Friday, May 11, 2007

Brave New World

Powerhead. Live Rock. Filter Media.

Up until a few weeks ago, I wouldn't have had a clue what these words mean.

A Powerhead, to me, sounds like a boat engine: “Man, our 20-foot river boat is propelled by the new Powerhead 7000 and it really hauls butt!”

Live Rock could be some creature from a fantasy flick, like The Never Ending Story or The Lord of the Rings: “Hold your ground, Aragorn! Now only the Live Rock stands between Frodo and Mount Doom.”

Filter Media? Well, isn’t it obvious? Filter media is a new pop-up blocker for the PC!

In actuality, the aforementioned vocabulary words are products used in a marine aquarium.

Wikipedia describes a marine aquarium as “an aquarium that keeps marine plants and animals in a contained environment. Marine aquaria are further subdivided by hobbyists into fish only (FO), fish only with live rock (FOWLR), and reef aquaria.”

That was easy pretty easy to digest (burp!). Now, why all this talk about aquariums anyway?

Simple people: I began work for a company called Fins, Furs, & Feathers, Inc. a few weeks back and they own several e-commerce websites, including MarineDepot.com, MarineDepotLive.com and Petstore.com.

Oh, I’m Jeff, by the way. I work in the marketing department. Nice to meet ’cha!

Anyhoo, I began work at FF&F, Inc. and immediately noticed the office environment is radically different from the pretentious corporate world I had become so accustomed to.

And I mean “radically different” in a good way.

One of the coolest things to do here is stroll down the aisles of our customer service department.

You’re like, “Huh? That doesn’t sound terribly interesting, Jeff.”

In the words of a thousand infomercials, “But wait … there’s more!”

Nearly every customer service agent has a fresh or saltwater aquarium atop their desk. So, whenever I find myself marching through the office to visit my boss, Ben, I always peer into each employee’s cubicle and ogle the habitats they’ve created in their workspace.

From mid-size 24-gallon to small 3-gallon tanks, each of their underwater worlds are teeming with life; colorful, exotic and beautiful.

Did you know that Nemo has a darker, more mysterious cousin? His name is Gold Stripe, or Premnas biaculeatus, and he’s one cool character.

After only a couple of weeks being immersed in this “wild” new world, and, with the encouragement of my peers, my marketing colleague Brian and I decided to get an aquarium of our own and try our hands at this whole reef keeping phenomenon and become “hobbyists” ourselves.

No, not hobbits. Hobbyists.

The frontline of our company, the customer service team, are comprised solely of aquarium enthusiasts. For us, we felt like the best, most honest way to market to our customers is to connect with them like the CS team does.

We hope you’ll stay connected with us, too. Read our blog, shop our website, send us feedback and, heck, call us if you wanna talk shop.

You have questions? We have answers!

Tune in for my next post to see if I can hack it as a hobbit, err, hobbyist or if I simply drown in all my newfound responsibilities as a crypt keeper … I mean reef keeper.