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From New World Geek comes this curious strategy for dealing with hard times. Two Seattle architects have set up a Lucy from Peanuts-like 5¢ advice booth in a Seattle farmer’s market. Their mission:

Architecture 5¢ is about starting conversations, it’s that simple. People have questions about how they want to live in their home; whether it is a simple kitchen remodel or adding a second story on their house, it all starts with a conversation.

When you talk to people in your neighborhood about architecture you can start a ripple effect that can impact your local economy. One local nickel turns into one conversation, which could turn into one local design job, built by a local contractor, who hires a local painter, who buys from a local supplier…..

If we all start conversations, and start ripples across the nation, we can start a wave of hope and prosperity that can get us out of these tough times. I’m looking for like minded individuals to join me in this movement. Maybe you were laid off and not found work, or are just feeling the pinch of the economy.

I’m looking for people who want to help their local neighborhood, and in turn help themselves out of a tough situation.

Not really sure if this is an effective strategy, but it sure is a creative and magnanimous one.

Creative marketing for new times

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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Comments

  1. Ookseer says:

    I think this is fantastic. The catch-all answer to “how do I sell my ____ more effectively” is “network more”. It’s a bit flip, but it’s true. I’ve been a dedicated freelancer for 15 years and I get 99% of my work by word of mouth, by conversations.

    I was talking recently with a friend who has built a very profitable and thriving business (one that’s growing, even in this economy). He told me of the chain of people that lead to the creation of the business. It began with a conversation with a Starbuck’s barista, got passed down the grapevine and a few years later it’s an easy six figure income.

    The owner of a neighborhood cafe has made sure it’s a popular spot by not only talking with her customers, but finding out what they all do and keeping a Big Black Book. Whenever one of her clients needs a floor installed or an application programmed or a logo designed, she’ll hook you up with another one of her customers who can help.

    Things like this kick the stuffing out of LinkedIn and Facebook. (Which are still useful, but less substantial.)

  2. Timmy Digital says:

    This was at the Ballard Farmers Market, not Downtown. Funny idea though!