I saw this post on Sam Ruby's log. Here's a snippet:
Doc Searls: Hey, coffee and wine shops, I'll be in town for the next day with a laptop and a PDA that are wondering who's ready for my business ?
This problem doesn't seem all that much harder to me than syndicating and aggregating weblogs. In particular, both ends of the equation are likely to be behind a combination of firewalls, NAT, proxies, etc. Question to ponder: what technical, sociological, and legal innovations will be required to make this come about?
I pondered this for awhile - there's a coffee/bagel shop in my local shopping center called Bagel Bin. I go there fairly often to get a snack and a coffee - the cool thing is, my dauughter prefers this place to McDonalds! But back to the topic - I don't have a PDA, but I do have a phone - Sam asks what would prevent a shop like this from advertising to these sorts of devices.
That's a simple one, I think - what's the benefit for them in doing so?
. This sort of local outfit gets a local clientele, and said clientele grows by word of mouth (and by proximity to the grocery store, a place everyone goes regularly). There would be an expense to setting up a connection, and can't imagine
that there's a lot of upside in terms of new business. More or less, I think we geeks often completely overestimate the relevance of the net
in the day to day lives of most people.
I had these thoughts, but not really in any kind of focused way - until I saw Gordon Weakliem's post
on the topic:
How about economic innovations? When I saw this post I immediately thought of three local businesses I patronize: The Wine Seller, Angelo's Pizza, and Pablo's (my local coffee house). For these businesses to engage in this type of arrangement, it would either have to be extremely inexpensive, or would have to yield outsized results. I'm amazed at the crude technology that most small businesses employ, mostly for reasons of cost. Sure, Starbucks can afford this, but if it's just Starbucks, et.al., I'm not interested. What makes weblogs interesting is that publishers can run one affordably and even I get to find the Wine Sellers, Angelo's and Pablo's of the web. 3 years ago, I'd guess most of my HTTP requests went to yahoo.com. These days, intertwingly.net is beating Yahoo! hands down
Gordon's post kicked my brain into gear, and let to my thoughts above. Now perhaps a local shop could run a weblog - they can be cheap - but that still assumes that someone
at said shop would have the time and interest to post daily ramblings. Once you start a weblog, you either post frequently (and with any luck, interestingly), or you get no traffic to your site. Ultimately, I'm just not convinced that there's any compelling reason for most small shops to be on the net