November 02, 2006

Final grades

OK, the final grades are out. A few changes have been made after the beta (where you find information about the assessment procedure). Most notably Borys deserves to be included among the masters (who now are six). Of the 35 blogs 32 was accepted (or better). Magda may still be accepted because we have earlier agreed on an extended time for that blog (for reasons the blogger in question brought up early on).

I have probably spent ten times the amount of time I anticipated (and is paid for) for this course. On the other hand I have learned a lot and believe that we togheter created a great case, in some sense seminal. I wish to thank all of you that took this task seriously (which can bee seen in your grades). Good luck with your future studies, work and life in general!

In case you want to add some forther remarks here concerning how you look at the assignment per se, I suggest you do that as comment on the earlier post (Less than three weeks left) which already contain such reflections. And/or of course in your own blogs.

Eponym are gracious

Three of our blogs (Blogproof aka To blog or not to blog, Virtual life and SAM staying alive management) are hosted by A while ago Eponym decided to end their free hosting and only offer paid services. The students behind the first two of the affected blogs asked Eponym if their blogs could remain for a while, as our experiment is academic, experimental and interesting.

Yesterday Greg Billingsley from Eponym replied with:
After reviewing your request, we will gladly make an exception for the two blogs, "" and ""
I would personally like to thank Greg, and Eponym, for their kind offer.

October 29, 2006

Grades (in beta)

Here is a beta release of how I have graded your assignments. Please let us know if you think my grading of you, and/or your peer students, is unfair. If so, motivate your standpoint and include links that support it.

In total I found 32 blogs. As you understand it has been a complicated task for me to look through all the blogs, postings, and comments. I have not really scrutinized your writings, just sort of skimmed your posts. I have used your display names to identify who said what within our aedbe blogosphere.

Five Masters
Forty4, e-grasshopper, blogproof. Boguslaw and maniana, have really impressed me – in particular Forty4. They have all been active bloggers, focused their posts on DBE-matters, as well as helped and interacted with fellow students. I learned a lot by reading their blogs and comments. Thank you!

Too many cared little
About half of the blogs reflect more than minimal work just to pass the course. The rest seems to believe that you do not have to do anything to pass, even though I extended the deadline. To my surprise many of you relied on just stealing others stuff and posting it as text in your blog. The assignment is very public! Anyone who reads it can easily get the impression that Polish MBA students do not care about their learning or the value of others work.

Too little time
Many of you pointed out how time consuming the assignment has been. I am not sure if you really have compared your efforts with time normally spent for a traditional assignment (meetings, researching, analyzing, writing, etc). I thought that you actually spent more time with the assignment in the marketing communications course. In any case, those of you who have worked with the assignment should be well credited for that.

The numbers
I have graded your efforts between 1 and 5, where 3 is accept and 5 means passed with great excellence. To be considered for an acceptable level you had to start a blog and create more than two posts. If the posts only contained materials copied from other Web sources (without crediting the sources) I tended not to regard that as acceptable. In addition the three parameters below were used for grades above 3.
  • blus (blog use) measures how you have used your blog. To get above 3 you have to have more than three posts and/or utilized some of your blog host’s additional functions. More postings, more functions, etc. render higher levels.
  • buto (business tool) because you had to select a business problem and identify a DBE tool that addresses it. The buto parameter measures if you have done so, and to which extent your blog actually relates to the problem/tool. In other words, buto sorts of evaluates the assignment beyond the technicalities concerning blogging as the report form.
  • iapa (interactive participation) because work is very much about interaction. The iapa parameter is a rough estimate of how interactive you have been. I have given you points if I found that you: Linked to peer students; Commented in other blogs; Replied to comments on your blog; Interacted with me; Helped others with technical issues.

October 04, 2006

Microsoft case of using other’s Blogs

Dear prof. Gatarski,
Using the last chance of publishing important lesson to our MBA group I’d like to recommend additional reading on, how big companies are using other’s blogs to improve own businesses and why is important for big enterprises to develop blogging
trend by private persons.
Before this reading I could not understand, why private persons are blogging – now it is clear!
Please post the my recommendation on your AEDBE blog.
Link to article:,1540,2023008,00.asp?kc=COCIOEMLP100306CMS1
Regards from Cracow,
Virtual Life [ <- Link to e-grasshopper's blog added by the prof. ]

October 03, 2006

Extended time for delayed students

If I, as a business consultant, would recognize that I might miss an important deadline I feel it is very important for those involved to get an early warning. Hence, I would explain to, for example my customer, that I might be delayed and submit an apology as well as an explanation. In worst case they would throw me out and sue me. In best case they would understand and we could solve the situation together in the best interest of all parties involved.

Today the MBA office informed me that "due to lots of obligations and commitments in their professional live not every students met the requirements and did not finish the blogs". I was also asked to extend the deadline. There was at least an explanation, though not a very early warning.

I do understand that many of you have lots of things to do - we all have. But I am prepared to let you work with the assignment until October 31, 2006. Note! This means you have to start blogging right now (and according to the instructions also inform me that you have started).

As a courtesy to those who started in time I will grade their assignment well before the new deadline. As well as take into consideration that they fulfilled their part of our agreement.

Cheers and good luck.

Blog content, copyrights and credits

This post is motivated by some recent unfoldings in a couple of the student's blogs. As I previously posted julia24pl published, without any credits, content from another blog. When I found that out I sent an e-mail to Fredrik Wackå (the original author who I happen to know). My mail and the response from Fredrik is found below (with his permission).

I hope there are a number of lessons to be learned here. I also assume that no student was trying to cheat me or the academic world. Hopefully the reasons was ignorance and that the students are unaccustomed to the bloggosphere culture and copyright issues.

From: Richard Gatarski
Sent: September 30, 2006 13:03
Subject: Gatarski found that your content has been stolen

Hi Fredrik,

I thought the following might interest you from a "blogs in management teaching" perspective and it seems you got personally involved without knowing so :-)

Late May this year I hade a couple of lectures in "E-business management" for a class of Polish MBA students. I gave them the assignment to start a blog, asap, and use it as a way to document their findings from a self selected business problems where digital tools could be useful. See

After a couple of months (the students also have full time jobs) about 25 of them had started blogs. Generally they have done a range of really good assignments to just tentative trying-blogging-out.

But, here comes to point. After the deadline (September 24) two students mailed me to announce their blogs. The first one obviously did a post (only one ) that was just a copy+paste from another blog. I blogged about that in the "class blog", see (telling I found it, warned about copyright, and wanted a comment from the studens).

And late yesterday I got the mail below from another student. As I browsed throught the postings a recognized one ( IT WAS YOUR "Why blogs for business?"
Another posting ( is a rip-off from the Blog Business Summit Archives (

I think there are some lessons to be learned here. If you have the time and interest to comment
I would surely appreciate that. After all, this is a way to increase the understanding of blogging
and social media among business managers.



From: Fredrik Wackå
Sent: October 1, 2006 18:46
To: 'Richard Gatarski
Subject: SV: Gatarski found that your content has been stolen

Hi Richard (and others)!

I’m not surprised because it is a common mistake.

Not knowing anything about the thoughts about this from the publisher, I think we can view this from a couple of different perspectives.

1. “It’s just for my own records, I don’t have to be so detailed with sources”
This is a thought I’ve heard of and it makes sense. But it misses the important part of bloggers carefully studying their visitor statistics and referrers. Unless the blog is behind firewalls, we should always act as if it will be read by complete outsiders.

2. “I want it to look like this is my own content”
Bad idea, not only from a copyright perspective. Out there in the blogosphere we’re judged by what we write AND what we link to. There’s a message in the linking and a message that is equally important as the content. So even if we disregard the risk of content theft being discovered, I’d say that the publisher hurts himself by not linking to the source(s).

3. “Everything is free on the Net anyway”
Well, obviously it isn’t. Not even in the blogosphere everything is free. Sure – almost all bloggers want to be cited. Many actually say “Here’s my stuff. Do what you want.” But they say one sentence more: “As long as you link to me”. This is the Creative Commons which you have to understand to figure out what’s best practice in blogs.

So, no bad feelings on my side J
A hopefully interesting learning experience for the publisher.


September 27, 2006

Grading process initiated

I will soon start with the grading process. Unfortunately I am superbusy at the moment, so it will probably take a couple of weeks before I am done.

e-grasshopper suggests in a comment that everyone who has started a blog should pass the assignment since "creation of a blog was the most critical part of the assignment". True, that is critical, but a little more is required - even for just a pass. For example, it has to be done in due time before the deadline. In any case, the more you have done with respect to the given assignment - the better grade you will get.

Regarding those who are late, of which a couple has legimate explanations, I have to check with the person responsible for the MBA program at School of Business, Stockholm university. Some of you students, I have already learned during the whole assignment time, have done a very good job. And I thank you sincererly in advance for that!

September 26, 2006

Beware of copyrights!

Today a student created a new blog (2 days after the assignment deadline). The second post in that blog, by "orange2006", is a direct copy+paste of copyrighted material. The original content is most likely from Parenting and Child and the copyright information is found under the Copyright link on that web page. Another web page ParentLink contains the same information, with a note giving credit to the copyright holder, which is Parenting SA.

Academic work is by no way freed from the restrictions given by international copyright law. It is up to the owner of the copyright owner to grant other uses. A growing number of publishers, predominantly bloggers, use the Creative Commons licensing system to enable "the legal sharing and reuse of cultural, educational, and scientific works". True, it is within "fair use" to quoute some content, which then implies marking it as a quote - and - properly refer to the source.

I assume that "orange2006" did a mistake here and look forward to a clarification on the matter.

[update September 30]: Today I found that another student, julia24pl, had done the same thing in at least two postings in her Alone in the Network. Interestingly enough I happen to know Fredrik Wackå, one of the bloggers who has been ripped for his content. So I e-mailed him and asked for comments. To be continued in a fresh post...

September 07, 2006

Less than three weeks left

Today I took a look at the situation. According to my notes there are 28 registered blogs, of which many are just one post. On the other hand, some of you are doing just fine.
I do not know how many students are in the class, but more than the registered blogs I guess. Most likely those who have not yet created a blog will not make an acceptable assignment.
Neither will those of you who have made only one or two posts...

Please feel to publish what you think about the assignment. Either as posts in your blogs, or by commenting others thoughts on this subject (but I might miss reading such comment).

And I hope you bear with me as I grade your efforts. Quite a complicated task...but you will help. More on that later on.

June 29, 2006

French Marketing Frontiers

You might remember that I mentioned my colleguae who had his French studens blogging as a part of their assignment. There is a web page that describes their assignment, with link to the resulting blogs. I thought you might find some inspiration from it, even though the task concerned marketing (rather than Digital Business Enhancments).

June 26, 2006

Grasp podcasting through ball games

Two weeks ago Del Toro made a comment here concerning the words "soccer" versus "football". (That was when Polen disappeared from the World Cup, which Sweden also has by now).
In any case, in hist podcast Adam Curry made a little thing about soccer-football at the end of last week. Furthermore, in Thursday's episode you can hear how even a real pro makes mistakes while struggling to learn and develop DBE. It is probably difficult to immediately get the hang of his Daily Source Code, but if you can find the time - and interest - a little podcasting listening might be useful for you all.

Go to The Daily Source Code on Podcastalley, click the "Podcast player" (red link on midleft/top of the page) and listen to episodes 410 and 411. Or, download the mp3 files and listen later. Or, start subscribing using a podcatcher.


June 20, 2006

Problem with Bloglines

Something has happened with the Bloglines account (aedbe). I have sent Bloglines a question about it, they typically respond within two business days. Meanwhile, the links on the bottom part in the right column here does not work as they should - and you are unable to register new blogs with that account.

June 13, 2006

Feed digest removed

(The following might be hard to understand for new bloggers).

Originally I had the idea of aggregating all student blog feeds into one single feed. That would make it easy for us to follow all the blogs. Unfortunately the service I tried (FeedDigest), wants around USD 50 per year to digest the number of feeds required. Therefore I have deleted the digested feed (aedbefeeds) and removed the links to that feed and it's html-version in my blog roll (right hand column here).

Your (and my) alternative is to subscribe according to the instructions on item 4 in my post about the assignment structure.

June 12, 2006

Please open up for comments

As e-grasshopper rightfully says in a Skype-chat-message to me:

Hi Richard, please published on the AE DBE Blog information, that all of
students, should turn on the possibility of commenting posts by user who are not users (like me). Thx

That is, some blogging tools/services/hotels has "allow comments" disabled by default for anonymous or un-registered users. In your tool, find out how to enable commenting for various type of visitors on your blog. Typically you can also per post specify how you allow commenting.

Being unique

If you want to be someone special, then you have to live that quest. As it is now, some of you have chosen not-so-very-distinct names for your blog. In one case, a student blog has the same template as the AE DBE blog. It is very easy to swithc templates, but harder to change the name of your blog.

June 09, 2006

Toooo bad

I am so sorry. But, remember - there is more in life than soccer.

Spam problems...

As you most likely will figure out, there are number of spam problems in the blogosphere too. Some of it is taken care of by the blogging services/applications (e.g. with CAPTCHA:s).

By now six of you students have informed me about your blogs, and all but one have registered in the Bloglines user aedbe. One problem I have had is that on three (3) occations your mail servers (typically corporate gateway stuff) have refused to recieve my replies to your mail-ins. So far I have either re-sent the mail (slightly rewritten) or put a comment on your blog. From now on I do not have time for such extra work.

So, if you expect an e-mail response from me and do not get it, one probable cause is that it got stuck in your spam filters. That is your problem - not mine.

Have a niiiice weekend.

June 06, 2006

Borys has registered - leads again

OK, so Borys was the first one to register his blog at our Bloglines account. Well done! And he managed to Skype me as well. I am impressed.

He, and some other early class bloggers, pointed out that they could not find the instructions for how to register. That has been fixed now and I thank you for letting me know about the problem. You still need the password, and if the MBA office have not sent it to you (I asked them yesterday) you can e-mail me (or Borys).

Borys and Bogyslaw are in

Just around an hour before midnight on Monday, Borys quickly followed by Bogyslaw (nick names) were the first two students to get their blogs up and running. Both choosed the Blogger service. That choice, combined with that Borys linked to AE DBE blog in his blog roll, made Technorati to figure this interblogging out (follow the Technorati "Blogs that link here").

Now we will see who will be the first one to take step three and register his/hers blog according to step 3 in the assignment.

Well done so far!

June 05, 2006

The assignment blog structure

By now, as I have travelled from my initial idea of having a blogging assignment, to the current setup, I realize that it's structure may need some explanation. It will most likely be difficult for you the first time you try to get sense of the following. But, when you have completed the assignment it will be crystal clear - proof that you have learned a lot of new things!

This blog (AE DBE blog) is where I blog as your teacher. Here I inform you about the assignment, course materials, and when important events unfold.

Each one of you will create your own blog. The following explains how we keep track of all the blogs created throughout the assignment:
  1. Everyone may visit the specific teacher/student blogs in order to read and comment them. This will of course be cumbersome as the number of class blogs grows.
  2. Everyone may personally subscribe to the teacher/students blogs using a feed aggregator (also called news readers), for example, Bloglines. The feed to the AE DBE blog is available under "Subscribe & Aggregate" header in the right hand column here.
  3. The Bloglines user "aedbe" will contain a subscription of this blog and all of the student blog's feeds. The latter are organized into folders according to each student's work group. Every individual student is responsible for registering her or his blog on the Bloglines account This allows me to keep track of all blogs. All of us may visit the publically available subscription list at
  4. I highly recommend you to at least subscribe, using a news reader of your own choice, to AE DBE blog and the blogs belonging to students in your particular work group. In this fashion you will conveniently monitor the information most important to you as you work with the assignment.
  5. (update June 13: I will not provide any aggregated feed using FeedDigest).

Good luck - you are about to enter the blogosphere!

Handouts available

The handouts (images from my lectures) are now available as pdf-files.
p.s. The Marketing Communications material from December last year is available on my (old) academic web site. d.s.

The deadline and grading

The final deadline, when I go about to grade your assignment is September 24, 2006. Please note that the sooner you start blogging, the greater are your chances to learn and get a good grade.

The better the class works with the assignment, the more difficult it will be for me to give fair gradings. That is, the more the class's blogs contain, the harder it is to monitor all your activities. But, generally I will be able to quickly sort you into fail/pass/excellent. In any case, if you take the assignment seriously I am convinced the true reward will be valuable knowledge.

Of course, later on if you think my grading does not reflect your work - please let me know!

When you have questions

You will learn more when you go about to find the answers yourself, instead of just getting one from someone who "knows". Furthermore, you are one of the many students in the class - and I am only one teacher. Therefore, it will be really difficult for me to answer all the questions that may arise.

Here is my advice on how you should get your qestions answered:

  1. Make an honest attempt to find an answer on your own. The information you need might be in this blog, in Wikipedia, Google, the course literature or elsewhere.
  2. Ask a fellow student, either in person, by phone, e-mail or maybe in one of the class blogs.
  3. Ask by commenting an appropriate post in the AE DBE blog. This way the whole class could potentially learn from your question and the answers that pop up.
  4. Contact me. My e-mail address is in the "About Me" section of this blog. If you want to speak to me the MBA office has my cell phone number and Skype name (I do not want to publish that information on the Web).

If that does not help - scream :-)

The assignment

The main objective with the assignment is to deeply explore tools for Digital Business Enhancements (DBE) and document that journey through active blogging. This imples that you will also get useful and personal hands-on experience with the blogosphere - a wonderful entry into the brave nEw world...

Identity and openness

First, a brief note about personal integrity and confidentiality. Blogs are typically regarded as more valuable, and trustworthy, when they highly reflect a personal viewpoint. In this case, because you are graded individually, the blog is yours and not any organization's. Even so, you may choose to use a nick name instead of your real name. Furthermore, you should consider how much of your company information/situation is appropriate to share in the bloggosphere. Sharing a lot of information implies some risk taking and vulnerability, but also a number of advantages. These include that other actors are better informed when they support you, share valuable advice, and provide useful feedback.

Six simple steps

In sum, these are the steps you should take:

  1. Pick a business problem/opportunity where DBE could be useful
  2. Start a blog, in which you will document your assignment
  3. Register your blog among the class blogs
  4. Search for appropriate DBE tools
  5. Continously blog your activites
  6. Interact with your group members

One, the problem/opportunity

Identify a business problem or an oportunity for a company (e.g. the one you are working for). Of course there are many possibilities too choose from. Just pick one that you from the start consider to be useful to approach from a DBE perspective.

Two, start your blog

There are a vast number of blogging solutions available on the market. Most of them support a number of languages, including Polish. Even so, you should write your blog in English. The AE DBE blog is hosted for free on Blogger, one of the major blogging hotels. It is very easy to use, with one major disadvantage - it has no built in support for tagging (categorizing the entries). Another widely used free hotel is Wordpress, which is based on open source software. In any case, you may choose any blogging tool you like.

Three, register your blog

[Updated June 06, corrected the instructions link] In order for all of us involved (me the class teacher and you the students) we need to inform each other about the blogs existence. We will do this by registering, or rather add each student blog, to the Bloglines user "aedbe", see the detailed instructions for this process.

After the registration, do no forget to send an e-mail to with your name and the blog's name in order to make sure that I know that your blog is up and running.

Four, search for tools

The course literature is full of tools and E-business concepts, for example, buy-side, CRM, tagging, ERP, etc. Now is a good time to browse the literature in order to assess what E-business encompasses. Use this assignment as a method to more deeply dig into one of the DBE areas/tools/concepts.

Five, blog your activities

In the old days students handed in their assignment by means of a written document (paper/thesis/etc). But, times are a'changen, and this time you should continously document whbat you learm, see, think, do, etc., by posting entries on your blog. It is up to you to decide upon how much to put into your blog. First, consider what you think is an appriopriate amount to best approach your chosen business problem/possibility. Second, remember that your blog is what I grade you after.

Six, interact

You are many students in the class. You can both help, and learn, from your peer student by following their blogs and comment their postings. In fact, you are required to at least interact in this fashion with at least the members of your working group. That work is part of the assignment. If nothing else - until you have taken an active part in inter-blogging you have not even begun to understand what blogging might be all about.

Remember, "we" are greater than "me"

Use blogging as a way to help your fellow student to be at their best! A group is not at its best when each individual student strive to perform at her or his maximum. No, the group, and every individual within it, excels when the members skilfully play on every others unique capabilities.
(a point I stress, inspired by the director Juri Lederman).

June 03, 2006

Polish video sharing service

Remember the video sharing service YouTube (with Melanie's breakup) I showed you? I just got an e-mail from Agny, one of my business colleagues, who "shared" a video through video.i1234 - a Polish service. You may laugh at that video here...

You may now subscribe

I just cleaned up the blog a little bit, added the "about me" information, and some links. The latter includes a link to the blogs RSS-feed, enhanced by the Feedburner service.
You may learn about how to subscribe by clicking the orange "RSS-icon". At the lecture I demonstrated how the feed can be incorporated in the Bloglines service. But, as you will see, FeedBurner points to a number of other newsreading services with different capabilities.

Later, probably tomorrow, I will publish my handouts and other course notes - and of course a more clearly discription of the assignment and its deadline.

First I will have lunch, do some shopping, check out the night life in Krakow and have a good nights sleep.

Welcome to the assignment

You will also create blogs. Later on I will inform you here about the assignment and the assessment procedure.

Useful Web sites

Useful Web sites:

Ask Jeeves, at
useful for learning about things, such as terms and concepts

SSRN eBusiness
and eCommerce

database with interestering work-in-progress

eLab – Research for a Digital World, at:
academic research project

First Monday (peer reviewed journal), at
peer reviewed electronic journal

Managing the Digital Enterprise, at
e-learning for free

Usable Information Technology, at
about the design of Web sites and other user interfaves

About Web Services

Course literature

Compulsory articles:
These articles must all be read.

Recommended literature:

  • Chaffey, D. (2004), E-Business and E-Commerce Management, Second edition, Prentice-Hall.
    Companion website:

    This academic textbook (550 pages) is recommenced, but not
    compulsory, reading. You may alse dive into Chaffeys "E-business book blog".
  • Seybold, P. (1998), how to create a profitable business strategy
    for the Internet and beyond
    . New York: Times books
    See also
    This management style book is recommended for those that want
    to read about successful business cases.

About the DBE course module

The overall aim of this module is to critically explore from a theoretical perspective how business is enhanced by digital tools and thus develop a sound understanding of past, current and future developments. Through this short but comprehensive guide to the most important aspects of deploying and managing digital tools, students will be better prepared for practical management as well as further research in the field.

The module is designed for students who, from a managerial perspective, wish to gain a more in-depth exposure to computer-based information technology issues (including the Internet and wireless networks) and their implications for business. It presumes advanced knowledge of traditional management, marketing and information theories and a certain acquaintance with economic theories (such as transaction cost theory).

Besides the lectures there are some compulsory (must read) articles and recommended literature. It is highly recommended that you read Chaffey (2004) or some other similar E-business textbook. As a courtesy to interested students this blog also lists some useful Web sites. After the lectures students are required to complete an assignment.

The lectures are divided into two sessions (actual disposition may vary depending on class interaction).

Session one: Introduction and overview
Friday June 2nd

  • Introduction
    - about the teacher
    - aim of the lectures
    - notion about the written assignement
  • A historical context
  • E-management (supplement to Chaffey 2004)
    - e-commerce, e-business and e-government
    - infrastructure and environment
    - related management concepts

Session two: Digital Business Enhancements
Saturday June 3th

  • Ubiqutous Computing and the Post PC era
  • Wireless trends
  • Artificial Market Actors
  • Blogging and podcasting