the electronic village shop – update and kit

I forgot last week when I wrote my post “the electronic village shop – enhancing local community through global network” that Fiona had mentioned a blog, Silversprite, from the Outer Hebrides that mentioned the flip side of this; in a post “Tesco comes to the Outer Hebrides“, he mentions the potential conflicts between Tesco online and village shops. It is interesting that Tesco does not itself deliver direct, but you can give a local delivery firm as your drop off point and they do the last leg of the delivery … of course this delivery point could be the local shop!

I also remembered after that some years ago (2002) I had an email enquiry from someone who had found a reference to the electronic village shop in one of my talks. He was wondering how to revitalise his own village shop which was about to close and asked if I had any advice. The following is edited version of my reply where I pondered on what was possible as a single shop without buy-in from one of the big franchise chains:

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the electronic village shop – enhancing local community through global network

The internet seems to be about remote connections, international communities and globalisation. We may surf the web, scan blogs or talk to friends across the globe, but may not know the person next door. Indeed in Channel 4’s recent documentary “My Street“, Sue Bourne, who produces TV documentaries seen by millions, gets to meet her neighbours for the first time.

But there is another side, where global networks could help local communities to grow and reconnect with one another. Some things are happening grass roots up, some need changes in public policy or intervention, and some may never happen.

The electronic village shop is a dream I’ve had for now well over 15 years, and may happen, or may not … and maybe definitely will not if I don’t do something myself! However, there are other signs of local connections growing.

I have talked about these issues and the electronic village shop at different times over the years1, but have never previouslly written about them, so eventually …
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  1. Talks mentioning the electronic village shop: Understanding the e-Market and Designing Products to Fit, London, Jan. 2000, Cyber-economies and the Real World, Pretoria, Sept. 2001. and Toys for the Boys or Jobs for the Girls, Cheltenham, Nov. 2001[back]