Jon’s In Waikiki (AKA The Waikiki Marketer)

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Hawaii ‘Local Businesses’ – Get Moving Online or Get Extinct

November 1st, 2007 · No Comments

Hawaii is always behind the Mainland on trends and developments. Some say we’re 10 years behind, some say 5. That lag may have shortened due to the Internet, but it still exists. Frankly, the Islands’ slower movement forward is fine with me. While I lived on the Mainland I grew tired of the new ‘thing’ that was going to save us all from our boring lives. Usually this ‘thing’ was dogpiled on by hipsters and the clueless, whose greatest talent was finding a parade to jump in front of.

Here in Hawaii we aren’t as inundated with press lauding the latest 20-something who will lead us to the Promised Land with yet another new social/bookmarking software/site. It’s nice to be somewhat out of that loop. But, Hawaii is dangerously slow on adapting to the Internet market.

Hawaii needs to be expanding now to get in the web marketing and selling game. Otherwise, there may come a day when the catch-up factor may be too large for local businesses to overcome.

Many Hawaii businesses are still in the ‘I have a web site and that’s enough’ mindset of ten years ago. If the Islands are going to move away from dependence on tourism, one of the brightest alternatives is surely the Web. This is especially important as we lose longtime local businesses here more and more. If they could expand online, gaining access to new markets, they wouldn’t be pushed out of existence so easily.

With all the talk of protecting ‘Local Businesses’ in Hawaii, it’s time that we actually do something substantial to back it up. If we (ie the State government) don’t – and if Hawaii businesses themselves don’t act themselves – we’re going to be stuck here with Mainland and Foreign businesses taking over the market completely.

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