We are developing a search engine that will have products ads with place of manufacturing information to provide the data so that we can all buy 5% more US made products and create a MILLION new jobs.
We are looking into developing a local search engine using Solr.
One of the primary goals of this search engine will be to provide a counter narrative to Google. This narrative will incorporate an argument provided by Michael Thomsen:
The lack of diversity at Google has… to do with the company’s core structure, which would remain bluntly antagonistic toward behavioral and political diversity….
[Google’s] PageRank obscures diversity, burying the full and often incoherent spectrum of possible answers to a question inside a nested sequence of mathematical prejudices. Ironically, PageRank worked far better than any other search technology before it, making Google’s business of improving search a matter of cultivating dramatically persuasive prejudices. People wanted answers, not protrusions of debate and uncertainty, and Google made money creating an artificial frame to give it to them.
In the year ending May 2014, Americans made 61 billion visits to restaurants. That’s down from 62.7 billion in 2008 and flat compared to the last several year. Of the over 1 billion visits lost each year, the vast majority have been to independent establishments.
This lost of visitors was compounded by daily deal providers sucking value away from local merchants. In 2011, revenue for daily deal providers like Groupon grew 138% but visits to independent restaurants were down 4%. According to Bill Bice of Coverboom this works out to $280M lost by independent restaurant owners.
Groupon grew out of a social activist website called “The Point” to became the fastest growing company ever with an apparently great idea that seemed to serve the needs of small business owners. “The Point” got its name from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, a book by Malcom Gladwell: “The success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts.”
The Groupon model lost sight of the fact that all businesses have Gold customers – a small percentage that provides 80% of their revenue and profit. The deep discounts of daily deals devalue these customers.
Instead of devaluing your customers by offering deep discounts, small businesses can create database marketing campaigns. The basic idea in database marketing is to build a close personal relationship with each customer that is based on quality, service, friendship, loyalty, and communications. And, not based on discounts. You would not give a neighbor $5 for helping you move furniture. It would be an insult. Instead, you offer a cup of coffee or a beer, and 15 minutes of chat around the kitchen table. That is the kind of relationship that database marketing creates. Discounts send the wrong message: we are cheap guys whose basic product is overpriced. We want to buy your loyalty. We don’t care about you. We care about your money.
With database marketing campaigns, you can identify Gold customers and develop programs designed to retain them. You use resources that you could not afford to spend on all of your customers. Profits come from working to retain the best, and encouraging others to move up to higher status levels.
Small business owners must also contend with the fact that overwhelming clutter has made traditional advertising nearly worthless for their businesses. We live in a world that has become ad rich but idea poor. Your customers don’t want to be bombarded with ads—they want to be inspired by ideas that will change their lives. Ads may create transactions, but great ideas create transformations. Ads reflect our culture, ideas imagine our future.
We are conducting interviews for our upcoming documentary addressing inequity called I Could Be….
Robert Egger is a nonprofit leader, author, speaker and activist. He founded the DC Central Kitchen, a nationally recognized “community kitchen” that collects leftover food from hospitality businesses and farms, and uses it to fuel a culinary arts job training program and provide meals to local service agencies. He is also the founder of Campus Kitchens Project, CForward and L.A. Kitchen.
Egger stepped down from his position at DC Central Kitchen in January 2013 to launch L.A. Kitchen in Los Angeles, CA. The L.A. Kitchen will recover fresh food and fuel a culinary arts job training program for men and women coming out of foster care, and older men and women returning from incarceration. He speaks throughout the country and internationally on the subjects of hunger, sustainability, nonprofit political engagement, and social enterprise. He writes blogs and editorials to share his ideas about the nonprofit sector and the future of America building on his more than 24 years of experience in this sector.
What is your favorite accomplishment from your work at DC Central Kitchen?
I opened lots of doors for people!!!
Creating Computer Games with Terrance Jackson
Wednesday, October 15
6:00 pm – 7:15 pm
Grades 5 to 8. Wednesday’s October 15, 22, 29 and November 5 at 6:00pm. Registration required and must commit to ALL FOUR SESSIONS.
Google recently commissioned a project to identify what makes girls pursue education in computer science. The findings reinforced what we already knew. Encouragement from a parent or teacher is essential for them to appreciate their own abilities. They need to understand the work itself and see its impact and importance. They need exposure to the field by having a chance to give it a shot. And, most important, they need to understand that opportunities await them in the technical industry.