survey under way to better define Internet Coast
Sherri C. Ranta
economic development survey to determine the size and shape of the
e-commerce industry in Miami-Dade County is under way online through
local survey, say organizers, is a community-based effort by several
groups to determine the depth of Miami's e-commerce industry.
is," said John Cordrey, senior vice president for research at
The Beacon Council, the county's economic development arm, "a
lot that is known about e-commerce in the county. Yet if someone comes
along and asks, how big are they, where are they or who do they serve
these are questions we do not have information about."
information, he said, can be used to help groups such as the Beacon
Council, Miami Internet Alliance and the Greater Miami Chamber of
Commerce market the county to the world as a hub for e-commerce activity.
Cordrey said as of Sept. 1, America's Networks trade magazine ranked
the Miami area No. 5 among the world's telecommunications hubs.
there are groups with some information about the industry here, this
survey will give the county a clearer picture of what's going on,
Dr. Cordrey said.
grassroots movement emerged last year in the e-commerce industry to
brand the three-county area as the "Internet Coast." The
data from the survey will go a long way toward making that a reality,
Dr. Cordrey said.
said the survey which can be accessed on the Beacon Council's
website takes about two minutes to complete. It asks for information
such as company name, address, telephone number, fax number, e-mail
address and web address, as well as the name of the principal or top
survey also asks for information regarding the type of e-commerce
business, services provided, year founded and origin of the business
online or off-line geographic market and the number
Dr. Cordrey said, will be compiled and posted on the website. He said
a sample of how that information will be presented is posted at the
site now using fabricated data.
information will be kept confidential by Beacon Council officials,
Dr. Cordrey said. However, he said, the council would like to produce
an electronic directory of businesses, addresses and telephone numbers.
other networking and professional groups and businesses helped get
the survey online.
advertising firm CW/Rampage Inc. of Miami Beach wrote the code for
the survey. Founded in 1995 by President and CEO Celeste DeArmas,
CW/Rampage specializes in advertising both on and off the Internet.
DeArmas said about 100 companies have responded to the survey since
it was launch last week. Organizers say they expect 1,000 or more
companies to complete the survey, based on the membership of groups
sponsoring the project.
Jones, a vice president with Grubb & Ellis of Florida, a Brickell
Avenue commercial real estate firm, was a project principal along
with Manuel Gonzalez with the Miami Internet Alliance. Just as the
group was ready to release the survey, Mr. Jones said, the committee
found the industry is moving faster than even they could image.
noticing that the language is changing on us. The questions were designed
several months ago. But after going over the questions the Friday
before we launched, one of the guys made the comment that we might
have to re-examine the terminology.
got as connected people in the industry as we could get. Within a
few months the language is beginning to be outdated. My jaw dropped,"
Mr. Jones said.
group active in the project is the Tuesday Network, a one-year-old
networking group for information technology professionals that meets
in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. About 600 people attend the
monthly sessions in Coral Gables.
sponsoring groups include the Association of Internet Professionals,
First Tuesday, One Community One Goal and Women in Information Technology.
Dr. Cordrey, (305) 579-1373, or beaconcouncil.com/survey.