Consumers and Businesses Collaborate?
If you were to ask Jon Carder at MojoPages, “How do you get up-to-date information about local (or remote) businesses?”…he’d say, “Ahhh, is that a trick question? Why do you think I started www.MojoPages.com?”
Jon’s story all began when he was searching for a good moving company to help him relocate in San Diego. He had a terrible experience with the company who was evidentally backed by the BBB, boasted the best rates in town, etc., etc. If only there was a way to know how businesses are truly treating their customers. A way to know which businesses are the best? That’s when he began dreaming of an online community where people could share their knowledge and experiences to help one another find the best local businesses and stay away from the worst.
I was reminded of Jon’s story when I read a recent post about Wikipedia for small businesses by Mark Goldenson. In 2007, yellow page directories were a $31 billion market, but they are being rapidly killed by the web, mobile access, 411 lines, and services vastly more convenient than thumbing through dead trees.
What about a Wikipedia for small businesses? Take an enterprise collaboration tool suite like MindTouch’s DekiWiki and create a public wiki that lets anyone create a website about a business and add a wealth of information:
- Contact details
- Hours of operation
- Lists of products or services
- Recommended items
- Food nutritional values
- Coupons and specials
- Management and staff
- Credit cards accepted
- Wheelchair accessibility
- Wireless availability
- Franchise locations
- Availability of power outlets
- Customer traffic
- Phone tree options
- Years of operation
- Public restrooms
Business owners could claim their site and add their own details (much like Zillow.com for homes), but unlike MerchantCircle, Smalltown, and other attempts at bringing small businesses online, this webspace would not require any action from the small business. Their website can be created and useful even without their knowledge.
Good idea Mark!