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The Final Chapter: How Independent Booksellers Can Adapt to a Changing Industry

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The purpose of this thesis is to examine the current state of the brick-and-mortar bookselling industry, with particular focus on independent bookstores and their strengths and weaknesses, and synthesizing recommendations for these bookstores to reinvent themselves in a rapidly changing

The purpose of this thesis is to examine the current state of the brick-and-mortar bookselling industry, with particular focus on independent bookstores and their strengths and weaknesses, and synthesizing recommendations for these bookstores to reinvent themselves in a rapidly changing market. This examination is highly relevant given recent concerns that, with the rise of e-retailers like Amazon and the closure of bookstore chain Borders, brick-and-mortar bookstores may be superseded by new digital vendors. Independent bookstores are thought to be at a particular disadvantage to these retailers, given their limited size and resources, as well as the lack of capital or consumer base that a larger chain like Barnes and Noble can draw upon to invest in emerging technology. With these more limited financial opportunities, independent bookstores must find different ways to not only keep abreast of the technology that consumers are coming to expect from modern businesses, but attract customers.
To gain insight into the state of the industry and current position of independent bookstores, I will first examine the past fifty years of the brick-and-mortar bookstore, followed by a Porter’s Five Forces analysis of the industry threats and a SWOT analysis to compare the strengths and weaknesses of independent bookstores. Next, the patrons of independent bookstores will be discussed with a focus on the two largest consumer groups of Millennials and Baby Boomers, their characteristics, and the opportunities they provide to bookstores. After this there will be an exploration of the competitors to brick-and-mortar bookstores, focusing on Amazon and then touching on some of the other rivals to bookstores’ consumer base. The next section will be an in-depth analysis of a variety of bookstores across the United States, with attention to their successful practices, goals, concerns, and failures. First, there will be a comparison of industry success and failure through case studies of Borders and Powell’s bookstores. Next, there will be a comparison of five beloved independent bookstores across the country to share their varied competitive advantages that are the secret to their success. Finally, there are primary source interviews with the employees of three major Phoenix bookstores, which provide insight into the goals, current projects, attitudes, and inner strengths of these businesses. Finally, the thesis will conclude with a section offering solutions and suggestions for independent bookstores to pursue based on the primary and secondary research discussed above. These recommendations are focused on five key areas:
• Community
• Consumers
• Store Design
• Technology
• Diversification
Ultimately, the information provided by this research and these interviews indicates that while vital business changes are being pursued by independent and chain bookstores across the United States, the independent bookstore shows no signs of disappearing in favor of online vendors or e-readers.

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Date Created
2017-05

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Smartphones and Privacy: Are Technology and Privacy Incompatible?

Description

This study addresses the question: is it possible for consumers to make informed decisions regarding their privacy, while using smartphones, in the face of the complex web of actors, incentives, and conveniences afforded by the technology? To address this question,

This study addresses the question: is it possible for consumers to make informed decisions regarding their privacy, while using smartphones, in the face of the complex web of actors, incentives, and conveniences afforded by the technology? To address this question, the Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) model is used to analyze common situations consumers find themselves engaged in. Using the SCOT model, relevant actors are identified; their interpretations of various technologies are expressed; relative power is discussed; and possible directions for closure are examined. This analysis takes place by looking at three specific themes within privacy disputes in general: anonymity, confidentiality, and surveillance. These themes are compared and contrasted in regards to their impact on perception of privacy and implications for closure. Arguments are supported through evidence drawn from scholarship on the topic as well as industry and news media. Conclusions are supported through the framework of anticipatory governance.

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Created

Date Created
2015-05

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A Review of Emerging Technologies and Entrepreneurship in Healthcare: Digital Health, Synthetic Biology, and Venture Capital Investment

Description

The focus shift towards Silicon Valley and similar ecosystems in the past decade, the recent boom in startups and entrepreneurship, and the resurgence of venture capital funding is fueling rapid advancement of modern technologies, such as software, biotechnology, and renewable

The focus shift towards Silicon Valley and similar ecosystems in the past decade, the recent boom in startups and entrepreneurship, and the resurgence of venture capital funding is fueling rapid advancement of modern technologies, such as software, biotechnology, and renewable energy. One facet of the growing entrepreneurial landscape features healthcare technology—a field of research centered upon various technical advances in medicine, software, and hardware. Trends in healthcare technology commercialization represent a promising opportunity for disruption in the healthcare industry. The integration of rapidly iterating software with medical research, timed perfectly with the passage of the Affordable Care Act and the boom of venture capital investment in both Big Data and mobile technology, has the healthcare technology primed for explosive growth over the next decade. Investment data indicates that strong public market activity in the past year will continue to fuel venture capital growth in both the biotechnology and digital health sectors, with the potential for multiple large exits by life sciences companies, more than even software, in the coming year.

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Date Created
2014-05

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Reimagination and Retaliation: Medical Technology, Orientalism, and Smallpox Variolation in the British Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

Description

The nineteenth-century invention of smallpox vaccination in Great Britain has been well studied for its significance in the history of medicine as well as the ways in which it exposes Victorian anxieties regarding British nationalism, rural and urban class struggles,

The nineteenth-century invention of smallpox vaccination in Great Britain has been well studied for its significance in the history of medicine as well as the ways in which it exposes Victorian anxieties regarding British nationalism, rural and urban class struggles, the behaviors of women, and animal contamination. Yet inoculation against smallpox by variolation, vaccination’s predecessor and a well-established Chinese medical technique that was spread from east to west to Great Britain, remains largely understudied in modern scholarly literature. In the early 1700s, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, credited with bringing smallpox variolation to Great Britain, wrote first about the practice in the Turkish city of Adrianople and describes variolation as a “useful invention,” yet laments that, unlike the Turkish women who variolate only those in their “small neighborhoods,” British doctors would be able to “destroy this [disease] swiftly” worldwide should they adopt variolation. Examined through the lens of Edward Said’s Orientalism, techno-Orientalism, and medical Orientalism and contextualized by a comparison to British attitudes toward nineteenth century vaccination, eighteenth century smallpox variolation’s introduction to Britain from the non-British “Orient” represents an instance of reversed Orientalism, in which a technologically deficient British “Occident” must “Orientalize” itself to import the superior medical technology of variolation into Britain. In a scramble to retain technological superiority over the Chinese Orient, Britain manufactures a sense of total difference between an imagined British version of variolation and a real, non-British version of variolation. This imagination of total difference is maintained through characterizations of the non-British variolation as ancient, unsafe, and practiced by illegitimate practitioners, while the imagined British variolation is characterized as safe, heroic, and practiced by legitimate British medical doctors. The Occident’s instance of medical technological inferiority brought about by the importation of variolation from the Orient, which I propose represents an eighteenth-century instance of what I call medical techno-Orientalism, represents an expression of British anxiety over a medical technologically superior Orient—anxieties which express themselves as retaliatory attacks on the Orient and variolation as it is practiced in the Orient—and as an expression of British desire to maintain medical technological superiority over the Orient.

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Created

Date Created
2021-05

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Harvest: A Sustainable Growing Network

Description

A large section of United States citizens live far away from supermarkets and do not have an easy way to get to one. This portion of the population lives in an area called a food desert. Food deserts are geographic

A large section of United States citizens live far away from supermarkets and do not have an easy way to get to one. This portion of the population lives in an area called a food desert. Food deserts are geographic areas in which access to affordable, healthy food, such as fresh produce, is limited or completely nonexistent due to the absence of convenient grocery stores. Individuals living in food deserts are left to rely on convenience store snacks and fast food for their meals because they do not have access to a grocery store with fresh produce in their area. Unhealthy foods also lead to health issues, as people living in food deserts are typically at a higher risk of diet-related conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Harvest, a sustainable farming network, is a smartphone application that teaches and guides people living in small spaces through the process of growing fresh, nutritious produce in their own homes. The app will guide users through the entire process of gardening, from seed to harvest. Harvest would give individuals living in food deserts an opportunity to access fresh produce that they currently can’t access. An overwhelming response based on our user discussion and market analysis revealed that our platform was in demand. Development of a target market, brand guide, and full-lifecycle were beneficial during the second semester as Harvest moved forward. Through the development of a website, social media platform, and smartphone application, Harvest grew traction for our platform. Our social media accounts saw a 1700% growth rate, and this wider audience was able to provide helpful feedback.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2021-05

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Mediums and Messengers: Congress and Technological Misunderstandings

Description

This thesis examines congressional discussions of media technologies at two distinct historical moments in order to see how Congress evaluated and sought to regulate technologies with the potential to reshape public modes of thought and communication. Specifically, it examines congressional

This thesis examines congressional discussions of media technologies at two distinct historical moments in order to see how Congress evaluated and sought to regulate technologies with the potential to reshape public modes of thought and communication. Specifically, it examines congressional discussions centered around Television and the Fairness Doctrine, as well as Facebook and the recent scandal involving Cambridge Analytica by asking how Congress has understood what is at stake while attempting to regulate emerging media technologies. Specifically, it probes questions such as: What is assumed about the technologies while attempting to legislate them? What is treated as subject to assessment and revision; what is given priority for consideration over other alternate angles? How do the legal and political contexts in which these discussions are framed impact legislative proceedings and society’s ways of knowing and relating to the world?
While these moments are only a subset of such moments in US history, and Congress is only one of a range of forums in which such political discussions can take place, the thesis focuses on these cases because not only are they important in themselves, but also they reveal issues and approaches that are not unique to these moments. The thesis draws on the on the work of Neil Postman, who argues that the emergence and subsequent dominance of media like television have the capacity to alter the manner in which we think and thus have profound effects on the texture and character of American civic life. In this vein it uses a comparison of how lawmakers attempted to regulate television and social media platforms like Facebook to explore whether and how lawmakers have attended to the capacity of these media to shape public thought.
The thesis demonstrates that understanding of media’s epistemological influence is only ever tacitly acknowledged by lawmakers and is not regarded as an important consideration during evaluative legislative efforts. Instead, Congress tends to focus on matters that are of immediate concern and pragmatic in nature, eclipsing questions about how these technologies fundamentally alter our perceptions of the world and the ways we as individuals and as a society relate to it. By not taking such questions into account during our legislative proceedings, the thesis argues, we cede opportunities to employ and regulate technologies to better serve our cultural ideals and remain susceptible to unwanted forms of cultural erosion mediated by technologies.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2019-05

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The Future of Regenerative Medicine in Professional Sports

Description

Regenerative medicine is a relatively new area of interest among researchers and physicians alike and has truly come to light within the last twenty years. Its purpose is to “regenerate” cells in our body to return tissue and organs systems

Regenerative medicine is a relatively new area of interest among researchers and physicians alike and has truly come to light within the last twenty years. Its purpose is to “regenerate” cells in our body to return tissue and organs systems to their normal functions by utilizing innate cell mechanisms. Uses have ranged from growing completely new body tissue in labs, to promoting the repair of damaged neurons. More recently, the use of regenerative medicine techniques such as stem cell and platelet rich plasma therapy has seen significant growth throughout high level and professional sports. Beginning in the early 2000s, treatments quickly gained popularity as professional athletes began using them as an alternative to surgery, but this came before any concrete scientific support. This thesis paper will analyze the current statistical data supporting the use of platelet rich plasma and stem cell therapy and associated regulations to describe the connection between regenerative medicine and sports.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2020-05

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An Analysis of Museum Visitor Feedback via the Ask Dr. Discovery Project

Description

Museum evaluation is an important process that aims to study an exhibit's effectiveness in engaging visitors and in teaching concepts. Imperatives and methods to strengthen museum evaluation have been suggested and implemented in the past, but ultimately faced several challenges

Museum evaluation is an important process that aims to study an exhibit's effectiveness in engaging visitors and in teaching concepts. Imperatives and methods to strengthen museum evaluation have been suggested and implemented in the past, but ultimately faced several challenges including the collection of visitor feedback in an efficient, non-intrusive way. The Ask Dr. Discovery project seeks to address the challenge of conducting efficient, affordable, and large-scale science museum evaluation via an interactive app aimed at collecting direct visitor feedback through use of the app and through questionnaires that also collect demographics. This thesis investigates how the demographics of metro Phoenix science museum visitors as a whole compare to the Hispanic/Latino population of visitors, and makes use of visitor feedback from Ask Dr. Discovery to provide useful data for science museum evaluation. An analysis of responses revealed that the majority of the participants in the study (n=785) were White (Non-Hispanic) (65.59%), were 36-45 years old (36.18%) and hold a graduate degree (27.64%). Most Hispanic/Latino participants in the study were 26-35 years old (36.36%) and completed some college (28.67%). Most participants from both participant groups have never visited the museum before (32.99% of all participants; 33.57% of all Hispanics/Latinos). Further analysis suggest that museum visits may be independent of age and visitor group size. Visitor interest in science museum exhibits may be independent of their use of free time science-related activities. Data suggests that there was no real difference in exhibit interest across two different versions of the app ("modes"). Analysis of negative visitor feedback showed different question types, questions asked, and time spent on the app. Data log questions revealed the difference in time spent on the app and complexity of questions asked between adults and children, as well as the location of participants in the museum. There was no major correlation between mode type and number of questions asked, and length of use and number of questions asked.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2016-12

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Patients’ Relationship with Technology in Healthcare: How Social, Economic, and Political Factors Influence this Relationship and Patients’ Medical Care

Description

As time passes and equipment advances, healthcare keeps evolving. The way medicine is practiced today is largely influenced by the resources established from technology. This technology has been a benefit in the treatment of many patients but has, at the

As time passes and equipment advances, healthcare keeps evolving. The way medicine is practiced today is largely influenced by the resources established from technology. This technology has been a benefit in the treatment of many patients but has, at the same time, also provided new obstacles. Each advancement has an influence on the way medicine is practiced and the type of care patients are receiving. This thesis explores these factors to determine the overall impact patients face as innovation progresses through future development.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2022-05

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The Growth of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

Description

This project discusses what Artificial Intelligence (AI) is and how it is beneficial for society. The project is in favor of AI and talks about how AI is becoming apparent in everyday use cases, along with technology such as phones

This project discusses what Artificial Intelligence (AI) is and how it is beneficial for society. The project is in favor of AI and talks about how AI is becoming apparent in everyday use cases, along with technology such as phones and cars. The majority of the thesis shows how AI is helpful for healthcare and can assist physicians and nurses do their jobs. Also, how AI helps with medical imaging, drug discovery, dieting, medical devices, and other applicable cases.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2022-05