For once, I’m not about to bang on about writing. It’s not that writing – or indeed the arts in general – aren’t important during a time of crisis, because they are probably more important than ever in keeping our spirits up. But I wanted to use this occasionally-viewed space to say a bit about my new venture GURTL.
What set it off was me worrying about some of our local shops down here in Somerset and how they’re going to cope over the next few difficult months. Because they tend to rely on regular physical customers dropping into their shop ever week, and that’s going to get increasingly difficult as this thing goes on. Typically they don’t have any internet presence at all, or if they do, it’s not geared up to actually sell anything directly.
But it struck me that with a bit of ingenuity I could actually put together a platform that would enable them – and in fact any such shops elsewhere in the UK – very quickly to get online, and that is how GURTL came to be born. (As an aside, I would point out to anyone else who’s thinking of doing something like this that it’s REALLY important to check the Urban Dictionary before you pass the button. We very nearly went live with a name that has not one but THREE different obscene and fully-googleable meanings, and I had to reconstruct everything from scratch.)
I have no idea if this is going to be remotely useful. My instinct says it is, but I’m not always right with these things. But at least it’s given me something concrete to do over the last few days instead of sitting at my desk scrolling through social media and fretting about the world.
Do please take a look at GURTL, and if you think this might be helpful, spread the word. We’re only doing businesses in the UK at the moment, because even that could potentially overwhelm us.