Question 1: What is Sourcer?
Question 2: Who benefits from Sourcer?
Question 3: How can I get involved?
Question 4: What is an optimized technique for recording product at a chosen location?
Question 5: Can I get the manager at the store to post their products on this site?
Question 6: How many listings should I be submitting?
Question 7: What is a listing made up of?
Searching & Hunting
Question 8: I went shopping for an item that wasn't at its location reported in the listing. What happened?
Question 9: I can't find an item close to me. How can I ask the community to help look for such items?
Question 10: I have questions, concerns, or a suggestion. What do I do?
Answer #1: What is Sourcer?
It is a web application (web app) that helps people in the world of food. It provides a platform for people to list relevant sources of relevant products found at locations around the world. It also serves as a search tool to find listed products based on location.
Answer #2: Who benefits from Sourcer?
A lot of people benefit from such a service. Hobbyists, cooks & chefs, brewers, dieticians, nutritionists, chemists, biochemists, foodies, industry experts, food scientists, agricultural experts, pet owners, naturopaths, medical practitioners, fragrance innovators, soap manufacturers, butchers, farmers, microbiologists, beauty product manufacturers, cleaning product designers, test kitchen staff, chemical engineers, culinary trendologists (for real), flavour gurus, incense makers, candy manufacturers, recipe developers & testers, foragers, mycologists, university professors, lab technicians, students, bakers, dairies, restaurant owners, hospitality managers, bed & breakfast owners, food researchers, molecular gastronomists, scent designers, urban farmers, tea shop owners, food photographers, biotechnologists, consultants, and more...all find Sourcer as a highly valuable resource for sourcing raw materials.
Then there is the other side, the location owners with such products. We find it imperative to list interesting and specialty products, simply because there's a market for their products, which are so difficult to source.
Answer #3: How can I get involved?
First, register as a user. Log into the system and start providing listings of products found around you. Specifically, visit a favourite store or restaurant, and obtain their address and contact information (web URL, phone, email, address, hours of operation, etc.). Then, record various products they offer, their unit size and weight (i.e.: 1.0 kg rice), the product's brand name, proper product name, and any possible URL that the product might advertise, and possibly the price.
Answer #4: What is an optimized technique for recording product at a chosen location?
Use a cell phone. Take notes like the following:
- Note any hours of operation posted outside the location.
- Take down the name and address of the business. Make sure these are correct and in full. Do not mis-spell.
- Get a business card when checking out, so that you have proper location information, and contact information.
- Use your cell phone to take pictures of products and their prices, which should have unit size and price.
- Optimally, use the video recording ability to capture several items alongside eachother. Make sure to focus on product names, unit sizes and pricing. Some recordings might be blurry, so remember how these behave when reviewing these videos later. This gets easier with practice.
- Return to your computer for entering said information on this site after logging in.
Using this technique, you should be able to collect around 20 items in very little time. The goal is to be efficient, recording properly to capture relevant information for perusal at a later time.
Answer #5: Can I get the manager at the store to post their products on this site?
By all means, encourage employees of the store to have an account here on Sourcer. Tell them it is an excellent online tool to list the products they sell. n.b.: The future will bring better services for companies wishing to list their products.
Answer #6: How many listings should I be submitting?
The more the better. Whatever feels comfortable and something you can accomplish. It is a continual process of recording on-site and reporting here on the site afterwards. Focus on the more interesting and rare items that you think people would appreciate finding. There is also value in recording regular items, as sometimes they are hard to find. The number of listings that you provide are relevant and valuable. When in doubt, submit it.
Answer #7: What is a listing made up of?
A listing is a product at a company location. You start by searching if the system has the company inside its database, THEN you provide the product listing.
Searching & Hunting
Answer #8: I went shopping for an item that wasn't at its location reported in the listing. What happened?
A listing means "this item was recorded before". The item might not be avialable for many reasons:
- The product is seasonal
- The product is no longer offered (it is indeed that rare)
- The location no longer lists it
- The location has run out of inventory
- The product was replaced by a similar item
Remember, a listing is an indication that it is likely that you will find the item at its listed location. It is not a guarantee. Things change, products come and go, inventories change. It might be useful to ask the staff if the item is still available.
Answer #9: I can't find an item close to me. How can I ask the community to help look for such items?
Soon we will be providing a tool to ask people to search for hard-to-find items, in future updates. This site is a work-in-progress.
Answer #10: I have questions, concerns, or a suggestion. What do I do?
Use the Contact page and send us a message. Also follow us on Twitter at @Sourcer_ca