Is Groupon Really Community Based

Groupon. By now, you have probably already heard of it. You may have even bought something from it. However, if you are one of these people, please bear with me as I explain it as quickly as possible:

    • Business agrees to offer your discount to their area consumers
    • Groupon advertises said discount to its list of email subscribers
    • Groupon collects money from subscribers that want to buy the deal
    • Groupon sends purchasers a voucher for said purchase
    • Consumer takes voucher to local business in exchange for agreed upon items/service
    • Groupon sends the business a check for “at most” 1/2 the total they collected from consumers.  This total is split into equal payments over the life of the groupon.

    Pretty simple…at least it looks that way. There is an entirely different discussion to be had on whether their system works for small, local businesses, but that’s not my topic today. Today, I want to talk to you about whether or not Groupon is really focused on bringing you deals that you can use, in THIS community. Here is the deal – When a company wants to be featured they are required to go onto a “waiting list“. Groupon offers no information on how long the wait is, who gets to be featured first, or why…they simply tell you that you will have to wait until Groupon decides to offer your deal…or in other words: When Groupon decides they can make bunch of money off of you. This is OK, seeing that all companies want to make money, and far be it from me to be mad about Groupon’s success. However, Groupon has been very adamant about its focus on Communities. This is why they have a site specific to your city. In our case, Rockford, IL. This is why they use reps in each area to visit local businesses and convince them to lose money under the disguise of new customers. This waiting list is an interesting cookie. Side note: Yes, I am in the coupon business, and no there is NOT a waiting period for only 24 hours of advertising.  With you get 24/7 exposure for about 1 trillionth of the price…without all the baggage. Back to the topic on hand: I mean, how many local businesses do they have on this list…dozens, hundreds? Does a local shop that has waited for months get pushed aside at will? YES, YES it does.  Let me show you an example: As a matter of fact, Groupon has recently featured businesses that have NOTHING to do with Rockford at all…while keeping the local Rockford businesses on “the waiting list”. A recent Groupon was for, a company offering public tee time access to otherwise private courses…however, doesn’t have a single Rockford course listed. Hmm, doesn’t sound very community based to me.  Then again, maybe I’m seeing this wrong. That’s where you come in. So, I ask you this: Is Groupon really focused on the community? Let me know what you think in the comment box below…and remember to share this with your friends/tweeps so we can get a good discussion going.  I would really like to hear what Rockford thinks about this Groupon trend.

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    Nothing To Do In Rockford???
    Growing up in the Rockford area I’ve heard a lot of people complain that there is never anything to do. I must confess, I’ve said this myself a time or two. However, once I started to think outside of a 2 block radius I quickly realized that everyone who makes this statement is straight up WRONG.I’m sitting here writing this before I get ready for the Wizard Of OZ showing at The Coronado Theater in downtown Rockford. Just 2 days ago we saw Grease in the same theater. Just down the street from that historic building is a great local restaraunt/bar Octane Interlounge, where we plan to have dinner again very soon.  Theres a place called Social that specializes in locally bought goods where we plan to eat many times in the future.

    Jane @ Burpee Museum

    Just around the corner is the Metro Centre, home to the Rockford Ice Hogs. Go down mainstreet and visit the newly renovated Burpee Museum. Right now, Burpee even has a special limited time exhibit called Giants, that all ages will enjoy. I personally went to the “Grossology” exibit there a few months ago, and LOVED it.

    Rockford River Hawks, On The Waterfront, Business Expos, Boone County/Winnebago County Fair, the BEST 4th of July fireworks in Northern IL. Do I need to go on…probably not, but I will. features events like the West Side Pub Crawl, Unity Concert and Hullabaloo.  Up north from Rockford there is a growing Expo in the Rockton Roscoe area called the RORO EXPO.  Looking for some great live music, check out Kryptonite, Big Als, Mary’s Place and dozens of other live venues.

    Walk downtown every First Friday of the month.  Go to the Rockford AirFest.  Visit historic vehicles.  Shop at CherryVale Mall.  Shoot your friends with balls of paint.  Golf your day away at one of the nations top 50 courses under $50.  Visit Magic Waters in the summer and Coco Keys in the winter.  Go see a movie made by Rockford artists.  Eat @ Josef Barbados  for some of the best food EVER.

    Let me take a breath………….

    Did I miss anything?  I know I did, but you get the point.

    Nothing to do in Rockford, you say??? Well…I say, get off you but and look around. Rockford has enough for ALL ages…ALL the time.

    If you know of other GREAT things to do in Rockford, post em here.  And be sure to share this post with everyone you know so people will get the point that Rockford has a lot of great things to do.

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    The internet has changed the way we get news, communicate and find friends.  Now it is changing the way people find coupons.

    Big companies like Groupon and LivingSocial are making a killing in the coupon business.  With billions of dollars spent on products using internet coupons, it looks like there is no end in sight.  These sites offer one deal a day at a discounted rate to its subscribers. Some people think that its crazy to limit consumers to only one deal a day, and Ryan Rydell, owner of, agrees.  Ryan asks:  “How would you like it if a newspaper only offered you one coupon per day?” is a new online source where consumers can search local businesses and find coupons that they want.  Ryan says: “People are always looking to save some money, so they usually spend a lot of time in the Sunday paper searching for a great deal.  Now, with, you can put down the scissors and go to one place to find all the great local deals that you need.  Not just one deal…a whole bunch of ‘em”

    The internet has taken over a lot of factors in our lives.  In this case, it seems that it has taken the top spot for how people find coupons for products and services.  Instead of searching the paper or looking through those coupon packets we all hate getting in the mail, sites like offer a place where just a few clicks get you the deal you want.  No scissors, no paper cuts, no wasted trees.  Just a whole lot of great deals.  Businesses get to save in the process too.  With no printing costs, and more area saturation, saves businesses money, translating to better deals for the customers. hasn’t been around for very long, but already has dozens of cities across the nation with their own version of the site. Thats why Ryan is so excited about this new coupon service, because it takes its strength from its local roots.  Ryan, a Rockford native, along with his wife and 3 kids, has been trying to find the perfect way to get local consumers to use local services, and he thinks that is the perfect “mix” to get the job done.

    With a compelling easy to use web site and a strong focus on helping local businesses reach local customers, looks like it will play a huge part in the online coupon craze.

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