I don't drink coffee, but I still patronize coffee shops. I frequent Angel Falls in Highland Square—mostly to meet up with people or hold meetings. That's a testament to the importance these shops play in our social capital.
The funky and cozy atmosphere I enjoy at Angel Falls differs from other shops, which offer their own unique ambience. However, we are well aware that corporate America increasingly encroaches on such locally owned, independent coffee shops. Starbucks is the most prolific offender, staunch in its homogenity.
As a way to offer alternatives to Starbucks and promote local businesses, the Starbucks Delocator was created. The site notes: Delocate is a web-verb created for this project as a defense mechanism for independent business establishments.
Just type in your zip code, and technology spits back any local coffee establishments within five miles. It also shows how many Starbucks are in the vicinity, which illustrates the corporation's omnipresence.
The site encourages creation of other delocated database-driven web sites. Users can download the code necessary to establish a new database, "prompting more sites and databases that may focus on other specific retail stores (fast-food, hardware, clothing, etc.)."