bskewl

Wharts and All: Blogging the Full-Time MBA Program at the Wharton School

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Gaming the System

The Tribune Company publishes a crappy but free newspaper called "amNewYork" aimed at Manhattan's commuting classes. According to the WSJ, amNewYork's circulation is 325,000, most of it achieved through pushy paper hawkers who thrust the free rag into the hands of uncaffeinated commuters who are still too groggy to have the sense to refuse it.

Though the company attempts to select hawkers who will do a good job, they're clearly compensated in a way that encourages mischevious behavior. At seven this morning I found myself walking behind one hawker who jammed a fistful of amNewYork papers (perhaps 10 at a time) deep into each trash can he passed. I followed him for several blocks as I really got a kick out of watching him distribute the paper in this way.

I was going to compare this behavior to the way business school applicants tend to focus on just a few important metrics (sometimes to the detriment of their overall careers) but realized too late that it's just not all that interesting. I've typed too much to stop now, so instead, I'll make a list of unconnected things!

  • LBS Whomps HBS Ass at SEO - Google the term "Business School" (with quotes and without quotes) in Google. London Business School has clearly invested in search engine optimization. What else explains these results? Wharton ranks third in both searches.
  • HBS Annual Report - Dave for MBA has pulled out some highlights of the just-released HBS annual report. Did you know that HBS's primary source of revenue is publishing? In a future post, I'd love to compare the data in this report to comparable data from other schools. And as for those complaints that the HBS administration is unresponsive to student feedback? Maybe there's something to them, as evinced by the following quote from the report:
    By leaving vacant positions unfilled and postponing new hires, the School reduced its administrative staff full-time equivalent positions (FTEs) by a total of 49 from last year, partially offsetting the increased benefits expense. Over the past two years, the School’s staff level has declined by 100 FTEs, or 9.0 percent. (source)
  • A list with just two substantive items? For shame. Maybe tomorrow I'll do better. I only got three hours of sleep last night. No, that's not an excuse. If I'm going to continue this effort for the next two years I'll need to learn to write regardless of how much sleep I've had, right?

3 Comments:

Blogger PowerYogi said...

LBS whoops HBS' ass ? not according to a google search 2 minutes ago ...

2/02/2005 11:15:00 PM  
Blogger bskewl said...

Looks like the two are duking it out for top Google placement.

2/03/2005 06:07:00 AM  
Blogger PowerYogi said...

ah, i tried the one without quotes and it was HBS. is LBS with quotes. sorry for jumping the gun on that one.

btw, did you notice the sponsored ads in each case - it's bentley college ! and they are at the same eye level as these biggies.

2/03/2005 01:45:00 PM  

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