Here’s a free marketing idea to the first person that can make it happen. Start a blog that reviews coffee shops and roasters who are the cream of the crop. They are out there — coffee shops that get amazing reviews, and innovate. This blog could also extend to coffee roasters, and baristas. It would be a blog that is followed by the true coffee aficionados, and be something that could put eyes on your companies, or the companies that advertise on your new blog.

Update 11/18: Some in the audience feel this idea is stupid. It could be stupid with poor execution, however being at the top of search results is not stupid for business. Anything worth doing takes a lot of time. I rarely launch a personal project without 1-2 years of pre-launch activity online. I do this because I create online marketplaces. I don’t just make web sites. These days, it takes much, much more than a single web site to be successful online. This Arizona Coffee web site — while some people might laugh — is someday going to be a marketplace (aka, a destination community). By having it online, my other web sites benefit as well. Arizona Coffee connects an important segment of coffee culture, in a geographically precise area. That’s what I mean by marketplace. Some people see value in it, while others do not. If you don’t see the value, you can go somewhere else. It’s your choice. I’m not forcing it upon people.

I’m not a coffee professional. I don’t claim to be and never have. What I do is create products and help my clients market their products. I don’t invest even 5% of my time into this web site. So you can take it for what it’s worth.

The marketing idea that I suggested comes with a simple problem. You must understand the way the web works, and the tools that are available. I was not suggesting that a simple blog is enough. I was saying that there is room online for more than just There is room, and if any one of you in the audience wanted, with a lot of hard work and time (mostly time), you could have something as powerful and as effective as CoffeeGeek all to yourself. I probably didn’t explain that enough in my original post.

Let’s define the word “review.” Whenever I use this word I might mean a simple brief overview of a location, taking things into general light. Or, I might mean a detailed analysis of the production of the shops product. Whether it be analysis of the types of beans and production, or the way it was served to me. I feel like people are expecting more when I use that word.

I wish and hope that the folks who frequent Arizona Coffee (whether they be coffee professionals, or people who simply enjoy good coffee) will embrace their competition. Take the time this week, to give thanks (hey, it is Thanksgiving week) and talk shop with your competitors. Take them out to lunch. Meet them. It takes time, but it’s worth it. It might be surprising, but in the web industry we hold regular networking events and I meet with my competitors there, and we talk shop. I get phone calls from my competitors, and we talk about problem projects, or share experiences. My competitors become good friends. We collaborate on projects… we even go get coffee.

I don’t see this in the coffee industry enough, and I find it alarming. Disturbing, to be frank. It’s a sign of a frightened industry.

Set your differences aside, and realize that I’m on your side. The side of coffee. The side of the roasters (you too), and the coffee shops. The side of the people who frequent those shops, and drink coffee and espresso at home.

I’d like to say thank you to all of my faithful visitors. Without you, this web site would be vacant. Arizona Coffee is truly becoming a community, and that’s what I set out to do.

It’s not the end of the year yet, but it is almost Thanksgiving. I have some ideas for Arizona Coffee for next year that are really cool. They all involve community.

Arizona Coffee

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  1. please go to my new review site! once i figure out how, i will be accepting advertisers. it’s not about the $$$, it’s about the coffee but if anyone wants to advertise, i won’t turn you away!

  2. ok – i see what you mean. but we don’t have the ability to review on a national level. i was concerned about stepping on your toes, but you seem to resist doing reviews so i thought we would step in. maybe i should take the show national?

    any ideas?

  3. ok dokie – we are now national, but based in arizona. better?

  4. In March of this year, on my blog called BrainFuel, I wrote a simple post called Five reasons why you should have more than one web site. I didn’t communicate my idea very well in the original post, but that post might help explain some of my thinking behind this suggestion. Glad to see that you took the idea. I’m not entirely sure if your reply was written with a sarcastic tone, if it was I hope my update helps, if not, I may have miss-interpreted some of what you said. No harm either way.

    And I promise to keep us more on-topic.

  5. steve kessler

    Great article Chris. I’m glad this site is here. Happy Thanksgiving.

  6. Nice post Chris! That is exactly the reason I’m putting so much effort, energy and time into the AZ Barista Jam. It’s my sincere hope that our industry can come together as a community, even if just for two days to learn, grow and support each other.

    Wishing everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

  7. Karen m.

    blessed be the peacekeepers. that would be you chris and you mr. kessler and you caffeinated.

    this thanksgiving one of the things i’m thankful for is learning to savor and value the crema (is that the right term).

  8. martin

    i just read comment #8 and puked in mouth a little

  9. Karen m.

    i’m curious why you would feel the need to puke? unless you use puke for flavoring naturally, i suggest you rethink that approach when reading wishes of holiday cheer. otherwise your holidays may tend to fall on the scrooge side.