"NASA launching to outer space via cyberspace" from Federal Computer Weekly (FCW.com)
Starbucks has become akin to public community infrastructure– from caffeine to public bathrooms to neighborhood "third place."
And like a public utility or other infrastructure, it’s a nearly ubiquitous presence in the USA and, increasingly, around the planet.
Thus it has immense power to create and propagate new programs that support and leverage communities in neighborhoods around the USA.
I find myself asking what new services– and what new memes- a self-professed socially responsible business like Starbucks could take on next…
How about recycling? If Starbucks already recycles the immense amount of waste it generates (does anyone know if it does– if not, it sure as heck should), then why stop there? If it used its ubiquity to become the neighborhood catalyst and organizer for recycling on every block in the country where there is a Starbuck’s then it could have a massive impact that would be empowering for local businesses and their communities and their customers around the country. Great PR, a great service to our planet, and even potentially a good new business in its own right (recycling can be lucrative in many markets).
http://friendthing.trigse.cx/ is one of the most illuminating social network mashups I’ve ever seen… I’m learning a lot already about who I know and who they know, realizing who I know that isn’t in the land of Facebook yet, and even finding myself intuitively wishing to develop other clusters that aren’t yet there…