mm103: How to hack Starbucks. – Slate Magazine

MUDGE’S Musings

Starbucks — what else is there to say?

Quite a lot actually, at Slate.com today.

slate

Hacking Starbucks – Where to learn about the ghetto latte, barista gossip, and Nicole Kidman’s usual.

By Michael Agger
Posted Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2007, at 7:02 PM ET

Starbucks Coffee Cups. Click image to expand.Starbucks coffee

Perhaps you’ve noticed: The Internet has an obsession with Starbucks. Maybe it’s because the two have grown up together. In 1995, Starbucks had just launched its master plan to become “a third place for people to congregate beyond work or the home,” while the Web had a lot of gray pages with text and “hyperlinks.” Now, the coffee chain has become the new McDonald’s (44 million customers a week), and the Web has become a 24-hour global exercise in collective intelligence gathering. Gourmet coffee culture and Internet culture have fed off each other, and Starbucks in particular has become a punching bag for the indie spirit that pervades the Web. So I wanted to discover who has the upper hand: Does Starbucks dominate us with its convenient locations and potent caffeine, or do we, thanks to the Web, ultimately call the shots?

Exhibit A in the online cheekiness and wariness toward Starbucks is an old monument: the Starbucks Oracle, which went online in 2002. You enter a drink, the oracle spits out a profile. Here’s the response to my regular order, a tall coffee:

Personality type: Lame

You’re a simple person with modest tastes and a reasonable lifestyle. In other words, you’re boring. Going to Starbucks makes you feel sophisticated; you’d like to be snooty and order an espresso but aren’t sure if you’re ready for that level of excitement. … Everyone who thinks America’s Funniest Home Videos is a great show drinks tall coffee.

Please go ahead and finish this article, and be sure to check out the videos referred to. 171 Starbucks…

… is about 10 minutes long, but worth the time.

And Bryant Simon’s scholarly examination of the Starbucks phenomenon is 18 minutes long; I recommend taking your laptop into your neighborhood ‘Bucks, settling down with your drink of choice, and enjoying it.

[Per L-HC’s reformed process, please click the link below for the complete article — but then please come on back!]

How to hack Starbucks. – By Michael Agger – Slate Magazine

I admit it freely: I really enjoy Starbucks coffee and the atmosphere of the stores. Until Starbucks came into my life, I didn’t frequent coffee shops — they seemed so counter-cultural and/or collegiate in my town.

I don’t consider myself an addict — this post is not the place for MUDGE to discuss his addictions save to assure faithful reader that Starbucks is not one of them — but I am definitely a fan (and full disclosure of another type: a holder of a fewer than 50 shares of its stock [blast! can’t retire on that!], which lately has been a disappointing experience).

As a person perpetually on a diet, or recovering from the guilt of falling off one, or reeling from guilt in general, a black venti Americano (go ahead and check out Starbucks Oracle regarding MUDGE‘s drink of choice — I resemble that!) represents a guiltless pleasure. How often does that happen?

Read the Slate stories — they caffeinated my day, less expensively than usual.

It’s it for now. Thanks,

–MUDGE

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