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Ghost of Midnight

… about neighbors, community and Front Porch Forum

Palore and EveryBlock Answer One Question

From today’s Local Onliner

We’re all guilty of feature creep. A lot of the stuff isn’t especially useful. Now comes Palore. When it comes to directory listings, Palore believes hardly any of the info is useful. In fact, consumers want to know just one thing.

“The interesting thing was that they all wanted just one thing and didn’t care much about the rest. It was all about users wanting to see something very specific and personalized to them when making a local search,” says [Palore co-founder Hanan] Lifshitz, an Israeli who had previously started a banner exchange network. “They didn’t want more reviews or better maps. They wanted to know things like:

* The size of a restaurant’s wine list
* Does the business have handicap access?
* Is the business sustainable / vegetarian / organic etc.
* Is there free wifi access?
* Did the restaurant win any award?

With such results in mind, Lifshitz launched Palore in Israel a year ago. The service quickly got 100,000 – quite a landmark in a small country – capped it there, and has been working on bringing it stateside since then. He’s raised $1 million from angels to do so, and has set up shop in the Bay Area.

Sounds compelling. In Burlington, lots of folks just post those questions to their neighborhood forum via Front Porch Forum. Not only do they get good results, but they foster relationships with their real-time in-the-flesh neighbors in the process. Next time, they’ll just call out over the backfence to ask about the wine list… offline. (horrors!)

Also… I was just reading more about EveryBlock, the pre-start-up about to get underway by Adrian Holovaty, late of washingtonpost.com and recent winner of a $1.1M grant from the Knight Foundation. His project… To create, test and release open-source software that links databases to allow citizens of a large city to learn (and act on) civic information about their neighborhood or block. His goal… To create an easy way to answer the question, “What’s happening around me?” Hey! That’s one question again.

Posted in: Front Porch Forum, Local Online, Local Search


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