Communal Consumerism

Being a broke college student warrants a few monetary conservations. I’ve always found dumpster diving to be really intriguing, especially after an acquaintance of mine and his girlfriend moved to Syracuse and started a (now defunct) blog about their dumpster-diving expeditions.

I don’t know that I’m ready to go to such extreme measures. Yet.

But I am subscribed to feeds like the skint, which sends out a daily email of freebies and deals in NY. That’s how I found out about Groupon. Groupon sends out an email with a new deal every day, many of them with ear perkers like:

“$25 All-Day Bike Rental from Central Park Bike Tours ($65 Value)!”
“$99 for Six Laser Hair-Removal Treatments at Laser Cosmetica (Up to $1,745 Value)”

Whipped your plastic out yet?

SocialBeat posted this article about Groupon’s growing success despite using an archaic method of communication—email.

By offering an email newsletter, Groupon had ‘a lot of latitude to screw up,’ in that the company only had to have enough good deals to keep users from unsubscribing. It didn’t need to attract users to the site with a super-compelling deal every single day.

So alright, groupon, you’ve got me hooked after reading that deliciously tempting half-off deal on a juicy burger. Now what?

Like the name implies, groupon relies on the groups. Deals are only finalized if a certain number of people pledge to buy the deal, which expires after a certain number of hours. If not enough people want the deal before the sand runs out, then it is cancelled and no one gets anything. It’s a strategy that resembles the likes of kickstarter, the point and spot.us—all of which are sites that appeal directly to the people in order to fund projects, and journalistic stories.

It’s interesting to see what kind of marketing tactics sites like these employ in order to get the reader’s attention (and money). Groupon is also working on hyperlocality (as seems to be all the rage these days) and offering specific deals based on location, but I have to say I was kind of disappointed when I found out I had to depend on other people in order to get my deal or not. I’m wary about giving my credit information out anywhere, but apparently I’m in the minority in this case, because groupon’s popularity is bumpin’—it has a waiting list of over 35,000 businesses.

I did take a few things from this article, though. YES! CREATIVITY IS KEY! We don’t necessarily need to focus on a barrage of instant communication and on-the-verge-of-being invented technology; why? Because email still rears its Mesozoic head!

Literary savvyness combined with localization, could it be the proverbial “algorithm” for informational success?

Incidentally, Groupon is hiring in our area, too.

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