Given that direct product experience is generally the optimal method for consumers to learn about products, marketers should strive for verisimilitude in marketing communications. This research explores how computer-mediated environments can engender virtual product experiences. The construct of telepresence, a sense of presence in a remote environment, is used to examine the process by which media characteristics influence consumer responses. Through two experimental studies, we evaluate the effect of two media characteristics—user control and media richness—on the creation of telepresence and assess the impact of telepresence on consumer beliefs about and attitudes toward the advertised product. Results show that user control and media richness both contribute to creating a sense of telepresence. Moreover, through telepresence, these media characteristics influence consumers’ cognitive responses.
Introduction: the importance of market makersThe diffusion of the Internet, and with it electronic commerce, is promoting a transformation in the business landscape as different business models emerge as feasible alternatives to existing models. Hoffman et al. (1995) classify Internet businesses into six, non-exclusive categories: storefronts, content sites, search engines, malls, incentive sites and "presences". One additional business model that has received less attention is that of market makers (MMs) -a viable model in traditional distribution channels whose capabilities have been widely expanded by the introduction of electronic commerce. More than merely middlemen, MMs on the World Wide Web (WWW) aim to bring together buyers and sellers through the creation of an online marketplace. While early MM businesses have been primarily consumer businesses relocating from the marketplace to the marketspace (Rayport and Sviokla, 1995), such as Match.com, Career Mosaic, Apartments for Rent, and Auto-by-tel, the fastest growing MMs operate in the business-to-business segment, and are rapidly establishing themselves as modern virtual intermediaries within their industries . Although few consumer Web businesses currently earn a profit through either advertising, sales, or subscriptions, the profitability of electronic commerce in the business-tobusiness marketplace appears more promising (Desaultels, 1996). This article will focus on these new, electronic MMs in the business-tobusiness marketplace. We distinguish three types of MMs:(1) auctions (e.g. OnSale);(2) single buyer markets (e.g. GE TradeWeb); and(3) pure exchanges (e.g. TRADE'ex). Auctions are on-line marketplaces where the negotiation of price between independent buyers and sellers is implemented via a system-wide standard auction open to all participants. Single-buyer markets are those in which one large buyer establishes an on-line market for its own suppliers to respond to RFQs from different operating divisions. Pure exchanges are marketplaces where individual buyers and sellers are matched according to product offerings and needs, and prices are negotiated on an individual one-on-one basis. Regarding this last category, Zwass (1996) has distinguished "direct-search markets", where buyers and vendors search for one another, from "brokered markets", where brokers assume the search function for either or both parties.
The binding of RPE-1, a mouse monoclonal antibody selective for newt retinal pigment epithelium, was followed in eyes undergoing embryonic development and retinal regeneration. Using the indirect immunofluorescence technique on frozen sections, we observed bright and continuous labelling exclusively in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) of normal adult newts, but labelling became diminished near the ora serrata region and stopped abruptly at the ciliary margin. During development, labelling was not detected in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) until the formation of photoreceptor outer segments and was not observed in any other ocular tissue. There was no correlation between the appearance of pigment in retinal pigment epithelial cells and their labelling with the RPE-1 antibody. Furthermore, albino salamander embryos showed the same pattern of labelling with RPE-1 as that seen in age-matched pigmented animals. During retinal regeneration, RPE cells were labelled less intensely, but heavy labelling was observed in the newly formed retinal cells. With time, labelling in regenerated retina receded, so that by the end of regeneration, labelling by RPE-1 was once more restricted to the RPE cells. The identification of RPE-1 as a marker for postmitotic retinal neurons about to undergo differentiation provides a promising approach for further studies of regeneration with the help of molecular tools.
Commentaries from Grantmakers on Fawcett et al.'s Proposed Memorandum of Collaboration In the following series of commentaries, grantmakers respond to a proposal by Fawcett and his colleagues at the University of Kansas for a "model memorandum of collaboration."' Taken together, these commentaries offer a set of differing and complementary perspectives on the shared work of making communities healthier. In the lead commentary, Marshall Kreuter of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) helps us see the value of a new covenant among those working within and outside communities while cautioning that "the devil is in the details." Barbara Sabol of the WK. Kellogg Foundation calls for the vision to keep our efforts focused on the prize: just communities without disparities in health status. Andrew O'Donovan of the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitative Services outlines a concrete plan and associated support system for a statewide effort to build healthier communities. In reflecting on the experience of their place
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