Thursday, July 9, 2009

Corporate Blogging: A new marketing communication tool for companies

Corporate blog is a weblog which published and used by an organization to reach its organizational goals. Currently, all major browsers (including Firefox, Opera, Safari and Internet Explorer 7) support RSS technology, which enables readers to easily read recent posts without actually visiting the blog, which is very useful for low-volume blogs.

A corporate blog can be:

  • A tool that helps the organization achieve a business goal
  • A useful extension of the company image in the marketplace
  • An opportunity to open a two-way channel between employees and customers
There are many different types of corporate blogs, most can be categorized as either external or internal.

Internal Blogs
An internal blog is a weblog that any employee can view through the corporation's Intranet. Many blogs are also communal, allowing anyone to post to them. The informal nature of blogs may encourage employee participation, free discussion of issues, collective intelligence, direct communication between various layers of an organization and a sense of community. Internal blogs may be used in e-mail discussions especially the employees are in different locations, or have conflicting schedules. Blogs may also allow individuals who otherwise would not have been aware of or invited to participate in a discussion to contribute their expertise.

External Blogs
An external blog is a publicly available webblog where company employees, teams, or spokespersons share their views. It is often used to announce new products and services or the end of old product, to explain and clarify policies, or to react on public criticism on certain issues. It also allows a window to the company culture and is often treated more informally than traditional press releases, though a corporate blog often tries to accomplish similar goals as press releases do. In some corporate blogs, all posts go through a review before they're posted. Some corporate blogs, but not all, allow comments to be made to the posts.

The benefits of blogging for corporate:

  1. Great for search engine marketing
  2. Build and brands your company to be a thought leader in your industry
  3. Great crisis handlers
  4. To engage customers in conversation, and help in building relationship
  5. To put a human voice to a company
  6. Show the world that you have nothing to hide
  7. Customer service and feedback
  8. Differentiator
  9. Encourages you to find out what others are talking about you
Corporate blogs are not only interesting and useful, they are also helping the companies develop a totally new relationship with their customers. Sometimes, the blogs will help the company move the needle in reputation, cute and thus purchase consideration.


Review a local e-commerce site is a local site where you purchase wonderful flowers and gifts for any occasions and send them to your loved ones or even to your family and so on. This website is a fully owned subsidy of CARI Internet Sdn Bhd and began active operation in the year 1999.

To provide a convenience way for people to purchase flowers and gifts, the founder decided to start as an online florist instead of having a shop at first. Since inception, has experienced tremendous growth in the process, they have since successfully established a network of over 60 florists throughout Malaysia with the trustworthy relationship to ensure quality of their suppliers and delivery channels. Now, they have their first retail shop in Kelana Jaya and more to come.

With no doubt, the products available in this website are bouquets, flowers arrangement, hampers, gift baskets and many other specialties utilizing imported to produce truly unique gifts. helps customers to convey their message and thoughts to their loved ones, friends and associates to commemorate momentous occasions such as new-born, birthdays, wedding, anniversaries, graduations and business openings and even for condolences.

This website has a simple layout and yet warmth design. It has a good navigation which will bring customers to the respective pages when they click on the link or items they wish to get accessed. There is no search engine in this site but it provides a list of events with breakdowns for customers to select types of flowers and gifts they wish to order for different types of events. Once they click on the particular event, images of products will be displayed in the page with the names and prices. If they wish to order certain product, they can click on the image or product name for descriptions and add it into the shopping cart.

Products can be ordered from this site and shipments will be done with different shipment charges according to the locations of recipients. Payments can be made using Mastercard and Visa credit card payments through 's partner payment gateway provider "Commerce Payment Sdn Bhd". Maybank, Mobile Money and Paypal are the alternatives for customers to make their payments.

However, there are also weaknesses in The choices of products are not in great variety and thus customers may not be able to choose products which they really want. In addition, they can only look at the description but not the real image of the flowers or gifts. As compared to a brick-and mortal florist, customers can check whether the flowers are fresh, how do they smell, what colour they like, types of wrapping they prefer and so on. Besides that, seasonal conditions may affect the supply of certain kind of flowers and specific colours may not always be available. But arrangements will be made by this online florists and will always fulfill customer's need.

Anyway, it is recommended site for those who wish to send their wishes and gifts to someone far from them with the help of this site. I'm sure that the one who receives these from their loved ones or someone else will feel extremely surprised and touched.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

E-learning in Malaysia

E-learning is a term for all types of technology-enhanced learning (TEL), where technology is used to support the learning process. E-learning can be defined in many ways. According to J. Rosenberg, e-learning refers to the use of Internet technologies to deliver a broad array of solutions that enhance knowledge and performance while according Elliot Masie, The Masie Center, E-Learning is the use of network technology to design, deliver, select, administer, and extend learning.

In Malaysia, discussion, debate, deliberation on E-learning as an option to enhance traditional classroom face-to-face training are being widely encouraged and promoted by the government and by private sector organizations. This system introduced to Malaysian students undergoing open and distance learning (ODL) programmes. For those who are still working and hope to be successful in their career development, they will enrolled for external degrees offered by reputed universities in the 1960's or earlier. In 2007, total of seven programs (bachelor and diploma) are offered by UiTM with an enrolment of 2,000 students. UiTM is in the final stage in implementing e-learning in language studies for more than 100,000 students. Some other universities and higher learning institutions are also implementing e-learning as follow:
  • Malaysian Institute of Management
  • Institute of Management Studies
  • University Putra Malaysia
  • Maastricht School of Management
  • University Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)
  • University Tun Abdul Razak (UNITAR)
  • Multimedia University (MMU)
  • University Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI)

However, the main player of e-learning are private and public institutions of higher education as well as local and multinational corporations. Malaysia's first open university – Open University Malaysia (OUM) is the main academic institutions that leverages on e-learning to deliver its programmes.

Benefits of E-learning from Students Perspective

  1. Flexibility, Accessibility, Convenience or Ubiquity
    Learning materials can be access anytime and anywhere. Student can obtained the materials from their home and even at the midnight.

  2. Low delivery costs
    Once the e-content has been developed and uploaded on the server, it is relatively inexpensive to distribute domestically and worldwide. The contents downloaded can be save in pendrive and portable. Students can save the cost of printing.

  3. Ease of Update
    It enables the content to be easily and regularly updated and instantly available to all students. Thus, student can get the most updated material on time.

  4. Scalability
    Content can be delivered to a small or large number of students with little effort. The students that facing geographically disperse can get the contents and experience may shared between students.

Challenges of E-learning From Students Perspective

  1. Computer literacy and Digital Divide
    Some of the students does not own a computer especially the student in the rural areas might face the problem of computer illiterate. They might find difficult to adopt the e-learning mode.

  2. Language Barrier
    For the students who have difficulties in English speaking especially Malaysian students does not have self-motivation to adopt such mode. They might not be confident with the contents in English.

  3. Healthy Problem
    The student's health being affected as long time facing with computers may assist many side effect such as vision problem, repetitive strain injuries. And ergonomic which means pain in wrists.

  4. Difficulties in Engaging Students Online
    Online learning requires a very high degree of self-motivation which is found to be lacking among our students. Basically, students will be motivate if available of control from lecture or tutor.

As a conclusion, e-learning will play an important role in democratizing education and contributing towards generating knowledge workers in Malaysia. However, government needs to realize the full potentials of e-learning among students and active in promoting and supporting this initiatives.


Monday, July 6, 2009

E-Government in Malaysia: Its Implementation and Citizen's Adoption Strategies

Electronic Government or E-government has become very popular in today's technological advancement world. E-government is the use of information and communication technology to provide and improve government services, transactions and interactions with citizens,businesses,and others. The most important of implementation of e-government is aims to help strenghten government's drive toward effective governance and increased transparency to better manage a country's social and economic resources for development. Many countries have widely implemented e-government since last decade,including Malaysia in order to deliver electronic government service to benefit their citizens.

E-government was started to implement in M'sia since the introducton of Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) in year 1996. This initiative was launched to lead our country as a step into the Information Age. Its purpose is to improve Malaysian government's internal operations,as well as the delivery of government services to Malaysia's citiizens. Besides that,it can also enhance the convenience,accessibility and quality of interactions with the citizens and businesses. Meanwhile,it can improve information flows and processes within government ,the speed and quality of policy development,coordination and enforcement.

E-government was one of the Seven Flagship application introduces by MSC in order to lead the Malaysian towards the objectives of Vision 2020. However, there are seven pilot projects of the Electronic Government Flagship Application:

1. Project Monitoring System (SPP II)
2. Human Resource Management Information System (HRMIS)
3. Generic Office Environment (GOE)
4. Electronic Procurement (EP)
5. Electronic Services (E-services)
6. Electronic Labour Exchange (ELX)
7. E-syariah

Under these 7 pilot projects, it is divided into 3 categories,there are Government to Citizens (G2C), Government to Business (G2B) and Government to Government (G2G).

Government to Citizens (G2C)

1. Electronic Services (E-services)

With e-services, now everyone can conduct transactions with Government agencies, such as Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) and Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) through various convenient channels such as the eServices kiosks and internet. It eliminate the queuing, traffic jams or bureaucratic hassles and they can conduct transactions at their own wish and convenience.

2. Electronic Labour Exchange (ELX)

ELX is one stop-centre for labor market information, as supervised by the Ministry of Human Resource (MORH), to enable employers and job seekers to communicate on the same platform. Their objectives are :
~ Enable an effective and integrated job matching process.
~ Provide an effective center of labot market information and references.
~ To improve mobilisation of the nation's human resources and to ensure that manpower
utilization is optimized.

3. E-Syariah

E-syariah is the seventh project under the Electronic Government flagship application of the MSC. A case management system that integrates the processes related to management of cases for the Syariah Courts.The objectives are :
~ To improve the quality of services of the Syariah Courts
~ To improve the effectiveness of JKSM (Jabatan Kehakiman Syariah Malaysia) in coordinating and
supervising related agencies under its jurisdiction.
~ To improve the productivity and efficiency of the management of the Syariah courts
throughout the country.
~ To upload the splendors of Islam through the use of ICT(Information of Communication and

Government to Business (G2B)

1. E-procurement (EP)

An electronic procurement system, which enables suppliers to sell goods and services to the Government through the Internet. Suppliers "open shop" on the World Wide Web (WWW), advertise their pricing, process orders and deliveries. Its objectives includes :
~ Enables accountability and transparency.
~ Creates more skilled and knowledgeable workforce.
~ Equips the workforce with the latest technology at minimum cost.

2. Generic Office Environment (GOE)

Powerful document and office management solution that enables users to effectively and efficiently manage their office environment. It is fully web-based and has been customized based on local developed package, DRDok. Its objectives includes :
~ Efficient preparation and storage of documents.
~ Fast search and retrieval of documents.
~ Effective and productive collaboration and sharing of information.
~ Secure and traceable access to documents.

Government to Government (G2G)

1. Human Resource Management Information System (HRMIS)

HRMIS is integrated, technology-enabled Human Resource Management Information System for the Malaysian Public Service, incorporating Global Best Practices in HR that would enable the Public Service to successfully deal with the Challenges of the K-Economy(knowledge and the ability to use it to create new value and wealth). The objectives includes :
~ Effective staffing and right-sizing of civil service.
~ Up-to-date consolidated HR data for effective information planning.
~ Automate human resource anagerial and operational processes.
~ Improve paperless HRM capabilities.
~ Open and flexible system.
~ Better communication, horizontal integration, streamlined processes and single window access.

2. Project Monitoring System (SPP II)

Online system that monitors the entire lifecycle of national programs, i.e. from project application to approval to implementation, mid-term review and completion. Its objectives includes:
~ To support and monitor entire lifecycle of Malaysia's 5-Year development program.
~ To have a quality projects.
~ To provide a platform for exchanging ideas and demonstrating best practices models in project implementation.

~ To have an effective decision making based on analysis or forecasting of project informaiton and
auto-alert on problem projects (e.g. Budget overrun).

Citizen's Adoption Strategies

E-services form an emerging field, which is rapidly gaining attention and importance. Citizens expect and require governmental services with a high degree of quality, quantity and availability. Governments all over the world are developing information systems and electronic services that have the capacity to meet these emerging service needs and demands of citizens and other customers. Success in delivering electronic services depends upon the capability and self-confidence of citizens in performing e-transactions, as well as their trust and confidence in the protection of their personal data within an open and accountable government. The ease of use, compatibility, and trustworthiness are significant predictors of citizens’ intention to use e-services and that perceived reactive advantage,image,compatibility,usefulness and relative advantage are significant elements of e-Government adoption. These are the 4 areas that should be focusing :

1. Customer satisfaction

E-Government adoption requires that citizens show higher levels of satisfaction with the online service provided by the government. A higher level of customer satisfaction will increase the rate of e-Government adoption.

2. Quality of Service

Online service quality for e-Government could be measured in terms of quality of content provided on the website, the speed of the response to the citizens concerns with problem solving approach, and the availability of names. Other important measurement factors are telephone and fax numbers of personnel with whom citizens might need to get in touch, and the integration of an offline channel with online channel so that citizens could interact with government departments through other means if necessary. Higher quality of service will lead to higher levels of customer satisfaction and thus can increase the use of e-government services.

3. Design of the Web

Personalization of websites, customization of product offerings, and self-care are the three key features that could be used not only to build relationship with the visitors, but also to enhance their experience. These features give visitors a sense of control and participation and could potentially enhance their adoption. Besides that, detailed guidance and instructions such as Frequently-Asked Question section and etc must be available to aid the citizens in using the e-government services effectively and smoothly.

4. User Characteristic

User characteristics have a direct impact on e-government service adoption such as perceived risk and control and also internet experience. Experience influences a citizen’s trust of e-government. Users with prior experience, especially if satisfied, would be more likely to return to use e-Government services. Perceived risk leads to security and privacy issues that might discourage the use of online services. It is crucial to ensure that citizens can have online transaction securely and their personal information will be kept confidential to increase the level of trust and the e-government adoption rate.

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