Handling Business and User Satisfaction Concerns Using Technology in an Educational Social Network
Added on -2019-09-22
This article discusses the concerns faced by Desklib, an educational social network, and how they plan to handle them using technology. The concerns include user convenience, user contribution in languages other than English, efficient access to contributed data, concerns for bias in data, and technical planning. The article proposes solutions for these concerns, such as shifting to cloud services, using Content Distribution Networks (CDN), and building native apps for Android and iOS operating systems. It also discusses the benefits of organizing information and allowing multilingual submission.
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Running head: HANDLING CONCERNS OF EDUCATIONAL SOCIAL NETWORKHandling Business and User Satisfaction Concerns Using Technology in an EducationalSocial NetworkYour Name (First M. Last)School or Institution Name (University at Place or Town, State)1
HANDLING CONCERNS OF EDUCATIONAL SOCIAL NETWORKHandling Business and User Satisfaction Concerns Using Technology in an Educational SocialNetworkWe are company providing a social networking site for educators in any institution of anysize and based anywhere in the world to share their expertise and gain new knowledge. Our aim is to provide a reliable and fast platform on Internet, where educators can increase their skills andin turn teach better, in addition to better career prospects for them. We will make it inconsequential, whether you are in a high school, community college or a university or any other place where you teach, anywhere in the world. Each of our contributor has the same tools, audience and facilities at his disposal as everyone else. And all this will be more convenient than posting an update on Twitter.Currently, we have around 10,000 contributors growing around 3% per month for the lastyear. As for the company, we are 75 employees strong with headquarters in Seattle, Washington and partnerships with universities, corporate training centers, and other teaching academic institutions around the world. Now, we are facing some growing pains on the path of providing a reliable, fast and easy-to-use platform and I will be tackling each of these concerns as reported by various users and stakeholders with details of the technologies, methods and service providers to be used. The problems we face are as follows:1.User convenience for contributing and the reliability of the platform.2.User contribution in languages other than English (with initial focus on Portuguese and Mandarin)3.Efficient and convenient access to the contributed data for company editors.4.Correct and alleviate concerns for bias in data among a section of our users.2
HANDLING CONCERNS OF EDUCATIONAL SOCIAL NETWORK5.Technical planning, implementation and follow up with the solutions for the problems.Submission Engine PlanOur one set of problems are concerned with submitting content, and in this section, I handle the submission engine issues, and will also justify the choices for the solutions proposed. Outages and underutilized hardware and bandwidth. Our users have reported outage of services many times. This boils down to our servers being overwhelmed by unpredictable spikes in requests to access the platform. Now, genuine incoming traffic is always good. It is good for business, it means one of our contributions has probably gone viral and educators all over the world are taking a keen interest in it. Also, in alignment with our goals to expand internationally and increase customer base we anticipate a general increase in bandwidth and processing requirements. However, these requirements pose a challenge and a cost and reliability tradeoff. Buying and maintaining servers, renting leased lines, ensuring their security costs money. And the servers processing power, the leased lines' bandwidth are in themselves useless if they are notbeing fully utilized. To solve this issue, I propose shifting the entire code and database to cloud services. Cloud services provide resources (like processing power, database storage and management, bandwidth etc) as a service taken from third-party providers and this contrasts with on-premises hardware and Internet where we own the machines, and we manage the running costs like electricity, IT staff, bandwidth rental. It is recommended that businesses expect spikes in their traffic or when they want a more economical hosting solution, cloud services are recommended (Kerr, Vu, & Davari, 2013). The cloud services automatically scale up the resources at our 3
HANDLING CONCERNS OF EDUCATIONAL SOCIAL NETWORKdisposal (they are billed in our account for the duration of use) during spiked traffic and later fall back to the base plan we have subscribed to. This ensures availability at all times.For cloud services, I recommend Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS provides tiered plans and by analyzing our past usage data on our on-premises servers, we will subscribe to an equivalent plan on AWS. Also a sufficiently powered CPU (Central Processing Unit) will be chosen, so that processing does not introduce unreasonable delays. AWS allows auto scaling can increase the resources billed to us during spikes in traffic and decrease the capacity during low-demand periods ("AWS | Auto Scaling", 2016). I propose a six-month phase-in of cloud with ouron-premises server serving as a backup as we move the code and data to the cloud. We may needto hire AWS specialists if our current team is not skilled in this regard. Also, after the test phase, I recommend discontinuing the leased line and take the servers offline and store them for the time being. The staff may be downsized to keep a few core people for on-premises servers once the shift is complete to cloud.User experience with slow website.Our clients have faced slow loading websites at times. This is a bad news for any website on the Internet, our platform included. User expectations are continually increasing and website speed is a factor in user experience and thus the satisfaction of his goals. According to Gehrke & Turban (1999), website load time is the most important part of a successful user experience. In the same vein, Google search engine began to penalize in 2010 and show lower in search results those websites which are slow (Singhal & Cutts, 2010). We see damages on two fronts with this issue. One, the new potential customers, who are already interested in a product like ours and are searching for it will probablynot see our site in the top results. Thus we lose on this supply of free leads. Second, the existing 4
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