Carman Bessey wants to revolutionize consumer trade in the Red Deer area — and perhaps change the face of local social media in the process.
He’s setting up Red Deer Dogo Net, a regional advertising platform and search engine through which businesses and households will be able to buy and sell goods and services online.
Operating through his company Prairie Economic Development Group, Bessey has licensed the system from Digagogo Ventures Corp. of Detroit. It includes a search engine called Dogo Search, a virtual storefront that households can set up called Dogo Net, and a secure payment system called Dogo Pay. All will be managed from a Dogo Center, which is already operating in Red Deer at 7891 Gaetz Ave.
“We’ve been working pretty hard at this for a good two months,” said Bessey, who used to operate Empire Parking in Red Deer, and now owns Kountry Aire Campground near Caroline.
He said local consumers and businesses should soon be able to join the online network.
“We’re hoping by the end of the month.”
The appeal of a system like Red Deer Dogo Net is that it encourages local trade, said Bessey.
“The money stays here. It doesn’t go to the U.S.; it doesn’t go somewhere else.”
Participating households be able to trade and communicate with each other, and businesses can advertise in real time and monitor what local buyers are searching for.
“We’re taking the old way of doing business, which is hands-on . . . and service, and combining it with the new way of doing business, which is on the Internet,” said Carmen Krause, Bessey’s executive assistant.
“So you get the best of both worlds and support the local economy.”
There is also the potential for Red Deer Dogo Net to monitor the products and services being sought by local consumers and harness their combined buying power to strike deals with wholesalers and suppliers, said Bessey.
Membership in Red Deer Dogo Net will be restricted to residents of the city and outlying region.
Bessey said the concept appealed to him as soon as he heard about it.
“I just thought it was a great idea.”
Red Deer Dogo Net has a booth at Agri-Trade, which Bessey said is his first effort to promote the concept. He’s optimistic it will catch on, and foresees a time when virtually everyone in the region will belong to the network.
He also believes that it could eventually employ up to 100 people.
Bessey was the first to license the Digagogo Ventures system, but he’s confident other, similar networks will pop up elsewhere.
Krause said the technology is proven.
“It’s the real thing. It’s not just an idea in our head.”
The appeal of implementing Dogo Net in the Red Deer area, she added, is that a large number businesses operate here and the region still has a strong sense of community.
“So it’s a great hub.”
Additional information about Red Deer Dogo Net can be found online at www.reddeerdogonet.com.