some commercial applications...

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