So Much For Pleasing the People

One of my favorite magazines of all time, Business 2.0 is shutting down. I’ve been a subscriber since the beginning, and it’s one of two magazines that I honestly look forward to getting in the mail each month (the other being Wired) and actually read from cover to cover (there’s 4 of them sitting on my desk right now).

I did everything a single person can do to make a difference — I joined the Facebook group to save the magazine, I renewed my subscription for two years, I wrote the editor… but alas, I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.

Details of the downward spiral and ultimate demise are covered in a great article by Mark Glaser, and TechCrunch has a shot of the final cover design.


Local Search: The Future of eCommerce

How much do you buy online? Depending on your social situation (single, married, kids, etc.), the amount of actual online purchasing can vary greatly. But how often do you research a purchase online regardless of whether you are planning to purchase online or offline?

When it comes to local search, Greg Sterling has some great comments on SEL today. Greg’s comment in his opening statement are of particular interest to me as it relates to eNeighbors. Since our target audience is homeowners in a managed community, the home services are a perfect fit for us to be able to recommend and advertise to our users, but Greg’s comment about products (which I assume to mean pretty much anything) tell me that every transaction whether on or offline starts at the local level since that’s where we all live.

In other words, we all live in a local community no matter where we are. This local community which houses our friends and family is the largest influence on our buying habits. Our local habitat dictates our entertainment options, our habits, hobbies, etc. You get the idea.

I think the real insight here is this — to sell a product (any product) how much more effective would that sales process be if it were approached from a local level? Obviously, it would be exponetially more effective. It would be like a door-to-door salesman for the entire world. In the past, this approach has not been very cost-effective for obvious reasons, but with the recent adoption of the web’s social networking features, this type of sales approach is now possible.

So, once again I’m advocating the use of a bottom-up approach to local search. In this case, as it directly relates to local commerce. Ironically, the internet may be the vehicle to bring back the feeling of community and localness.

Email Trouble

We were having some email trouble yesterday between 11:00am and 6:00pm. If you sent in a support or PIN request and haven’t heard back from us, please resend your request to support [at] eneighbors [dot] com.

As of now, all support requests that we received have been closed. So if you’re waiting to hear from us, we do not have your request.

The importance of community and neighborhood to local search

I wish I had said it first… (via Marty Himmelstein)

The fundamental role of a community in local search is to establish an environment of trust so that users can rely on the information they obtain from the system. Businesses exist in a network of customers, suppliers, municipal agencies, local media, hobbyists, and others with either a professional or avocational interest in establishing the trustworthiness of local information. These community members can contribute unique perspectives to create a rich and accurate depiction of the businesses with which they are involved. The group targeted by Google’s new program, college-aged students who want to earn extra spending money, hardly comprise a community as described. But it is a start. One must assume the current program is a precursor to a more disciplined and organized initiative where Google works with organizations that have more substantial relationships of trust in the local community.


Behind the Curtain

Just wanted to drop a quick note to everyone. We are still here.

Sorry, the blog’s been a little inactive lately. We are working hard on some internal stuff right now here at eNeighbors that will hopefully bring all of our customers some great new stuff, and ultimately will provide an even better product for neighborhood communities.

Can’t say much more than that right now, but we should be back next week with more of the ususal insightful posts on the ever-changing online world of technology.

In the meantime, go pick up a new iPod Touch this weekend, yet another great product from one of my favorite companies.

Sidenote: I’m so glad I didn’t buy an iPhone yet — see $200 price drop. ouch!