Commerce. Winter 2007-08.
Instructor: Ashish Goel
TuTh 2:15-3:30; Gates B03.
This class is
will be a
few optional televised discussion sections during the quarter: Fr 2:15-3:05; Skilling 191.
auditing the class, please subscribe to msande235-win0708-guests by
going to http://mailman.stanford.edu.
Instructor: ashishg at stanford.edu, Cell phone: 650 814 1478,
Office: Terman 311.
Course assistant: Christina
Aperjis. Email: caperjis at
stanford.edu, Office: Terman 391.
Unless you need to very
specifically contact the CA or the instruction, send email to
msande235-win0708-staff @ lists.stanford.edu
Office hours: Ashish: Th 11-12. Christina:
Text-book: None; we will make lecture
available a few days after each lecture.
Class description: The technology, mathematics,
economics of Internet commerce. Topics include: models of Internet
online advertising; product recommendation systems and personalized
pricing and delivery of digital media; web tools; piracy, copyright,
peer-to-peer networks; rating and reviewing of online businesses; and
co-evolution of Internet technology and commerce. Hands-on exercises; group project.
Grading: Project 35%, Homeworks 25%,
Final 25%. If you score more than 100, you get an A+.
Project groups: Due Jan 17th.
Midterm: Feb 12th,
in class (except for SCPD students, of course, who can take it at their
Interim project report: Due
any time during the quarter. The sooner the better if you want feedback.
Project presentations: Mar 11th
and 13th. At least one member of every group must be able to
Final project report: Due Mar
exam: Thu, March 20th, 7-9pm (from the registrarís
Topics (subject to change; some of
these will be
covered informally by guest speakers).
Push vs pull
vs cost-per-action vs cost-per-impression
(advertising auctions, truthful auctions, eBay auctions)
topic: decision making
under uncertainty and the multi armed bandit problem
topic: long tails
2) Reputation, prediction, and recommendation
systems in practice
topic: Eignevalue methods,
eg. PageRank and HITS
topic: Prediction markets
topic: The arbitrage
topic: Singular value
decomposition and collaborative filtering
3) Social networks
A survey of
robustness; privacy vs
functionality; anonymized consensus
topic: the social cost of
topic: spread of influence
in social networks; function follows form; and viral marketing
4) A brief description of the client-server model
Email and the
DNS and Akamai
5) Peer-to-peer systems
topic: the architectures
of KaZaa, BitTorrent, and Skype
topic: Pricing of digital
Set 1 (due Jan 31)
Project descriptions: The
projects must be done in groups of three or four. Each group turns in
interim and a final project report and presents the project in class.
Google Online Marketing Challenge the lengths of the reports are
Google to 2 and 10 pages. For all other projects, the interim report
around 5-7 pages and contain a brief description of your approach to
project, a summary of your progress, and a detailed outline of the
project report. The final project report has no page restrictions, but
15-20 pages is probably sufficient. All
project reports will be on the class web page and hence in the public
But you must maintain confidentiality of any external data that you are
provided and omit that data from the public part of your report.
projects (you are free to devise your own):
Marketing Challenge (teams must be of size 4)
will receive US$200 of free online advertising and then work with local
businesses to devise effective online marketing campaigns. They will
strategy, run their campaign for 21 consecutive days, assess their
provide the business with recommendations to further develop their
Each student group will choose a business that (a) has a website, (b)
already advertising using Google AdWords, and (c) agrees to have a
devised and run for the purposes of the Competition. The instructor has
couple of businesses in mind and you are of course encouraged to find
You must be ready to go on Feb 10th so that you can finish
will be evaluated by Google on three criteria, two short written
the most effective Google AdWords campaign for their business. We will
same criteria. At least one week prior to the campaign, groups submit a
two-page Pre-Campaign Strategy, containing a client overview and
AdWords campaign strategy on criteria such as keywords, time of day and
Teams submit a ten-page Post-Campaign Summary no later than three weeks
the campaignís end.
are at http://www.google.com/onlinechallenge/.
following links are useful:
The Student Guide
The Guide to
Running Your AdWords Account - http://www.google.com/onlinechallenge/adwords_guide.pdf
The Guide to
Marketing and Advertising Using Google - http://www.google.com/events/business_educators/files/MarketingAndAdvertisingUsingGoogle.pdf
Internet-based business (same as last year: here is an article
about this project from the Stanford Daily)
invest no more than $225 (suggested but not mandatory breakdown: $200
advertising, $25 in operational costs) to build an Internet-based
projects will be evaluated on (a) Strategy and execution [20 pts] (b)
the group generated revenues  (c) How much revenue the group
(d) Whether the group turned a profit , and (e) How much profit .
would suggest investing $100 each towards advertising on Yahoo and
MSN or any other combination of two venues that you prefer) to attract
customers into an Amazon associates site that you create for selling
of your choosing, but feel free to use any other legal, socially
and ethical business model. You can reinvest your revenues into
advertising/operations, but if your net out of pocket expenses hit
MUST stop. Submit an interim progress reports and a detailed final
including accounting and receipts. Donít panic if you go bankrupt Ė as
see from the relative weights, it is more important to have a
strategy and good execution than to be too narrowly focused on turning
profit, which is hard in so short a time. Try to invest gradually so
one business idea is not going anywhere, you can try another to at
generate some revenue (for example, a blog that attracts ad-sense
Start early. Discuss your project with us early and often. And
content rules! You should have no direct
inventory. You have to submit an expense summary and an honor code
all group members that you did not exceed the prescribed maximum.
Facebook plugin to implement a new social primitive
has some ideas, which he will be happy to share. But you must be very
comfortable with web 2.0 coding.
banner optimization (Via adchemy.com, an advertising start-up in the
the students with data about the performance of some of their
banners for a given advertising campaign. The students would be
analyze the data and provide recommendations as to which banners they
like to show and in what proportion during an evaluation period. During
week evaluation period, Adchemy will implement the studentsí
a subset of their impressions. It may be possible to make this an
process so that there are two or three evaluation periods (and hence
opportunities for the students to adjust their strategy). The studentsí
performance could be compared against that of one of our automatic
System for the GlobalGiving foundation
a marketplace that connects donors to projects via their website, as
through custom giving services--helping corporations, foundations,
groups, and other institutions with their specific giving needs. You
out more about the foundation at http://www.globalgiving.com/.
goal of this
project is to design a reputation system for project leaders by
data such as page hits, Google rankings, whether a given report from a
leader actually led to repeat donations, exits from the project page,
President of the global giving foundation will be available to consult
consist of at least two people comfortable with coding and at least two
with basic algorithms, economics or optimization knowledge.
report the accuracy of the Inspect-Utilize model, which is described in
. This is an open-ended project, which may have a high impact. There is
possibility of getting data from Microsoft.
consist of at least one person comfortable with coding.
experiment to simulate the incentive based reputation system in the
. This can be in the form of a web-site with a game that you devise for
class to play.
blinds.com, which is an example of a business which has succeeded in
the long tail.
Watch this clip (http://www.thebusinessmakers.com/2006/09/02/episode-65-jay-steinfeld)
and read this
for more details.
An article by
Chris Anderson explaining long tails:
A recent Internet
An old Internet
advertising and the generalized second price auction: Selling billions
dollars worth of keywords. B. Edelman, M. Ostrovsky, and M. Schwarz.
auctions. H. Varian.
auctions for pricing search keywords. G. Aggarwal, A. Goel, and R.
Google press release: http://www.google.com/intl/en/press/annc/online_marketing_challenge.html
and incentives for robust ranking. . R. Bhattacharjee and A. Goel.
The HITS paper:
sources in a hyperlinked environment. John Kleinberg
Auren Hoffman (CEO
Title: Reputation, Portability
When: 2:15PM, Tuesday
February 5, 2008
Where: Gates B03
The Future of Online
When: 2:15PM, Thursday
February 7, 2008
Where: Gates B03
Rob Goldman, formerly General
Vanja Josifovski, Principal
Scientist at Yahoo! Research.
Anil Kamath, CTO, Efficient
Rob Luenberger, Chief
Murthy Nukala, CEO, Adchemy Inc