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50 Rubber Ducks

Every so often, my work and home worlds collide. Not often. But last night was one of those times.

We have just installed a swimming pool and while the ground around it is all torn up, we are definitely using it. Helps with the hip; breast-stroking a few laps last night gave me the first endorphin rush I’ve had in months.

My stepdaughter is autistic, as I’ve mentioned, and loves to play with textures. I was thinking how great it would be to get 50 rubber ducks and float them in the pool for her, so she’d always have something to grab (and I like a Big Flashy Deal – 50 rubber ducks in a pool would be freaking awesome).

Loving Staten Island as I do, I wanted to buy them locally. But I don’t have a lot of time in my life for poking around shops trying to find 50 rubber ducks.

So, naturally, I complained on Twitter:


I started thinking about how great it would be if local independent stores could work together to supply inventory feeds to a local shopping website. I could locate my 50 rubber ducks (even if there were 20 of them here, 10 there, 15 at this other store, etc.) and shop at the stores that I want to support.

Then Brian O’Leary wrote this post. He’s absolutely right that local newspapers have an opportunity to be the gateway for this information, as they once published classifieds:

As data sets become valuable and the tools to analyze them become cheap, even free, local newspapers have an opportunity to extend their relationships and grow product and service offerings.

If the local newspaper website had a basic database of mom-and-pop inventory, that would be freaking amazing. Working with the local branch of the library for IT services and community building would be even more amazing.

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