Ever been invited to a party and wondered if other people would show up? Virtually everyone can relate to the feeling of arriving at a get-together only to realize that it’s much smaller than expected, or worse, nobody else is showing up. Well, it’s not only you that has gotten hives and broken out into a cold sweat. In fact, in the local search space we use this metaphor all the time to describe a situation where companies build great local sites, but there is no content. When a user comes, their experience may be great on all fronts, except getting local information that’s relevant and useful. Which means, the site is actual quite useless.
This topic was covered very nicely by Mike Orren in a recent article: http://streetfightmag.com/2013/07/12/customization-failure-why-hyperlocal-hasnt-scaled-yet-mike-orren-gp/. Essentially Orren posits that the problem of the party without any attendees was well understood a dozen years ago, and more than 6-7 years ago companies began to try to solve the challenge in various local verticals, including news, events, etc. But most local sites still suffer from a lack of quality content, regardless of the vertical, because it turns out to be pretty difficult to get sufficient “content liquidity” (an over-blown term mean to indicate ‘sufficient information’).
In referring to some recently-announced apps that purport to have great local content, he writes:
“I’m enough of a geek to poke through these apps and see that they have the ability to process more meaningful inputs. The problem is that they (and we) don’t have much more or better local content and advertising to output than we did in the days before social media and smartphones. A tool is built to operate on a national scale, but the landscape of finding the local information is messy and chaotic, lacking structured data, or consistent geographic coverage.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself! Most of these sites are not showing meaningfully more information, or higher quality data, because it’s messy and chaotic. Which is exactly why we’re so excited about the WhoDoYou solution. By plunging deep into the chaos, and by creating order out of the mess, we’ve been able to structure hundreds of thousands of recommendations from the free-form conversations happening on social media. This includes all kinds of categories (dentist, plumber, mechanic, handyman, etc) across hundreds of US cities. Every day we add more, and as we get better at collecting the high quality information, we make the local experience that much better.
We invite you to try WhoDoYou today and let us know what you think (firstname.lastname@example.org) about our great local content. And thanks as always for your support.
Yoav and the WhoDoYou Team