August 19, 2005
Sounds like Yahoo is merging the the concepts of local search, cityguides, personalization and community.
Many of their ideas are great. Users tend to think of their locale based on a neighborhood much more than a zipcode (and cities are sometimes too large of a concept, depending on where you are). Additionally, when you have sufficient user adoption (which I know they do since launching), depending on user-generated content is a much more cost effective option since staff-generated content would require individuals familiar with each local and and, in more cases, physical presence within that locale (which can get expensive). I’ve also noticed that I sometimes completely disagree with a handful of reviews/ratings I have seen and others have noted it’s potential for abuse. However, when you get reviews en masse, they tend to be reflective of the majority’s perception. The community-based model also allows for reviewing the reviewers and cleaning up false information (much the same way Wikipedia does.
This user-generated content could then be used to create more content such as the most popular local searches or user recommended restaurants. The idea of community is great and powerful as we’ve seen through many sites that would not be as great had it been generated internally by the company…and, for the company, it makes more sense to them since costs are lower as well.