Greenlink's Business Proposal

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Greenlink's Business Proposal

  1. 1. Coursework 1<br />Business Analysis Proposal<br />74295025400<br />Herefordshire Greenlinks<br />www.herefordshiregreenlinks.info<br />Jenny McRae<br />Tong Anh Vu<br />Banh Tran Truc Quynh<br />Contents Page <br /><ul><li> Description of e-business or service...............................................4
  2. 2. Why does the company need a website?
  3. 3. What do they currently offer online?
  4. 4. Homepage
  5. 5. Directory
  6. 6. Search function
  7. 7. Job postings
  8. 8. Events
  9. 9. Who are we
  10. 10. Additional pages
  11. 11. Contact us
  12. 12. Distributors
  13. 13. Web 2.0 Principles........................................................................12
  14. 14. Harnessing collective intelligence
  15. 15. Hyperlinking
  16. 16. RSS feeds
  17. 17. Comments and reviews
  18. 18. The web as platform
  19. 19. Data is the next Intel inside
  20. 20. End of the software release cycle
  21. 21. Operations must become a core competency
  22. 22. Users must be treated as co-developers
  23. 23. Lightweight programming models
  24. 24. Software above the level of a single device
  25. 25. Rich user experiences
  26. 26. Heading to Web 2.0 compliance....................................................24
  27. 27. Reason for change
  28. 28. Customer comments and updated business pages
  29. 29. Current functionality
  30. 30. Proposed change
  31. 31. The ability to link to other listings in similar departments
  32. 32. The ability to rate the product
  33. 33. The ability to read and write reviews
  34. 34. The ability to share the product via social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter
  35. 35. The ability to email the product listing to a friend
  36. 36. The ability to suggest other products of interest to the customer
  37. 37. Updated homepage
  38. 38. Current functionality
  39. 39. Proposed change
  40. 40. Redesigned navigation
  41. 41. Direct access to the directory categories
  42. 42. Updated search function to include drop down menu and options as you type
  43. 43. Login function
  44. 44. Current functionality
  45. 45. Proposed change
  46. 46. Forum
  47. 47. Current functionality
  48. 48. Proposed change
  49. 49. General tidy up and maintenance
  50. 50. Additional features
  51. 51. Description of the eBusiness or Service
  52. 52. Why does the company need a website?</li></ul>A website is not only a useful way to provide detailed information in one location but it is also more sustainable and environmentally friendly due to the reduced need to produce paper copies of information. The true ability of the internet to penetrate people’s lives is demonstrated by the sheer numbers who use it. The Internet World Stats (2009) confirmed this and reported that worldwide 1,733,993,741 people, or a quarter of the world’s population, were using the internet. What’s more the emergence of Web 2.0 features in 2004, the principles of which are outlined in section 2, allowed the internet to be of greater use to both companies and consumers. <br />Herefordshire Greenlinks is an organisation whose aim is to develop the opportunities that green business has in the county of Herefordshire. They try to bring together those who buy green products and use green services [consumers] with the businesses that offer them. The diagram below demonstrates how Elaine Brooks, from the organisation, describes Herefordshire GreenLinks’ attempts to maximise opportunity in the local community. <br />7006444998<br />Figure 1<br />‘How Herefordshire GreenLinks attempts to maximise opportunity by bringing together the above factors’<br /><ul><li> What do they currently offer online?
  53. 53. Homepage </li></ul>The home page of the current website is displayed below and has been annotated to demonstrate its key features. <br />Very basic header<br />Login functionGoogle adsNavigation <br />19050-1270<br />Link to YouTube videos<br />Figure 2: Greenlinks homepage<br />The homepage also provides a large amount of detailed information about the functions of the company with hyperlinks to relevant sections of the website. <br /><ul><li>Directory</li></ul>The directory, which Greenlinks provides, has a great number of entries which are broken down into smaller sections. <br />-22288587630<br />-26670006350<br />Figure 3: Greenlinks directory landing pageFigure 4: resulting page if the customer was to click on transport<br /><ul><li>Search function</li></ul>The banner on the current site utilises a basic search function <br />Figure 5: Greenlinks banner <br />however there is no capacity to refine the search as Amazon for example employs<br />This drop down option next to the search box allows the user to filter the search by department<br />Figure 6: Amazon search function, (Amazon.com, 2010)<br />or options given as the word is typed which is used on websites such as www.lovefilm.com. <br /> <br />Figure 7: LoveFilm search function (LoveFilm.com, 2010)<br /><ul><li>Job postings </li></ul>Greenlink’s site also provides details of jobs with local companies, often as these are temporary positions it makes sense to advertise locally. As can be seen from the screen dump below, that this section of the website is not utilised, however as Elaine Brooks pointed out to us, it is useful to have this section available to businesses as recruiting from the local area promotes the local economy and helps the environment if temporary workers don’t have to travel great distances. <br />-57150116205<br />Figure 8: Greenlinks jobs page <br /><ul><li>Events </li></ul>The events section of the website currently uses a technology which is compatible with Joomla, who hosts the website. <br />Figure 9: Greenlinks events page <br />-328295110490<br />Figure 8: Schlu.net EventList (Schlu.net, 2010)Schlu.net provide EventList which is a downloadable feature for Joomla websites. However it isn’t massively utilised by the Greenlinks staff, as Elaine Brooks told us it was difficult to use and maintain. Having said this, the feature to display events which are occurring in the local community is a useful feature of the website as it promotes and advertises them to local residents. <br />Figure 10: Schlu.net EventList (Schlu.net, 2010)<br /><ul><li>Who we areFigure 4: Schlu.net (2010) screen dump</li></ul>This section of the website is useful to those who would like to ask additional questions and need to know who to target them to. What’s more it gives relevant information regarding who is involved with the business. <br />-349085114754<br />1731645142240<br />Figure 11: Greenlinks Who we are pageFigure 12: Greenlinks Who we are page once one of the title links has been clicked<br />When a user clicks on one of the title links text appears at the top of the page above all the details of the team. <br /><ul><li>Additional pages
  54. 54. Contact us</li></ul>Very simple method of contact, may be easier to create a contact form which could be used to filter the questions/ queries they were being asked. <br />Figure 13: Greenlinks contact us page<br /><ul><li>Distributors </li></ul>Details of where the directory is available from in print form. <br />Figure 14: Greenlinks distributors page<br /><ul><li>Web 2.0 Principles</li></ul>Web 2.0 is a difficult but relative concept to understand. However Tim O’Reilly (2005), the pioneer of the term gave a comprehensive definition, suggesting that, “Web 2.0 doesn’t have a hard boundary, but rather, a gravitational core. [It is] a set of principles and practices that tie together a veritable solar system of sites that demonstrate some or all of those principles, at a varying distance from that core.” Therefore it becomes apparent that Web 2.0 sites are not defined based on their ability to combine all seven factors, which will be outlined in greater detail below, but on their use and implementation of some of the seven factors. Figure 15 summaries the key features of Web 2.0 and how they developed as a result of the core competencies. <br />Figure 15: Web 2.0 meme map (O’Reilly, 2005)-87884099695<br />The concept of Web 2.0 is that an interactive, collaborative entity is created. It marks the shift from HTML designed websites where developers needed to know complex script to an XML shaped website where it is the content of the site which is scripted and not the format it is displayed in. This very fact gives users the ability and freedom to upload text and means that data which has been uploaded has fewer constraints placed upon it. (Wesch, 2007) Websites such as Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and Bittorrent are some of the pioneers of the Web 2.0 era and all demonstrate the features which will be outlined below. Ultimately, it is the principle of collaborating, sharing and trading of information which makes Web 2.0 websites so impactful and also why ‘harnessing collective intelligence’ has been stated as the first principle of this new web format. <br /><ul><li> Harnessing Collective Intelligence</li></ul>Collective intelligence can be defined as, “a shared or group intelligence that emerges from the collaboration and competition of many individuals.” (Wikipedia, 2010) Often it is the ability of an organization to create a website which enables users to enhance its content that demonstrates the shift between a Web 1.0 website to a Web 2.0 website. Adding, changing, creating new items has become a user process and collecting a community’s intelligence has never been as easy as it is now Web 2.0 is dominant on many websites. <br /><ul><li>Hyperlinking </li></ul>Hyperlinking is major part of Web 2.0 sites and forms a massive part of their online architecture, none more than Wikipedia. Tim O’Reilly also recognized this and stated, “hyperlinking is the foundation of the web. As users add new content and new sites, it is bound in to the structure of the web by other users discovering the content and linking to it.” (O’Reilly.com, 2010) Figure 16 demonstrates the prevalence of hyperlinking on the site Wikipedia. <br />Figure 16: Graphic representation of a minute fraction of the WWW, demonstrating hyperlinks. (Wikipedia, 2010)-681990-616585<br />Ultimately linking multiple website together will increase the number of hits that it receives and will increase the popularity and significance of the new site. A good example of this is BBC’s (www.bbc.co.uk) links section which can be seen in the right hand column. An example of which is displayed below:<br />Figure 17: Visual demonstration of linking from the BBC (BBC News, 2010; Labour.org, 2010; Sky News, 2010)5327015234954584373412143Links to other news broadcasters websites who have covered the same topic 54104472687749Links to external websites of relevance to the articleLinks to other BBC stories of similar topic or interest-88265217170<br />The pages on Wikipedia are a classic example of this as the majority of them contain a massive number of hyperlinks to other pages. This is depicted in the graphic below<br />Figure 18: Visual demonstration of linking within Wikipedia from one page (Wikipedia, 2010)-3302005055870-333375-95250425069068580486727521634451252427153644941243254675505<br /><ul><li>RSS Feeds</li></ul>-64135-137795One of the significant contributors to web linking is RSS feed. RSS allows people to link not only to a webpage but when it is updated all websites linking to that specific feed will also be updated. RSS feed is used for sites which are constantly updated such as blogs, stock market figures, weather or photos. <br /><ul><li>Comments and reviews </li></ul>One of the key features of Amazon which harnesses collective intelligence is the ability of its users to leave comments on products and write reviews.<br />1296057100637<br />-51435040005<br />3038475149225<br />A newer feature of Amazon is the ability to tag products and link them to related items, discussion and people<br />Figure 19: Amazon product page and example of user generated content (Amazon.co.uk, 2010)<br />Additional users also have the ability to rate whether the review is useful or not and comment further on it<br /> The web as platform<br />The web as platform was one of the original principles of Web 2.0. As the number of users increases on the internet the power that each one of them brings is steadily being realised. The key concept of Web 2.0 is that it utilises the collective intelligence of all its users and uses this power to make it better. This is particularly relevant on sites such as EBay where user feedback is used to rate sellers and helps a new buyer to determine who to purchase from. This personal influence is massive, companies and individuals alike are beginning to realise just how large this is and are constantly adding and developing new Web 2.0 features on their sites. <br />Figure 20: EBay listing (Ebay.co.uk, 2010)User is made aware that this item is from a top rated seller<br />The feature outlined above highlights how Web 2.0 is designed to incorporate the end user into the process of adding content to a site, whether this is feedback such as comments, reviews or tagging; or adding content and contributing to a website as a whole through a wiki. Either way the user is an integral element and adds to the concept of Web 2.0 being a social function. Social networking is a key output of Web 2.0 and the dominance of sites such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and most recently Twitter demonstrates the capacity that it has. One of the best examples of harnessing user intelligence is Wikipedia. Since its launch in 2001 Wikipedia has been amended, added to and challenged by millions. <br /> Data is the Next Intel Inside<br />All internet applications, such as Facebook, have to be backed up with a database resulting in it becoming a core competency of Web 2.0 sites. (O’Reilly, 2010) Major companies such as Amazon and EBay will have a database which catalogues product information or information regarding buyers and sellers. This level of reliance on a piece of software makes it a valuable asset to the company and actually more important than the web application itself. For example, the Amazon product database and associated reviews are their real assets. <br />Who has ownership of such data is a difficult but important question. What’s more in placing it on the internet how can organisations prevent it being cloned and utilized by competitors? Copyright notices only really work in the online world for specific data streams, if the technology can be recreated slightly differently then there is always the capability for ideas to be reproduced elsewhere. <br /><ul><li> End of the Software Release Cycle</li></ul>As software is browser based, as opposed to desktop based, it has allowed Web 2.0 to become prolific in the modern era. Ultimately, “Google is...the standard bearer for Web 2.0,” (O’Reilly, 2010) and their implementation of Google Docs is evidence of this. Users of this service do not have to download or install software such as Microsoft Office which is not only much simpler but it is much more cost effective. What’s more as they are run on the browser and are not bought and installed on the desktop the user has more flexibility and is able to access their data anywhere in the world without the need for using saved memory. <br />Web applications are also constantly updated, often without the user even realising, unlike the traditional desktop based software which is only updated when a scheduled software release takes place. This is not only more costly to the user, who has to purchase the new version of the software, but could be costly in another way as users may not have the full use of the software without the new updates. As a result web applications have become more of a service than a product. Ultimately this forces Web 2.0 companies to adapt their business plan. <br /><ul><li>Operations must become a core competency </li></ul>Web pages need to be maintained daily, this is demonstrated by Google whose success at automating key functions has enabled them to create an advantage over competitors. Scripting languages, Perl, Python, PHP, and Ruby, have allowed Web 2.0 companies to build dynamic sites which need to be constantly adapted and improved. <br />Both Amazon.co.uk and Boots.com are further examples of websites which need to be updated daily. New products need to be added and linked to related products, promotions need to be added to the site and product images, descriptions and details updated as necessary. <br />161925121285<br />2771775-2540<br />Figure 21: examples of the need to constantly update on a site such as Amazon. (Amazon.co.uk, 2010)<br /> <br /><ul><li>Users must be treated as co-developers </li></ul>Employing this philosophy is one of the reasons why there will always be a beta version of Web 2.0. All the applications of this later web version will never have a real version number as they are constantly updated and renewed. Real time monitoring of user behavior to see which new features are used and how they are used is employed so that developers can remove those which aren’t compatible with user needs. For example, all Google applications are still in the testing process, Flickr is changed every 30 minutes, MySpace and other social networking sites add new applications every week. This shift has been implemented due to open source practices which believe that a developer should, “release early and release often.” (O’Reilly, 2010) <br /><ul><li> Lightweight programming models</li></ul>“Lightweight programming is programming based on a high level of accessibility for users and creators and on the idea of adaptation and change for improvement.” (Tstiles.com, 2010) Sites such as Facebook utilise this model and are continually adapting their site to improve its functionality and appearance. <br />-466725120650<br />167640036195<br />381000047703<br />2006<br />Figure 22: development of the Facebook interface (Facebook, 2010, Wikipedia, 2010)<br />2007<br />2010<br />Amazon is another website which utilises two forms of web services, the first adheres to the formal nature SOAP (simple object access protocol) web services stack and REST (representational state transfer) which provides XML data over html in a light weight approach. In terms of B2B connections, Amazon report a 95:5 ratio in favour of the latter. (O’Reilly, 2010)<br /><ul><li> Software above the level of a single device </li></ul>Unlike other software, Web 2.0 applications are not restricted to just the PC platform but can be utilized by both other computer types and mobile devices. In fact their browser neutral nature gives them larger impact as so long as the user has a browser they are able to gain access to them. An example of the power of this principle is Facebook which now has 400 million users worldwide demonstrating how the ability to gain access to it on a computer and mobile device can be used to its fuller potential. What’s more Apple, the makers of the iPhone has pioneered the ability to have constant access to your Facebook account. <br />Figure 23: Facebook application for the iPhone. (Apple, 2010)<br />The Facebook app has ‘address book sync’ which allows users to call friends on Facebook from their Facebook account. <br />A further example is the Nokia PC suite. This application allows Nokia mobiles to connect to a computer for updating software and downloading music or ringtones. It connects a single portable and handheld device to the internet to further enhance the services provided by the Nokia while the PC acts as a local cache and vehicle for information to flow through. With a rapid development rate, more and more devices are connected to the new platform. <br /><ul><li> Rich user experiences </li></ul>The concept of rich user applications is those which mimic the functionality of desktop based application but are delivered through a web browser. This notion was alluded to in principle 4: end of the software release cycle. The first company to pioneer this technology was Google who created Googlemail and online portal to your emails. <br />Figure 24: Googlemail interface (Google, 2010)<br />As a result of this development the web was able to deliver full scale applications with much richer user interfaces and PC equivalent activities. To implement the developments, Google used Ajax – a collection of technologies. Ajax is also a core component of many Web 2.0 applications, such as yahoo mail. It can be foreseen that web users are entering a new technology era where webs applications can be built as rich as PC-based applications. At the moment, there are many applications have already changed and been made following this principle such as Google Docs or Wikipedia. <br />A further example of a rich user experience is picnik.com which emulates Photoshop and allows customers to upload and edit their photos. The user interfaces are easy, rich and can be substitute for PC based photo editors program. <br />Figure 25: Picnik interface. (Picnik, 2010)<br /><ul><li>Heading to Web 2.0 Compliance
  55. 55. Reason for change </li></ul>Elaine Brooks highlighted the need for Herefordshire Greenlinks to have a better website which showcased the work that they do and the services that they offer. After analysing the features of the current website (section 1) and investigating the parameters of the Web 2.0 principles (section 2) the following suggestions have been made as to the future direction of the website. <br />Throughout the following suggestions we recognised the need to maintain the community feel of the site and will add additional functionality to it make it a more useful device for both promoting the services they offer and the general green mission. All the changes we have made attempt to tie the website together and keep the customer interested in using the website long term. <br />Figure 26: idea generation model<br />The 14 suggestions made above have been broken down into five specific objectives:<br /><ul><li>Customer comments and updated business pages
  56. 56. Updated home page
  57. 57. Customer login area
  58. 58. Forum
  59. 59. General tidy up and maintenance
  60. 60. Customer comments and updated business pages
  61. 61. Current functionality </li></ul>Businesses can very easily get a basic listing in the Greenlinks directory however they only have the ability to list an address, contact details and a location via GoogleMaps. What’s more customers have no ability to interact with the businesses that they use giving feedback on the products they have purchased or rate the service they have received. Advance development of the directory is an ideal tool which could be used to increase customer awareness of the website itself and the companies listed. The lack of Web 2.0 functionality in this area of the website results in the site not being used to its full potential. Particularly as many websites offer these kind of services to their customers and clients. Therefore, there is a need to integrate Web 2.0 functions in the current website that will allow the customer to establish connections with companies that last. <br />Take for example the listing below, once the user has selected the business they wish to look at there is no information about what the key products or services that are offered. What’s more there is very little information regarding the additional business functions that could be useful to a customer or a prospective customer. <br />-1714564135<br />Name of organisation Address of organisation Contact telephone number Location shown on map Business type xDirectory flow xUpcoming events xJob postings xCustomer comments xCustomer ratings x<br />Figure 27: Greenlinks company directory entry<br /><ul><li>Proposed change </li></ul>Directory flow is often displayed along the top of a webpage to demonstrate the flow of web pages. The example below demonstrates how this feature could be effective on the Greenlinks site for informing the customer of the path they have taken through the directory. <br />241935111125<br /> <br />This example also emphasises some of the Web 2.0 features that Greenlinks could employ to improve their business pages. <br /><ul><li>Figure 28: QVC product page (QVC.com, 2010)The ability to link to other listings in similar departments
  62. 62. The ability to rate the productsThe ability to share the product via social networking sites such as Facebook or TwitterThe ability to read and write reviews
  63. 63. The ability to email the product listing to a friend
  64. 64. The ability to suggest other products of interest to the customer
  65. 65. 4481830-9525The ability to link to other listings in similar departments</li></ul>As can be seen on the website above, when viewing a specific product users are also able to see links on the left hand side column. This could be useful for the Greenlinks website as it would enable users to link back to the categories that they have previously viewed. The numbers of organisations available in each category is also useful as it enables users to make an informed choice.<br /><ul><li>The ability to rate the product</li></ul>2653030729615The ability to rate products or services is a very useful tool, as often these ratings will convince a new customer to purchase from a company who has a high rating. The pioneer of such ratings was EBay whose seller rating scheme has resulted in top rated sellers listings and recommendations of who to purchase from based on this information. This is a good example of the Web 2.0 principle of collective intelligence and further highlights the users contribution to a site. A star rating scheme could be useful for Greenlinks as it would help customers to select the best rated businesses. It would also allow customers to reward the businesses that provide the best products or services.<br /><ul><li>The ability to read and write reviews </li></ul>The star rating scheme could be linked to a review which again is a positive way to influence customer buying patterns. The ability for customers to write reviews on the businesses that they have visited and used is a useful tool for Greenlinks to implement. <br /><ul><li>The ability to share the product via social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter </li></ul>Social networking is one of the key services to come out of the Web 2.0 era. What’s more the popularity of such services could help to increase the scope of the businesses listed and increase the number of people who are made aware of them. Many websites offer this service and some who have their own Facebook businesses pages allow customers to become fans directly through their webpage. <br /><ul><li>The ability to email the product listing to a friend </li></ul>While social networking is a popular medium, particularly for younger users, there are a lot of people who do not use these services. Therefore the ability to email the link of a particular business to a friend or colleague is another useful tool the Greenlinks site can utilise. <br /><ul><li>The ability to suggest other products of interest to the customer </li></ul>There are many organisations on the Greenlinks site which offer similar products and services. Therefore the ability to be linked directly to these from the original business chosen would not only be useful but would help to retain customers on the site in general. <br /><ul><li> Updated homepage
  66. 66. Current functionality </li></ul>The homepage of any website acts as a central hub for its users, drawing new individuals/ business to it and retaining them once they have been attracted. Some websites do this particularly well, however one of the best examples is Amazon. As can be seen from the highlighted features on the web page below the whole user home page is generated by the user’s actions on the site, emphasising the Web 2.0 feature of user generated content. <br />161554-178130<br />These products are generated by using past purchases<br />These products are generated by using search history of other users who also purchased the same product<br />16155475664<br />These products are generated by using the customer’s wish list<br />These products are generated by using past purchasing history and suggesting new products with similar characteristics<br />Figure 29: Amazon homepage (Amazon.co.uk, 2010)<br /><ul><li>Proposed change</li></ul>Some of the features highlighted above could be used in the new look homepage. However as the user login won’t be as specific as an Amazon account and the customers won’t be purchasing from the site it would be difficult to put these kind of features directly on the homepage. The redesign the home page interface will change the purpose and hopefully tie together all the different services that Greenlinks offers. <br />The new features that the homepage will offer include:<br /><ul><li>Redesigned navigation </li></ul>Most modern websites offer a horizontal navigation system with additional functionality down the left handside. The navigation on the Greenlinks site will be adapted to also utilise this method. <br />Figure 30: Coast homepage (Coast.com, 2010)<br /><ul><li>Direct access to the directory categories </li></ul>The directory is the main purpose of the website and therefore direct access from the homepage is essential. The addition we plan to make the current site is similar to that used by Amazon. <br />This kind of menu could be applied stating all the subcategories that appear in the directory. It will make linking to pages a lot quicker and simpler also. 62420557785<br />Figure 31: Amazon Departments (Amazon.co.uk, 2010)<br /><ul><li>Updated search function to include drop down menu and options as you type </li></ul>The search function is probably one of the most useful tools on a website. The current search is very simple therefore we plan to integrate similar features to Amazon with a drop down menu so the search can be filtered and options as you type to further filter the search making usability easier.<br />Figure 32: Amazon Banner (Amazon.co.uk, 2010)<br /><ul><li> Login function
  67. 67. Current functionality </li></ul>Herefordshire Greenlinks currently utilise a login function which can be used by their business affiliates. Login functions give organisations the ability to offer separate member only areas where personalised information can be displayed. However this function is not available to customers of the business who are part of the site. This additional functionality would give Greenlinks the ability to track the movements of their customers and target more specific information, businesses and services at them. <br />Figure 33: Greenlinks homepage<br /><ul><li>Proposed change </li></ul>For the updated website it has been decided that the login function will be moved to the top right of the homepage and will be converted to a simple register/ login link. Once the user clicks on either of the links they will be presented with a login page where username and password will be required. This change is in accordance with many popular websites who also locate their login/ register details in the top right hand portion of the screen, some examples of which are shown below. <br />Figure 34: IMDb banner (IMDb.com, 2010)<br />Figure 35: LoveFilm.com banner (Lovefilm.com, 2010)<br />Figure 36: Amazon.co.uk banner (Amazon.co.uk, 2010)<br />The reason for this change is that the top right of the screen is the next logical place the eyes are drawn to after observing the logo in the top left. <br />Figure 37: YouTube homepage (YouTube.com, 2010)<br />The eye movement <br />The customer user area could be added to Greenlinks’ website and would allow customers to list their favourite businesses and keep track of the ratings and comments they make. <br /><ul><li> Forum
  68. 68. Current functionality </li></ul>Currently there is no functionality on the website for customers to discuss green related issues and feel part of an online community. <br /><ul><li>Proposed change </li></ul>Introducing a forum onto the website would not only achieve this but would allow the staff of Greenlinks to answer questions and post comments in answer to customers’ questions/ queries. What’s more the community aspect of the website will be emphasised and improved. Forums are a classic example of a Web 2.0 feature as they created using user generated content and encourage participation from users of the website. Also the more people who contribute to the forum the richer the content and the more use it becomes to its users. Forums are really simple to use allowing users to easily post questions and topics and enhance those using pictures and emoticons. <br />Many companies use their websites to establish their brand image, as a sales vehicle or as a ‘billboard for current promotions and products. The Greenlinks forum will be used as a place for like minded people to come together, contribute and become involved in raising issues and discussing new ways to protect the environment. There are currently some examples of green companies who utilise a forum, one of which is environmentpages.org<br />Figure 37: EnvironmentalPages Forum (EnvironmentalPages.org, 2010)<br /><ul><li> General tidy up and maintenance
  69. 69.
  70. 70. Additional features
  71. 71. Corporate colours
  72. 72. Maintain green and white
  73. 73. Improve the corporate nature of the site
  74. 74. Three greens to be used are below:
  75. 75. Events page
  76. 76. Remove the Joomla function
  77. 77. Introduce advertisements for upcoming events using images
  78. 78. Link advertisements to business pages that are relevant
  79. 79. Advertise the most recent events on the homepage
  80. 80. Job postings
  81. 81. Remove the Joomla function
  82. 82. Introduce advert type job postings
  83. 83. Link job postings to the business pages of the companies they are from
  84. 84. Advertise the most recent jobs on the homepage
  85. 85. Business pages
  86. 86. Branding of the business
  87. 87. Individual pages fit with the businesses needs and objectives
  88. 88. Company blog
  89. 89. Introduce a company blog which is displayed on the homepage and is constantly updated
  90. 90. Key Web 2.0 feature
  91. 91. Newsletters
  92. 92. Business specific newsletter
  93. 93. Customer specific newsletter </li></ul>References<br /><ul><li>Internet World Stats (2010) INTERNET USAGE STATISTICS: The Internet Big Picture. URL:
  94. 94. http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm [accessed on 20/02/10]
  95. 95. O’Reilly, T (2005) What is Web 2.0. URL: http://oreilly.com/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html [accessed on 20/02/10]
  96. 96. Wesch, M (2007) Web 2.0...The Machine is us/ing us. URL:
  97. 97. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gmP4nk0EOE [accessed on 20/02/10]
  98. 98. Wikipedia (2010) Collective Intelligence URL:
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