Quick Look: LocalGuides.com is Impressive

Filed in Local Search by Matt McGee on May 17, 2007 5 Comments

It’s late and I should really call it a night, but I just made the mistake of checking out a new local/social site. I say “mistake” because my very quick glance at Local Guides turned into a longer visit than I’d planned, and now even a post about it.

Local Guides screenshotHere’s what stands out for me after a short visit: So many new local search sites get started and have the big cities covered pretty well. You can find lots of info. about the Seattles and Portlands and San Joses. But do a local search on a small town and, if you’re lucky enough to find anything, it’s pretty much a barren web page.

Well, I tried Kennewick, Wash., and had low expectations. But this is impressive. The info. is deep, and mostly correct. (It wrongly says the nearest airport is in Kahlotus, a tiny town about an hour away that makes Kennewick look like the Big City. The nearest airport is actually across the river in Pasco.)

The social element of Local Guides seems to center on the idea of guides, which can be created by any registered user. Kennewick already has an impressive auto repair guide, which beats just about anything I’ve seen on comparable sites and pretty much eliminates the need to open the big yellow book.

Local Guides is a product of Local Matters, and something worth keeping an eye on. You can read more at CEO Perry Evans’ blog:

Comments (5)

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  1. Local Guides Beta Launch : Natural Search Blog | May 18, 2007
  1. Mike Bradbury says:

    How do they keep out spam? is there a voting system for which guides are best?

    I’ve been looking over it. Questions abound.

  2. krtup says:

    I noticed the Kid’s Birthday guide on the front page and was surprised to find there was a guide for the small town of Chico, CA. So…out of curiosity, I checked another small town nearby (Redding, CA). The same guide existed…which I thought was interesting. Then I noticed the link at the top to all of “KidGuide’s” guides. The same guide is ready for 60 pages worth of cities.

    So that made me even more curious…and then I looked at the bottom of the page…their site is powered by superpages.com, hence, all the content.

  3. Miriam says:

    Full of questions here, too. I don’t feel that their homepage is really telling me ‘how it works’.

    Matt, if you get good with this, would you post something as good as your Flickr post about it? I’m not immediately getting this.

    Thanks!
    Miriam

  4. reuableahcim says:

    Heya. I’m Michael Bauer, the Local Guides Guy. Thanks for all the thoughtful comments. Happy to field any questions you might have. There’s a site feedback link at the bottom of the site. Feel free to use it and mention me. I’m doing a little blogging on it as well at http://www.michaelbauer.com. Mostly about the history and decision-making process. As for spam, we’re not keeping it out quite yet. We’re keeping our thinking open and looking to allow people to add commercial information as long as they add some value along the way. If not, guides can be flagged as inappropriate and pulled from the system.

    As for “voting” we’re just using most viewed and copied as some of the initial proxies. We have a full voting regime sorted out, just not sure we want to put it out there yet.

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