There is a strange irony about running a website that really wants to get people off the internet and to go to the pub instead.
I sometimes describe useyourlocal.com as a bit like a modern day “Why Don’t You?”. You remember, the 1980’s BBC children’s cult classic TV series. The one that asked you in its opening credits to “Just switch off your television set and go out and do something less boring instead.”
Back in the early noughties I attended numerous meetings, conferences and industry seminars. The chat at many of these was often centred around the rising threat of the internet to the Great British pub. People were spending more time on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or Friends Reunited. Gone were the days of meeting mates at the corner shop, in town, or God forbid, in the local pub. We were at the dawn of a new age of social interaction. We were to survive on a diet of 800 “Friends”, all thousands of miles apart. Location would be no barrier, we could Skpe them, Facetime them or even Hangout online. The need for actual physical contact was just something that our parents used to do. How quaint. The pub was dead. Its only purpose would be to host the countless leaving do’s of the ever decreasing numbers of industry employees.
Unsurprisingly, at useyourlocal.com, we hold a different view. We’ve set out our stall to use the internet to help pubs. We’ve turned the very thing that our industry was scared of back then into something they can use collectively to their advantage today. We use the online world to help people find great pubs, hear about fantastic offers, discover new drinks and to be the first to know what’s going on in and around the pubs and bars they love.
We’re betting that people do want to spend less time in the virtual world and more time in the real one. We just make it easier for everyone by feeding people with a constant supply of opportunities to gorge themselves on a diet of the very thing they crave, real world social and physical interaction. So, once you’ve joined us, we’ll do all the hard work for you and let you know where and when you can get your fix.
No one will be happier than us when you eventually leave our site and, “….just switch off your mobile phone and go to the pub instead.”
Here’s to the Great British pub, the original social network.