Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Top Floor Studio Moves in Asheville

Hey, looking for TopFloorStudio.com, they moved. I just got a notice from my friends at this quality web design group and SEO masters. Check out their new location---it rocks!

Hey Guys,
We've recently relocated business operations to 9 W. Walnut St. and we are looking forward to starting the New Year off in our new home. All contact information will remain the same; you can still reach us by phone at (828) 225-8124 and check us out at www.topfloorstudio.com.

Thank you for your continued support!
Jessica Stouder

Project Manager
TopFloorStudio, LLC.
9 W. Walnut St., Suite 3D
Asheville, NC 28801

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Asheville Simplifies Book Buying Through Social Media Technology in Response to Amazon Attack

Amazon’s most recent divergence from good corporate citizenship, asking customers to spy on local stores, outraged bookstores nationwide, and now has local businesses crying foul. Local Publisher and Bookstore Grateful Steps at http://www.GratefulSteps.com a non-profit publisher and bookshop with a focus on local and regional authors, is using Twitter technology to fight Amazon’s new scanning intelligence software and to make ordering books much simpler for everyone.

Grateful Steps at 159 S. Lexington Avenue, with 40 titles of their own and the ability to order any book, is asking their clients and the community to simply order books from them using their twitter address @gratefulsteps. “The $5.00 you might lose with Amazon would support local business and goes back in supporting the local economy through our real brick and mortar stores that pay taxes that benefit the public at large,” explains Laura Hope-Gill, Marketing Director for Grateful Steps, “ The Amazon move is a go-for-the-jugular marketing move. Our twitter idea is a way of demonstrating that people need people, they don’t need apps that hurt other people.”

Amazon’s newest ploy to undermine local economies consists of convincing consumers to download a bar-scanning application to their phones., then go to local stores and scan the store bar code on the items they are interested in purchasing. The application displays the cheapest price that item is available for on Amazon encouraging the customer to leave the store and order online, while also providing Amazon intelligence on local prices and consumer interest trends. Amazon apparently feels that providing a $5.00 reward pays for this consumer marketing study.

Book stores nationwide are viewing this as an attack on Mom and Pop businesses by a technology driven giant. Oren Teicher, the CEO of the American Booksellers Association, (ABA) recently wrote the CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos stating, “…despite your company’s recent pledge to be a better corporate citizen and to obey the law and collect sales tax, you created a price-check app that allows shoppers to browse Main Street stores that do collect sales tax, scan a product, ask for expertise, and walk out empty-handed in order to buy on Amazon. We could call your $5 bounty to app-users a cheesy marketing move and leave it at that. In fact, it is the latest in a series of steps to expand your market at the expense of cities and towns nationwide, stripping them of their unique character and the financial wherewithal to pay for essential needs like schools, fire and police departments, and libraries.”

Bookstores, Publishers, and individuals around the nation have mounted a new “Boycott Amazon” campaign with some offering “Occupy Amazon” buttons, and others offering discounts to customers showing that they have cancelled their Amazon accounts.

Grateful Steps prefers to fight technology with technology. Hope-Gill says, “In this tech age, it comes down to keystrokes, using Twitter is faster than using a website, particularly Amazon technology, and has the added advantage of allowing people to immediately order a book upon learning about it in a conversation with a friend, in a newspaper review, or while watching a TV talk show, without worry of losing the information before placing an order with an online store.”

This Twitter concept was originally conceived by Gary Charles of G Social Media, to be used in restaurants allowing a simple method for dining rooms and customers to connect directly with the kitchen for orders, questions, and status on their dinner. Charles recently ran with this idea that will premier at Latin Flavor Restaurant next month. Then, inspired by a wish for new reading material, Gary Charles tweeted a few orders to Hope-Gill and picked up his books the following day. Upon meeting with Hope-Gill, the new idea of tweeting for books, and turning the tables on Amazon’s tech-heavy attack on small business, came to life.

Incidentally, Hope-Gill lived near Seattle when the online giant first put out a call for jobs, “Some of my friends applied and went on to make a lot of money, I couldn’t do it. It just felt kind of evil to me. I love bookstores and love the experience of touching books, of having a good book handed to me by a human being.” To participate in this movement Twitter Grateful Steps at @gratefulsteps, or use the old-fashioned, call for orders or information at 828-277-0998 or email laura@gratefulsteps.com