Category Archives: the Internet and us

Make Mine Local — with Lots of “Likes”

According to an article in Salon, the American Booksellers Association reported an increase in the number of independent bookstores in the U.S. in the last five years. This is certainly surprising news considering the seemingly increasing popularity of e-books and the convenience and low prices of Amazon.

The article claims that two things are driving the increase in indie bookstores:

  • a desire for authentic local experiences
  • social media marketing

The “local movement” of the last few years has done wonders for our communities. People care about consuming local food and using local services. When local businesses thrive, so do communities. In my own ‘hood, neighbours banded together to form a community association — DECA — that has brought new life to the area by offering incentives to local businesses and by creating and promoting local events like farmers’ markets.

Even big builders have seen the error of creating unwalkable suburban neighbourhoods where driving to large chain stores is the only option for residents.  People want to live near hubs offering something local and unique, and builders now attempt to emulate just that.

As for social media, the Salon article rightly points out that small businesses thrive when their customers create word-of-mouth buzz. Sophisticated consumers don’t trust advertising, but they do trust their friends — real or online — who let them know where the good restaurants are, what pubs have the best craft brews, and which new books they can’t put down.

Smartphones, of course, allow us to find the best stores and restaurants in any ‘hood in which we find ourselves. No longer is there a need to play it safe by sticking to the big chains. A unique small business with great online ratings can be found in seconds.

Authenticity and word of mouth: sounds awfully old-fashioned, doesn’t it?


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Filed under authenticity, books, future of publishing, new books, online life, online resources, reading, the Internet and us

Coming Soon:

I’m building a website for CopyEditCat Editorial Services. That’s right: I’m building it. So it might not be live for awhile. 🙂 But I’ve bought my domain name, and I’m piling on the bricks to build this baby as fast as I can. It’s fun to be the wizard pulling the levers behind the curtain. At a certain point, I’m sure I’ll move on to HTML editing software — such as Dreamweaver — so I can wow my clients, but for now I want to learn the code myself so that I understand all the parts of my website.

Thus I now have a new service to offer: markup. With so many platforms available on which to publish content, storing content in a form that can be applied across platforms is a must. This is called content management, and markup is part of the process. Markup identifies the various components of stored content. It’s persnickety, detail-oriented work.

Perfect for an editor.

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Filed under content creation, content management, future of publishing, the Internet and us

Peeve Wars

Are you a pompous grammarian with a competitive entrepreneurial spirit? Then get over to FundAnything and help Grammar Girl with her new game, Peeve Wars.

Peeve Wars is a card game in which you collect peeve cards to annoy your opponent. My favourite peeve card is the Grammar Snob (“Just because you’re correct doesn’t mean you’re not annoying.”). My least favourite is the Where Are You At? card. It’s not even spelled correctly! It should read “Where y’at, b’y?”

Clearly, GrammarGirl is a long way from The Rock.

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Filed under grammar, grammar police, the Internet and us