Tuesday, November 13, 2007

New Class: Search and the New Economy

Next semester, I will be teaching an MBA class with the title "Search and the New Economy," and I will be also participating in the undergraduate version of the class, taught by Norm White. The intended audience for the class are MBA students, that have interest in technology but are not necessarily programmers.

I have been thinking a lot on how to organize such a class, so that it has some internal structure and flow. My current list of topics:
  1. Search Engine Marketing: Introduction, Search Basics: Crawling, Indexing, Ranking, Pagerank, Spam, TrustRank
  2. Search Engine Marketing: Analyzing and Understanding Users╩╣s Behavior, Web Analytics
  3. Search Engine Marketing: Search Engine Optimization
  4. Search Engine Marketing: AdWords, AdSense, Click Fraud
  5. Social Search and Collective Intelligence: Blog Analysis and Aggregation, Network Analysis, Opinion Mining
  6. Social Search and Collective Intelligence: Recommender Systems, Reputation Systems
  7. Social Search and Collective Intelligence: Prediction Markets
  8. Social Search and Collective Intelligence: Wikis and Collaborative Production
  9. Ownership of Electronic Data: Privacy on the Web
  10. Ownership of Electronic Data: Intellectual Property issues on the Web
  11. Ownership of Electronic Data: The Future of Privacy and Intellectual Property
  12. Future Directions and Wrapping‐up
Some rough sketches of the assignments for this course:
  • Run and optimize an online advertising campaign, using Google AdWords or Microsoft adCenter.
  • Analyze the visitorship data of an online website to analyze the effectiveness of different pages. You can use Google Analytics, or tools like CrazyEgg
  • Optimize the keyword campaign of a company by choosing the appropriate keywords and bid amounts, depending on the competition and the rank of the organic pages.
  • Analyze (or build) a recommender system for movies, books, and TV Shows using Facebook data.
  • Build a dating recommendation system using Facebook data
  • Build prediction markets at Inkling Markets, for an event of interest, examine the accuracy of the predictions, and analyze the behavior of the participants. Alternatively, analyze real‐money prediction markets at InTrade and BetFair and examine the effect of real‐life events in political campaigns.
  • Use Google Trends to build a predictor of unemployment measures.
Any more topics what would be worth covering? Alternative exercises?

Update (Feb 21): The class material (slides and recorded lectures, for now) is now available at the class website. You can also look at the class roster and at the prediction market site of the class.