Archive for the ‘shopping’ Category


The Basics of the Digital Currency Bitcoin

Monday, April 1st, 2013

This past Thursday The Verge announced that the total value of the digital currency Bitcoin had surpassed $1 billion.

This news no doubt sparked a variety of reactions from “I wish I would’ve invested when it was $13 two and a half months ago” to “what is a digital currency?”

Bitcoin Surpasses Banks

Bitcoin is the first decentralized digital currency. In other words, it’s a currency that circumvents banks, governments and financial institutions by operating peer-to-peer. The thinking is that by surpassing banks, fees will be less and more control gained by Bitcoin users.

Bitcoin opponents cite hacking attempts as a vulnerability to the digital currency, while proponents see Bitcoin as more secure than traditional monetary systems because users have more control.

Where Can I Use Bitcoins?

After downloading the Bitcoin software and creatiting a digital wallet, Bitcoins may be purchased and used in several different platforms.

 +Use to convert Bitcoins into gift cards from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes. 

+ Receive purchase codes for services like XBoxLive and  PSN instantly online at

+Buy music, ebooks, wallpapers and other downloadable content at CoinDL!

Users can also use sites like to search for local users who want to buy or sell Bitcoins with cash.

It Bitcoin a Safe Investment?

Seeing the currency rise so dramatically over the past few months may tempt would-be investors to purchase Bitcoins. Yet, on March 19, The Economist made this statement:

Online interest in the currency has spiked in recent months. Though an increasing number of legitimate businesses are adopting the currency—one Finnish software developer has offered to pay its employees in Bitcoin—it still has relatively few users. Its primary commercial use is probably to buy drugs from Silk Road, a sort of pirate eBay hidden in the “deep web”. This suggests that the new users are buying Bitcoin as an investment, not as a means of exchange. For any currency to thrive it needs users, not just speculators.

 Question: What do you think about Bitcoins? Will the be a passing fad or is it the next big thing?




2012 Holiday Season: Record Breaking Online Activity (Already)

Monday, November 26th, 2012

The term “Cyber Monday” made it’s debut in November of 2005, ushering in a new era of online marketing, promotions and early-bird specials. Six years later, it seems Cyber-Monday is trumping Black Friday, but not just in the area of online sales. A multitude of records have already been broken during the start of this year’s holiday season.

Staggering Stats

The National Retail Federation reported in a press release that “a record 247 million shoppers visited stores and websites over Black Friday weekend, up from 226 million last year. Making sure to take advantage of retailers’ promotions to the full extent, the average holiday shopper spent $423 this weekend, up from $398 last year. Total spending reached an estimated $59.1 billion.”

Forbes listed the top five most-visited online retailers on Black Friday (with auctions sites excluded from the rankings) as follows:

1. Amazon

2. Walmart

3. Best Buy

4. Target

5. Apple

Forbes also offers a Cyber Monday cheat sheet for bargain hunters who will, no doubt, help shatter the previous online sales record of  $1.25 billion dollars (up 22% from Cyber Monday 2010). More on that here. 

Instagram’s Busiest Day

Photos of beautifully brined and browned turkeys exploded on Instagram this past Thursday.

From the Instagram blog: “Over 10 million photos that mentioned Thanksgiving-themed words in their captions were shared yesterday. For several hours throughout the day, more than 200 photos about Thanksgiving were posted every second.”

“Overall, the day broke all Instagram records as we saw the number of shared photos more than double from the day before, making it our busiest day so far.”

Cyber Monday Mania

As noted above, 2011 brought sales over over $1.25 billion with a 22% increase from the year prior.

With consumer confidence increasing as well as Zillow posting home values had their biggest monthly jump in value in seven years, we may see a the perfect storm for spending this year.