Online can be local too
Perhaps Gov. Peter Shumlin and Rep. Peter Welch should rethink “when you buy online, you’re not supporting Vermont.” I’m speaking for other enterprising Vermonters who contribute to the state’s economy via online merchandising.
I’m a native Vermonter and film producer who proudly creates and sells state history, documentary DVDs online as www.vermontmadevideos.com.
These four-season Vermont products are made by Vermonters, about Vermonters. With the click of a TV remote, we have transported viewers through adventures and anecdotes from a variety of people ranging from former Gov. Philip Hoff to noted historians and regular everyday folks. Several hundred Vermonters have escorted viewers to places and events in 47 productions over the past decade. Though these DVDs can be purchased in some local stores, museums and appearances at local shows (we support Winooski High School Dollars For Scholars train show every year), the majority of sales now come from the website.
So, how do we contribute to the local economy and leave nearly every dollar in Vermont? Vermont-based Tamarack Media creates and maintains the website, local media specialist Paul Gittlesohn and his Videosyncracies employees author, master, duplicate and Photoshop our beautiful DVD covers and discs.
My small advertising budget has been spent on local radio, newspapers and some Vermont-themed websites. Orders ship from the local post office, and physical storefronts such as Coins & Hobbies, Rock of Ages and Vermont Historical Society carry some of our DVDs. Our video-gathering road trips support convenience stores, restaurants and overnight lodging. You get the idea. Without the web sales, this would come to an end.
Yes, Virginia, there is a local web-based Santa Claus. One does not have to possess a brick-and-mortar storefront to contribute to the state’s economy, and websites can be a good thing.
James R. Jones
The writer operates www.vermontmadevideos.com.
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