Google has linked with apnfinda to create a director 2.0 service for New Zealand. Early days yet but it appears the servce will have the following functionality;
- directory listing for businesses
- view directory entries along with full mapping functionality
- search within a geographical context
- user rating and reviewing of business listers
I’ve been saying for awhile that directory services need a big shake up – thus far the incumbents have been about quantity (listing all businesses) and the smart move is to differentiate a directory service with a qualitative measure (allow users to get a feel on which are the quality providers – as judged by their peers).
The interesting thing will be hat Google map’s increased exposure in New Zealand will so to smaps, and what their association with apnfinda will do to yellow , their stated aim is to overtake Yellow Pages online site by the end of the first quarter next year for unique visitors – that’s a big ask – watch this space.
I think at the moment , Yellow Pages is ahead of ApnFinder for listing and site search functionality. Yellow Pages seems to have higher relevancy than that of Apn. Now, Apn has now linked up with Google, that will makes things more interesting.
user rating and reviewing of business listers
Well this functionality I am aware that Yellow Pages doesn’t have. The reason for user-rating (as Amazon has been using for years) is to do item (product) recommendation. It is sometimes used for quick simple descriptive statistics (average, mean, mode, etc…) to see what are popular, but its power of collecting such data lies solely in its use for multivariate analysis for product recommendation as in Amazon, customers who bought item A also bought item B or for services recommendation as in this case for Apn, customers who ranked services A highly also ranked services B highly. This means that the user, is being recommended another services (automatically) and avoids him/her of having to do further digging and searching (or surfing), ie, the user stumbles across another similar item (service or product) that he/she wasn’t contemplate searching for in the first place.
I would be interested to see what Yellow Pages is going to do about the adoption of user-rating by Apn. I did discuss this sort of user-rating with a manager from Yellow Pages in the first half of the year , since they were thinking of something along that line but didn’t of how to do it. If they would call up on my consulting service to develop an engine to do this (user-rating-based recommendation), I would be happy to get involve. I might drop them an email about this Apn linking up with Google.
I noted at Ben Keepe’s blog, that Ebay has been adopting user-rating recently, and I made a comment there, saying that there is no doubt that Ebay is intending to use it for item recommendation exactly as Amazon is doing, recommendation entices online users to buy more or explore further (the chance of a sale being made is quite high if recommendation is used). I am not sure whether Trade Me is developing something similar or intending to develop one in the future.
Oops, Ben I thought I was making a comment at Lance’s blog. It has similar look and also sometimes similar topics on ecommerce.