Do you patronize your local businesses?

Attention non-Kmart shoppers!  Keeping your business local is a beautiful thing.

I just bought a watch from my local jeweler in South Miami- South Miami Jewelers.  It’s a family owned and operated business that owner Geoffrey Meurrens says, “After 26 years, we’re becoming a South Miami icon- almost a landmark. Many of our customers have been coming in for at least 15 to 20 years. We’ve seen our clients’ children grow out of their strollers and turn into young men and women.”  I received an extra level of service and answers to a bajilloin questions I’ve had about my new watch. Hey, I know the internet, but can’t program a watch…

My next local guy, The Big Cheese. Great pizzeria/restaurant and another local institution, 25 years and going.  The Big Cheese has supported way too many local initiatives to list here not to mention serving up super food, pizza dough for the kids and an overall great experience. They were one of our generous hosts for our Twitter event, the #Chevypizzacrawl 305 edition. They even opened early for me last Super Bowl so I could pick up 100 chicken wings. Asked about my chicken wing order, Kitchen Manager Jarrod Ordonez said, “We help our customers and our local causes in any way we can. I could have done your chicken wing order in my sleep. We’re not going to say no to you.” And he didn’t mean me, he meant his customers and the community. Props to The Big Cheese.

Next up, Kendall Toyota. Bought 4 vehicles from them.  Whenever I need anything there, it’s done. I love my new Prius, but I did go too dark on the tints. I can’t see anything…ask for Mr. Shah or A.J. In service, ask for Carlos Rubio. Tell them I sent you.

Even though the internet has changed  the way we shop, I still do my best to patronize and promote my friends both in and outside of Social Media.  Like Sueanne Shirzay’s Etsy shop. Get your orders for hand-crafted bling in!


Do you support your local businesses? Who are they? Name names! Why do you support them? Or why don’t you support them?  Have a great holiday y’all!


Would you answer a text during sex?

You see it every day and so do I.

Technology and mobile devices have infiltrated our lives. People may be physically shoulder to shoulder, but has technology brought us closer together or is it making us more isolated? Eugene Ramirez responded to that question via Twitter. “For the singles group, we’re forgetting how to approach people out and about. We socialize/flirt better online. Sad!”

I see it every day on the Metrorail. People are butt cheek to butt cheek, but are on their devices and don’t even know anyone else is there.  Here are some shots I took during my short commute today.

I see it in the gym. How do I say hi when I can hear Montell Jordan’s “This is How We Do It” blasting out of the iPod? HOW?!?

I see a couple at a romantic dinner and they’re both on their PDA’s.  In the back seats of cars, a brother and a sister are watching two different DVD’s on two different players with headphones on. And I see it in meetings. People are responding to texts, e-mails and even taking phone calls in a formal meeting setting. I call it, “The new rude.”  According to an article published in Advertising Age,  even one in 10 under the age of 25 said they would answer a text during sex!

Look at this shot I grabbed at breakfast last Christmas morning at Roasters’ n Toasters in Pinecrest:

Is this gentleman waiting for a phone call from Obama? Santa? Aren’t the stock markets closed?

Is this theater patron in the midst of a hostile takeover of Microsoft and waiting for Carl Icahn to call?

Do people really get this happy when they score an iPad?

I’m kind of at a loss so help me out here. Are we suddenly like cats and always want to be on the other side of the door? Have we lost touch? Would you answer a text during sex? Has technology brought us closer together or farther apart? Why?


“Love the one you’re with.” –Stephen Stills

Word Of Mouth

There’s good word of mouth and there’s there’s not so good word of mouth. Yesterday I saw some bad.  And today I saw some good.

The Bad): Yesterday, when South Florida Daily Blog’s Publisher Rick tried to send flowers through FTD his order was mishandled and he posted: FTD Pretty Much Sucks (Updated). FTD’s response was less than stellar, but the comments it generated were.  One poster went so far as to say, “FTD is evil.”  Granted many of us like Rick, but that is what Social Media is about: gaining trust, influence, engagement and popularity. So it’s no surprise that many came out to comment and give their opinions.

According a 2007 document published by the  WOMMA (word of mouth marketing association) titled WOM 101, WOM is: “Listening to consumers: Engaging them in open, unfiltered conversation promptly and honestly responding to their concerns valuing customer opinion, whether it is positive, negative, or neutral.” FTD did none of that and sent him a form letter response pictured here:

Funny, one Wikipedia entry cites  FTD as “Fails to Deliver.”

Too bad that FTD fails to recognize that they are not delivering flowers; they are delivering sentiments. My grade for FTD? F. Sorry guys.

The Good): Today I saw a dissatisfied customer named Shannon Schiner contact AutoNation via Twitter (her Twitter handle @shanfishes) about a recent  Certified Pre-owned purchase.   AutoNation Social Media Coordinator, Mallory Colliflower, responded quickly and took a page out of the Bill Clinton playbook. AutoNation made Shannon feel like they she’s the only person in the world. And I’m sure Shannon would agree. Just take a look at the exchange and the speed of the response at left. 9:24, 9:33, 10:02. 10:03, 10:09, 10:58 and 11:03.

So there you have it.  AutoNation gets the A grade for gaining trust, influence, engagement and, I would imagine, popularity.

So what are some of your best word of mouth stories,  good, bad or otherwise? I’d love to hear what you have to say and I’m sure a lot of other people would too.


Word of mouth Photo credit: Media Bistro