Living in the age of social networks, it's easy to find several local business pages to "Like." Some businesses, however, steer clear of or seldom update their Facebook pages and only update their business websites, so interested customers are not notified of daily deals, special discounts or new stock.
Steven Gilbert, creator of www.heyoxford.com has remedied this. Launched singularly by Gilbert, Hey, Oxford! is a local social network and business directory for Oxford designed to bridge the communication gap between the locals and the town businesses.
The website has several categories, including arts, food, recreation and so on. Under the community section of the website, members can discuss topics like “Oxford Arts,” “Oxford Food & Dining,” “Oxford Music, Gigs & Bands” and others.
Better yet, there is an article section on the website where Gilbert himself publishes local news and interest stories about the Oxford area. Soon, the article section will open so locals can be “citizen journalists” and post media of local current events.
Stephen Hale, partial owner to the family-owned business St. Bethany's Fresh, said he appreciates being plugged into the Oxford community by way of an article featured on Hey, Oxford!
"We are really wanting to reach the Oxford community a lot," Hale said. "The only place we have in Oxford right now is at the Farmers' Market."
Thanks to Gilbert's website, businesses such as St. Bethany's Fresh can grow and extend their boundaries to serve other towns around the area.
“The idea of heyoxford.com came to me after a couple years of freelance website design,” Gilbert said. “Heyoxford.com was designed for helping Oxford's small businesses reach the local community.”
With a degree in graphic design and a focus on interactive media, Gilbert said he enjoys creating websites that bind communities closer together. His next project is a website for film festivals and independent filmmakers across the country to discuss ideas and promote their works.
More on the website's launch and updates on businesses around Oxford can be found at heyoxford.com.
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