Company: Judy’s Book
Launched: July 2005
Location: Seattle, WA
What is it?
Judy’s Book is a site that allows people to write reviews of local businesses. It also has social networking features (adding friends, groups, etc.) to share reviews with a trust network. The idea is that people trust what their friends think more than advertising.
The reviews are easy to write, with lots of structure (rating, cost, pros/cons) and free text areas that will make searching easier (no tags though – they’ll add that soon enough). It is somewhat like DinnerBuzz, without the tagging and with more social networking. They don’t discuss in on the site, but they clearly use the yahoo mapping api or some other datebase for business search.
In their own words, “Judy’s Book was started in 2004 by Andy Sack and Chris DeVore. When Andy and his wife Alexa moved to Seattle, Alexa’s mom — Judy -â€“ gave them her ‘little green book’, her personal take on the best service providers in Seattle. Andy and Alexa relied on Judy’s book for help and advice as they settled into their new city. When Chris and his wife Emily needed a handyman, Andy passed along a recommendation from Judy’s book and an idea was born: why not create a ‘little green book’ for busy parents everywhere? Judy’s Book is the result â€“ offering local answers by parents, for parents. Join today and see for yourself!” Link
Here is a visual of a review:
To get the content rolling, Judy’s book is offering bribes. :-) Five reviews gets you $5 at Starbucks, and 50 reviews + 10 friend invites gets you an iPod shuffle. Good idea.
Great site. But its another social networking tool to keep updated…and therefore will have some traction issues. The site does not provide RSS feeds for searches or tagging…They’ll realize the usefullness of that soon enough and add it. (Andy and Chris, if you read this, check out Dinnerbuzz and see the things they are doing correctly – it will be easy for you to add this functionality) :-)