Battelle says YellowPages 'gets it'

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Read the comments, there may be a TW pop-quiz later.
Debbie says (yes, Debbie is back); Uummm, this and $4 gets YP a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

YellowPages.com Gets It

Comments

It maybe should've been titled...

"Yellowpages.com gets it, though late."

{disclosure: I work for their industry's big kid on the block, but opinions I state herein are strictly my own, and not necessarily that of my company}

Did anyone else see Battelle's more recent posting on Where's The Edge of The Web? He used this photo illustration with it, and when I saw it on his homepage I nearly geysered tea out my nose. His homepage showed what appeared to be a pic of a nude man! For a second, I thought maybe he'd been hacked.

I clicked through to the associated Wikipedia page for it, and then got it: it was the pic of the bushman in The Gods Must Be Crazy movie. It really needs a caption on Battelle's page, though, because the pic is so small that no one would recognize it until they've clicked through, perhaps. That film came out quite a number of years ago...

>though late

Late doesn't help, but their entire ecosystem is anti-social (pun intended). Besides, all hell will break loose, it'll be TheConsumerist.com fox loosed in their own henhouse. Look at Skrenta's lament at Topix, and he's just serving up news. Imagine if he purposely asked for business reviews of, say, Car Dealers or Real Estate firms. This will be the equivalent of dousing themselves in gasoline and passing out matches to an angry mob.

>The Gods Must Be Crazy
You show your age, Silver. I never really liked that movie.

related

This seems to be my day for purposely crossing the streams. (note the nifty way I kept the 'old movie' sub-theme, hhh.)

Wil Wheaton: what happened to digg

best quote:
"I'm only surprised that you all are surprised when confronted with human behavior..."

Lawyers are licking

their chops just thinking about the deep pockets here if they publish libel that is masquerading as user "reviews".

Quotes vs movies

This quote came to mind in lieu of a movie reference:

"To spread suspicion, to invent calumnies, to propagate scandal, requires neither labour nor courage. It is easy for the author of a lie, however malignant, to escape detection, and infamy needs very little industry to assist its circulation."

Samuel Johnson, 1751

back to ghostbusters

except it's SocialBusters:

YPman #2: I have a radical idea. The door swings both ways, we could reverse the particle flow through the gate.
YPman #1: How?
YPman #2: [hesitates] We'll cross the streams.
YPman #1: 'Scuse me? You said crossing the streams was bad!
[long pause]
YPman #1: You're gonna endanger us, you're gonna endanger our client - the nice lady, who paid us in advance, before she became a dog...
YPman #2: Not necessarily. There's definitely a very slim chance we'll survive.
[pause while they consider this]
YPman #1: [slaps YPman #2 on back] I love this plan! I'm excited, it could work! LET'S DO IT!

my age...

You show your age, Silver.

I guess we both do... But, I drink the blood of virgins to stay young.

But how many others would get that visual reference on Battelle's blog? People who haven't seen that film will just think it odd that there's a naked man on the front page.

Well, Battelle's older than

Well, Battelle's older than I am, so he gets it. And, though the pix is so crappy that you can't tell, technically, he's wearing a loincloth --the tribeman, not Battelle, well, maybe Battelle, too, but no matter. And I think the image, whether recognized or not, carries the point fairly well.

Hey, what about the GhostBusters repurposed dialog? I thought it particularly apropos, especially when referring to the client base: "the nice lady, who paid us in advance..."

I didn't think it was so newsworthy

Frankly they are late to the game on reviews. Really late.

Infact someone in our

Infact someone in our company said 6 months ago we should do something like this because if you want to get a builder etc around, you want to know if he has a good rep. Amazing it took so long. It is so obvious and they are so dumb for not doing it sooner. There was a was opportunity for someone else to take a lot of business from them.

Reviews aren't worth much

Break businesses down into 4 categories:

1) convenience stores, service stations, etc. What's a review going to do for them? Who's going to read them?

2) chain stores and many franchises. Starbucks, Wendy's, Target, McDonald's, Wal-Mart. Practically everything is done by the headquarters on policies. May be some variance on friendliness/surliness of staff or bathroom cleanliness. Again, what good are reviews?

3) businesses that generally won't work with the public directly. For Valentine's Day, my wife had the electrician who did our basement remodel re-wire our garage, which was built in 1914. Todd drives a white truck, doesn't have signs on it and doesn't advertise. I don't think he has business cards. He did the work because of the existing relationship that was through the general contractor.

4) Everybody else. Hair stylists, real estate agents, dentists, attorneys, small shops. The problem with reviews is that people tend to have very individual reactions to these. A friend recommended a real estate agent that I don't think did a very good job for me. We had specific requirements and a lot of houses we looked at didn't meet those requirements. I'd give her a negative recommendation. A while back, the friend settled in Switzerland and asked the agent to sell her house. She'd continue to give the agent a high recommendation.

Would you recommend her if you used her? Maybe. But there's obviously a high degree of variance in services. Amazon reviews work because we all get the same phone or book or whatever. You don't have the personal relationship with somebody from Braun or Motorola or Sony.

In my day job, we do take recommendations and it goes something like this:

1/3rd or more are the owners giving themselves positive reviews.

1/6th are people with a serious grudge. Some of them sound like they have good cause, some not.

1/3rd are OK.

1/6th are incoherent or spam

For things like restaurants, I'll trust professionals more than the average person or even a lot of average people. That the reviewers love the owners doesn't mean the food is good. Even there, it's nice to have multiple pros so you can filter out the cattiness or preoccupation with the latest and greatest. If I ate out every day, my priorities would be different than being with the wife and kids or twice-a-month "date nights" with my wife. We look for something different than they yelp'rs.

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