Or how online reviews are broken

Manipulated, non-representative, online reviews are broken [1]. Here is my take on how to fix the discovery of local businesses. Not to stop here, we’ve built http://www.wi-card.ch to present our vision.

Reduce the noise

Traditional services like Yelp or Tripadvisor are good to find local businesses by category around you, but it stops here. You won’t find the gem you like some much you’ll come back come back four-five time. Why? There is too much noise, too much listings, too much (fake) reviews.

Focus on the three circles

How can I make sure this 2 star review from a 40 years-old business man fits my tastes? Your friends and family know you better. One recommendation from them worth hundreds of recommendations by strangers.

The same way Path limits the interactions you have to the most meaningful, listening to your three circles (friends, family and colleagues) will focus the recommendations you receive to the essential.

Recommendations done right

Word of works I need a structured way to share my favorite places to the relevant people and filter the information I receive.

My college friends will love this traditional but crappy Chinese restaurant whereas my mother will enjoy more this quiet café. Stop flooding everybody with your foursquare check-ins and send the relevant information to the relevant circles.

No more spammy marketing

I don’t read the newsletter announcing the new jeans collection available at my local fashion store, neither do I like the facebook page of the art gallery I visit once in a while. It doesn’t mean I won’t need or value those information, it’s just not the right channels. Mails are professionals, Facebook is private.

At Wi-Card, we believe that a meaningful interaction is possible between individuals and local businesses, be it a restaurant, café, museum, or a shop, if done properly and following the moto “propose instead of impose”.

At the end, it’s not a matter of where you go, but where you go back.