WhatsOpen is an intriguing service with an even more intriguing about us page. Their approach to local search is not the standard who, what or where but rather what and when. They ask a question that even folks familiar with their own local scene frequently ask.
Just type in the name of the store youâ€™re looking for, and your location….Results are displayed on a Google Map mashup, with listing of stores, their hours of operation, their phone numbers and their distance from the city center appearing in a left-hand column.
Users choosing to sign up for the full beta of the version get access to information from the U.S., the European Union and China along with mobile phone applications Google Android or iPhone.
An interesting report of agressive marketing & billing practices in the Local SEM space in the Google Maps for Business Group.
In Restless Pursuit of Craigslistâ€™s Success – Bob Tedeschi, NY Times
The NY Times writes a glowing report about The Kijiji unit of eBay in their pursuit of Craig’s List. At the end of the article Kijiji’s opportunities were put in perspective by Greg Sterling:
Even without such features, though, Craigslist added nearly seven million users during the last year. That should be enough to give pause to Kijiji and other competitors, according to Greg Sterling, of Sterling Market Intelligence, an advertising consultancy. â€œThere are other sites, like Google Base, with nicer features for users, but they havenâ€™t dented Craigslist,â€ he said.
Windows Live Expo from Microsoft, another free classified ad site, has also struggled to gain an audience. â€œThe more competition there is, the more it reinforces Craigslistâ€™s users,â€ Mr. Sterling said. â€œSo Kijiji is going to have to take a long-term view if they want to gain any traction.â€