"I certainly never write a review about a book I don't think worth reviewing, a flat-out bad book, unless it's an enormously fashionable bad book." --
says, John Gardner in Conversations with John Gardner
Quoted from 'Dictionary of Library and Information Science Quotations'     Edited by Mohamed Taher & L S Ramaiah. ISBN: 8185689423 (New Delhi , Aditya, 1994) p.150. Available @ Amazon.com

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Efficiency analysis of brokers in the electronic marketplace

NB. Web analytics, Web metrics, and e-metrics are expanding their scope everyday. Here is a focus on measuring the performance of vendors (aka brokers, distributors, etc.), beneficial for information professionals, esp. in Third World.

Efficiency analysis of brokers in the electronic marketplace

Virgílio A.F. Almeida12a, Wagner Meira Jr.3*,a, Victor F. Ribeirob, Nivio Ziviani4a,b

aDepartment of Computer Science, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
bMiner Technology Group, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil


In this paper we analyze the behavior of e-commerce users based on actual logs from two large non-English e-brokers. We start by presenting a quantitative study of the behavior of e-brokers and discuss the influence of regional and cultural issues on them. We then discuss a model that quantifies the efficiency of the results provided by brokers in the electronic marketplace. This model is a function of factors such as server response time and regional factors. Our findings clearly indicate that e-commerce is strongly tied to local language, national customs and regulations, currency conversion and logistics, and Internet infrastructure. We found that the behavior of customers of online bookstores is strongly affected by brand and regional factors. Music CD shoppers show a different behavior that might stem from the fact that music is universal and not so language dependent.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Occupational Licensing Does More Harm Than Good

License, certification, accredition, etc., etc.: Yes.
Job quality / Performance measure: Not sure... Here is a book and a comment:
"It is well known that doctors, dentists, and lawyers must be licensed to practice their professions. But what about occupational therapists, manicurists and barbers? How about fortune tellers, massage therapists, shampoo assistants, librarians, beekeepers, electrologists and movie projector operators? These are just a sampling of the hundreds of occupations that require a license in at least some states or counties.

In a new book, "Licensing Occupations: Ensuring Quality or Restricting Competition?" (Upjohn Institute, 2006), Morris M. Kleiner, an economist at the University of Minnesota, questions whether occupational licensing has gone too far. He provides much evidence that the balance of occupational licensing has shifted away from protecting consumers and toward limiting the supply of workers in various professions. A result is that services provided by licensed workers are more expensive than necessary and that quality is not noticeably affected." ... continue reading

See also:

ALAN B. KREUGER. "Economic Scene; Do You Need a License to Earn a Living? You Might Be Surprised at the Answer." The New York Times (Thurs., March 2, 2006): C3.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

REFERENCE ON THE NET or Net as a Reference Tool

NB. Is the following REFERENCE ON THE NET or Net as a Reference Tool. I would prefer the second title. Reference sources are now scattered both in the library and On the Net--And, librarians have been one of the first to use both the worlds.

Here is what I found and is interesting to show how much libraries (whether search in the library or via virtual Web) depend on the Net. This appeared in The Disseminator is an electronic newsletter published by the Nova Scotia Provincial Library V.9, N.11, November 2002*

Here are some more reference questions referred to the Provincial Library by the Regional Public Libraries. They were answered using resources found on the Internet.

Q. Would like plans for building a wooden clock and wooden mechanisms.

A. At the Canadian Home Workshop Magazine Article Index search page at http://www.canadianhomeworkshop.com/articles.html enter clock as a keyword. This locates quite a few clock woodworking projects with the month, year and page where they appeared in Canadian Home Workshop magazine. You can also search the project plans from Woodworker's Journal and Today's Woodworker Magazine at http://www.woodworkersjournal.com/wwjstore2/webpage3.cfm?DID=1. Again enter clock in the search box and this finds 46 plans which you can browse through. Another useful site is Woodworker's Website Association PlanSearch at http://www.woodworking2.org/PlanSearch/search.htm. Enter clock in the keyword search to locate 18 plans. Some are free including Wooden Clock 1 and Wooden Clock 2 on Brian Law�s Woodenclocks site http://www.woodenclocks.co.uk/. These have plans for wooden mechanisms.

Q. Would like names and addresses of Canadian companies which distribute or manufacture therapeutic magnetic products.

A. Here are three databases which are useful for answering this question:
At the Canadian Company Capabilities database at
http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/sc_coinf/ccc/engdoc/homepage.html use the search words magnetic therapy to locate companies.

At the Canadian Exporters Catalogue search page at
http://www.worldexport.com/search/default.asp?Param=English select Safety, Medical and Health-Care Products in the Section field and in the Key Word field enter magnetic.

At the Canadian Trade-marks Database search page at http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/cgi-bin/sc_consu/trade-marks/search_e.pl enter the phrase magnetic therapy and select the Wares and Services (11) field to search in.

***The Disseminator is an electronic newsletter published by the Nova Scotia Provincial Library, which has temporarily ceased publication with the Winter 06/Spring 07 issue.