The wiki-powered business website Bizwiki.com announced its American version went fully live today. Bizwiki was launched as an Alpha in the USA in December 2008, promising to change the way local search works by enabling its users to build up the most detailed and up-to-date index of business in the United States.
The new fully live version features over 5,000 categories of business, and in contrast to traditional Yellow Pages websites invites business owners and representatives to add and improve their companies’ records with everything from contact details to prices and opening hours, completely free of charge.
“We are also launching new functionality today that allows the site’s users to‘Watch’ any business, receiving an email notifying them of any additions and edits,” said Bizwiki co-founder Matt Aird. “This is useful for anyone who is interested in following changes, but is primarily designed to empower people to get involved in claiming their own businesses and ensuring the information the public sees stays as accurate and relevant as possible.”
Creating a ‘Watchlist’ of businesses on Bizwiki is free. Representatives are invited to sign up with Bizwiki.com and look up the companies they are interested in, then simply click ‘Watch this business’ to receive notification of any changes to the record. They are also able to add more information and details to records while doing so.
“We’ve tried to take ideas and concepts from some of the most successful user-created websites in the world, such as Wikipedia and the Open Directory Project, and improve them to where the ‘anyone can edit’ principles of a wiki can be used in a business-environment,” continued Matt Aird. “The biggest single difference is probably that our site is built in a consistently structured format, allowing us to rapidly scale-up the amount of information and also give our users an easy way to search the site.”
The Bizwiki difference:
• It’s free – Unlike many established publishers that charge for inclusion, Bizwiki is free to search, free to edit and free for companies to list on.
• It’s editable – The ‘anyone-can-edit’ approach is a challenge to the frequently out-of-date records in conventional printed Business Directories.
• It’s a wiki – The wiki approach allows far more depth of information about each business to be compiled than anything conventionally available.
• It’s structured – Bizwiki is built using structured data, allowing reusability of information, bulk updates from chambers of commerce or webspiders, and an easy search experience for users.
Bizwiki was built by industry-veterans with years of business directory and meta-search experience behind them, including Keith Hinde, Matt Aird, Craig Sefton and Arthur Jenkins who between them have helped develop directory and search products for Infospace, local directory publisher Thomson Directories, TradePage and Webcrawler.
Visit www.bizwiki.com to add or edit your company or create a Watchlist of businesses.