Community Powered Local Search – This Could Actually Work

Local BuzzerWhen I stumbled upon a site called Local Buzzer last night, I have to admit that I was skeptical. “Easiest Local Search Ever” is what it uses as its tag line. My reaction to this:

“Oh reeeaaallly.”

One thing I liked and probably the only reason I tried it was the homepage layout — one of the cleanest I’ve seen. I tried something pretty random – Chiropractor/my zip code. While the results page is nicely set up with Google maps integration, the real juice is in the community aspect. It has a chance to be truly local.

Local Buzzer Home

Two interesting quotes from the About page:

“We are here to promote that conversation and provide tools for our community to discuss the places that they are passionate about.”

“By looking at local businesses through the lens of the collective community on Local Buzzer, you will always find a place that is new and interesting. We are committed to giving every local business a fair chance at being the next big thing.”

Interesting concept. The only way this will work (and I definitely think it can) is with a nice number of people in one’s local area using it. The bad part about most of the review sites is that you can’t find sites or businesses that haven’t been reviewed. The problem with classifieds and map searches is that they don’t have many, if any, reviews. In theory, Local Buzzer brings the two together into one neat, clean package.

Here are some more quotes from the About page and our analysis of what they propose:

Search Local Buzzer

User Powered Local Search

We believe that a community working together will create the best search results. Every user will have the power to suggest new businesses, edit business details, review and rate businesses. We will rank our search results based on the user input for any particular business.

Assuming that they are able to get businesses themselves to be active and participate with the site, this can be a really good thing. It’s like having a free listing, so they should be more inclined to make sure the details are correct. Since it offers reviews, those who know about it will be more inclined to visit often and suggest that their clients check it out.

Speedy Results

The whole focus of the site is to give the users what they want, quickly. We have spent a lot of time making sure users should be able to find businesses they are looking for in the shortest amount of time.

This is the part that I’ve been personally dying to see for ages. The search engines are too gamed, too cumbersome, and don’t always have relevant results. If I can pop in and find my next Pizza purchase quickly… that’s a beautiful, wonderful, awesome thing.

Local Buzzer Results

Community Driven

We dont worry about any bottom lines and “pay for placements”. You get honest results. We are not about clients, page impressions and traffic. We write reviews, upload pictures, choose our favorite businesses, and enjoy making friends just like everyone else.

I have questions here, but that’s not to say that it won’t work. I can see it as a valuable service, but getting people to sign up is the tough part. I signed up, and while I admit that it was a no-brainer, no-time-waster style setup that I prefer, I wonder how many people will use it but never sign up. On the other hand, there are advantages to having limited signups. Those who do are probably doing so because they feel passionately one way or the other about local businesses. They want their opinions to be heard. That part alone would make signing up worthwhile.

Pound for pound, I think LocalBuzzer has a real chance of making it. I hope it does — I know I would use it.

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