YellowPages.com on IPTV

Readers of the Uverseusers.com forum have posted screenshots of the YellowPages.com channel you can now find on AT&T’s U-verse, their IPTV play.

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(originally reported on the Zatznotfunny blog)

What it means: I often talk about media fragmentation. This is yet another good example. Surfing the Web on your TV either through a set-top box or a videogame console is something I see more and more. Make sure your content is ready for these new formats.

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Insider Pages Acquisition May Be Announced Next Week

According to TechCrunch, InsiderPages has been sold to a public company. They add: “Our understanding is that the acquisition price is more than the total capital raised by the company, but not by much.”

SFDaddyo commented that “Rumor has it that they were for sale for less than $10 million”.

Peter Krasilovsky adds on The Kelsey Group’s blog: “I would speculate that possible purchasers are probably CitySearch, Yellowpages.com, or RH Donnelley. Theoretically, Yellowpages.com and RHD would have the most to gain from such an acquisition, since they could use the 600,000+ reviews as a building block for their own review archives. Yellowpages.com, in fact, has just rolled out a review feature, and it is going to be tough to ramp it up quickly. They could also use Insider’s crack tech team. But some people’s money would actually be on CitySearch as a buyer. While CitySearch wouldn’t incorporate the technology, it would like to get ahold of the 3 million+ unique viewers that come to the site every month. It could also gain from SEOing all the businesses that are covered. I bet there isn’t even ten percent overlap with CitySearch. Theoretically, City could also integrate “Insider Advice,” a Yahoo Answers-like feature. Still….$9 million or so is a lot for what are –basically– aging reviews.”

What it means: I had tried last week to do a “back-of-the-envelope” valuation model (based on the Switchboard.com acquisition by InfoSpace) which put their value at around three to four times the total raised by the company. If TechCrunch is right (and they’re usually pretty good!), my model was faulty as it looks like they we will be sold for a little
bit more than $10 million. Which might mean that the original investors will not get much out of the transaction (there were two investment rounds). I’m not sure Citysearch would get much out of Insiderpages though. I suspect the acquirer might be one of the big three US directory companies (YellowPages.com, RHD or Superpages).

YellowPages.com Introduces User Reviews

From the press release:

YellowPages.com , a subsidiary of AT&T Inc., today announced it has rolled out user reviews to its national site, enabling consumers to share opinions on local and national businesses

The service allows consumers who register with the site to rate businesses from one to five stars, with five stars representing an “exceptional” rating. Site visitors can also write original text recapping their experience with businesses.

YellowPages.com visitors will automatically see the average rating of businesses to the right of listings, with the number of total ratings and reviews for the listing indicated in parentheses. A “Read Reviews” link allows visitors to read reviews in full, which are posted alongside the username of the reviewer and the date the review was submitted.

Update: Greg Sterling says that initial user reviews are coming from Judy’s Book their own beta test.

What it means: user reviews are now definitely a key element of any local search site. In this implementation, I like the fact that the merchant can interact with the reviews and comment back in the site a la eBay or Citysearch. I think that’s the right way to integrate user reviews.