Quote: On Thursday, an alliance of companies led by Google plans to begin introducing a common set of standards to allow software developers to write programs for Googleâ€™s social network, Orkut, as well as others, including LinkedIn, hi5, Friendster, Plaxo and Ning. The strategy is aimed at one-upping Facebook, which last spring opened its service to outside developers. Since then, more than 5,000 small programs have been built to run on the Facebook site, and some have been adopted by millions of the siteâ€™s users. Most of those programs tap into connections among Facebook friends and spread themselves through those connections, as well as through a â€œnews feedâ€ that alerts Facebook users about what their friends are doing.
Note: Cooperation increases competition. Opening up increases competition.
Quote: What the offshore consumer services industry needs, it seems, is a solid success story in some promising market. A leading candidate to watch, according to analysts, is TutorVista, a tutoring service founded two years ago by Krishnan Ganesh, a 45-year-old Indian entrepreneur and a pioneer of offshore call centers. Concerns about the quality of K-12 education in America and the increased emphasis on standardized tests is driving the tutoring business in general. Traditional classroom tutoring services like Kaplan and Sylvan are doing well and offer online features. And there are other remote services like Growing Stars, Tutor.com and SmarThinking. Yet TutorVista, analysts say, is different in a number of ways. Other remote tutoring services generally offer hourly rates of $20 to $30 instead of the $40 to $60 hourly charges typical of on-site tutoring. By contrast, TutorVista takes an all-you-can-eat approach to instruction. Its standard offering is $99 a month for as many 45-minute tutoring sessions as a student arranges.
Note: What I’m wondering is when we’ll start outsourcing a lot of the simple grading stuff that teachers do now. You want to free up some time to learn, start sending the paper offshore.