Ashland's new age economy

| Print |  Email
Articles - September 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011

 

0911_HarmonicConvergence_09
Dona Zimmerman moved her family from Southern California to Ashland to raise her children in a healthier environment.
// Photo by Jamie Lusch

Deliverance complains about being tied to her computer and about the steady stream of messages that pour into her email account, but she willingly demonstrates how customers can easily navigate Pacific Dome’s site in search of products and corporate information. Her attachment to the wonders of the Internet underscores the crucial role the Web performs for Ashland’s New Age businesses.

These business owners and their key employees are extremely savvy about online community building and marketing. Many of these business people have worked in the world of Internet technology, and they have used those skills to find business partners and customers who share their spiritual quests. The Internet has allowed them to connect to a global market for their goods and services from Ashland.

The startup Yogi Tunes exists almost entirely online. Its co-founders use their connections with the world’s leading yoga instructors to aggregate yoga session playlists into an online music library. Alex King-Harris, who writes and performs mostly electronic music under the name Rara Avis, explains: “The No. 1 question every yoga instructor gets after class is, ‘How can I get a copy of the playlist you used during that session?’ Most of the time, they don’t have copies of them floating around — they change them frequently. Yogi Tunes solves the problem for them.”

Yogi Tunes created a website with individual pages devoted to each yoga instructor who is a site member. Not coincidentally, some of the music used by these instructors was written by Yogi Tunes’ co-founders, musicians who specialize in soundtracks for yoga teachers. The instructors’ favorite playlists are available on the site — for a price. All commerce is conducted through the site.

Several businesses have been created to connect the spiritual community. One is WebSpirit, which offers a directory of like-minded members in Southern Oregon. Its directory for Ashland alone lists nearly 100 businesses. Among them: Excalibur Computer Solutions, whose tagline is: “Your computer techs in shining armor.”

One can also join the online community Southern Oregon TimeBank where its 120 members exchange hours with each other for goods and services. For instance, co-founder Will Wilkinson “pays” his barber a fixed number of hours when she cuts his hair. These hours go into her TimeBank account. She can use them to purchase goods and services from other members — any member, not just Wilkinson.

TimeBank was created to give structure to the sense of community that was building within Ashland’s spiritual community, Wilkinson says. The ultimate goal is to do away with the tracking of hours and simply have members providing goods and services for one another out of a sense of community. “Dollars, hours — all those things are illusions. When people live in harmony, they get what they need from each other without keeping track.”



 

Comments   

 
Guest
0 #1 dr. of integrative healthGuest 2012-12-06 00:42:43
Asha:
have written you an e-mail.
after reading about you it is quite apparent that you have very little if any time to respond.
thinking seriously of relocating to ashland to practice.
will visit in jan to look around and feel if it is a good fit.
sounds like the area is certainly on the same eco friendly path that we are.
if you would be so kind as to let us know how to contact you with our visit info.
we would very much like to visit with you at your convenience for whatever you time you may be able to spare.
thank you
dr. phil and deborah goodman
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Shades of Gray

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

Are we too quick to diagnose corruption?


Read more...

Downtime with the executive director of Greater Portland Inc.

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015

Janet LaBar, Executive director, Greater Portland Inc.


Read more...

Beyond Bodegas

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Five years in the making, the Portland Mercado — the city’s first Latino public market — will celebrate its grand opening April 11. A $3.5 million public-private partnership spearheaded by Hacienda CDC, the market will house 15 to 20 businesses in the food, retail and service sectors. It has some big-name funders, including the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and JPMorgan Chase. The project goals are equally ambitious: to improve cross-cultural understanding, alleviate poverty and spur community economic development. 


Read more...

Banking Perspective

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Craig Wanichek, president and CEO of Summit Bank.


Read more...

The Health Guru

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Mohan Nair channels a visionary.


Read more...

Editor’s Note: It’s a Man’s World

Linda Baker
Thursday, April 30, 2015
lindablogthumbBY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR

Earlier this week we posted an article from our May issue:  It’s a Man's Man’s Man’s World. The story covered the gender divide in tech from the perspective of male workers. Twitter didn’t like it.


Read more...

The ancient fish that stops bullets

The Latest
Friday, May 08, 2015
hagfishthumbBY CHRIS NOBLE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Hagfish may not have evolved much over the last 300 million years, but their protein-heavy slime promises advances in super-materials.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS