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September 4, 2009 [ More archived home pages here ]

The New Consumers


The above image, By That Which The Moon Brings is also available as a Desktop Background

Today's song is A New World In The Morning by Roger Whittaker, released in 1970.

A friend of mine is researching the purchase of a new car. In her considered criteria, she is interested in a car getting high mileage per gallon of gas, lower insurance rates, and a long-term good warranty. It is the second item that drew my interest to her research. I'll explain a little about her perspective.

She approached her current auto insurance company, asking which new small cars have the lowest insurance rates for her locality. She was told that unless she asks about specific cars, that information is not available. I saw an opportunity right away.

The data collected about autos by insurance companies is large and varied in scope. It seems logical to me that an insurance company looking to expand their customer base might realize that this deep recession is creating new types of consumers. These consumers are using the Internet more often for research and thinking more about their value of their purchasing dollars. They are not the the same as they were before the recession started affecting them. They are getting wiser all the time.

It seems to me that a smart auto insurance company would find a way to use that vast database of information to help their current customers and gain new ones. They can do this by becoming much more flexible in their responses to consumer requests, like the one my friend asked. For instance, I know from my 25 years in designing relational databases and modeling business processes, that the report my friend is looking for can be created in less than 15 minutes by a seasoned database programmer.

In fact, with the right modern day software, even the insurance agent can create that for her from his/her own computer. Then again, a really technology progressive auto insurance company would use their website to allow viewers to obtain that report themselves using artificial intelligence as a guide.

I believe the new consumers will expect much better access to products and services as this recession cycle runs its course. Any company thinking it can do business the same old way is in for a big surprise. On the other hand, it should be no surprise to companies that adapt and become progressive in easily supplying information to to their customers to see their market share grow.

I told my friend that she should return to her current auto insurance agent and ask that he quickly put that company's IT Manager in touch with her so she could obtain the information she seeks. To then tell the agent if he is reluctant, there are other auto insurance companies that are looking for her money and one of them will get it if they can provide the information she seeks. You see, good old competition is still in vogue and the new consumers will use it to their own advantage.

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This week I updated my 24-inch iMac to the new MacOS 10.6 Snow Leopard, including the Rosetta option. The installation was easy and flawless and now my computer runs faster.

Before the upgrade I checked a compatibility list to see if there would be any problems with my older software applications. Some of my applications were not listed there and in other attempts to ascertain their compatibility, I didn't find the answer. I knew I could run the applications on my older Mac G4 if I really needed them afterwards, so I decided to go ahead and perform the upgrade. Below is a list of the older applications I could not verify their compatibility beforehand. I continue to use them now under Snow Leopard without any problems so far:

  • Apple Motion 1.0.1
  • Bryce 6.1
  • CanoScan 8400F
  • Carrara Studio 2.1.0.6
  • Filemaker Pro 5.5v2
  • Kensington Mouse Pro with MouseWorks 3.0
  • Quicken 2002
  • SnapZ Pro 2.2.0
  • Soundtrack 1.2.1
  • UserLand Radio 8.0.8
  • WireTap Pro 1.3.2

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Here are a few Snow Leopard references I find useful:

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To celebrate the full moon tonight, I created a new iMac Desktop Background (1920 x 1200) for my digital art image, Deer Woman Moon.

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Recently I added the ability to sort the archived home pages by their theme.

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If you're a project manager, this article may be useful to you, Managing Multiple Projects - Stagger the Lifecycles.

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I find this article intriguing.

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An airplane view of Mars.

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Found on the web links for September 3, 2009 [ Link since removed ]

Don


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