Two significant trends are changing the world as we knew it;
- There is a tidal wave of honesty and openness riding through online society, previously bad experiences were shared at the pub and over coffee. Today people can share their experiences with thousands of others using blogs, forums…
- The power of peer production in communities, social networks, wikis and crowdsourcing projects is showing itself in many places where we had assumed we already had the solution; the way it was, and the way that it would always be. Its opening up new ways and new possibilities of openness and collaboration. Maybe that’s why a good friend gave me a book for Christmas titled ‘ We are smarter than me’
Traditional IYP’s from Sensis, Yell, Superpages, BT, Bell Canada, Eniro… have provided a great service for many years. They have moved their offerings on to the internet and again provided a valuable service. Indeed, I was responsible for one of them.
The Brownbook is the next step, in a World where the fact is, that more people are doing good than doing bad:
- Businesses owners know their own address, their own contact details, they know where they would like to get business from and what type of business they are, so The Brownbook lets businesses express these using real words, there is no rigid classification structure. The Brownbook provides the platform for the business owner to input these details directly, maintain them and keep a watch on them.
- As users of IYP services, we all see errors in existing IYP listings and we are powerless to change them in any way. With The Brownbook we can all instantly make changes, corrections and additions.
- Because the data in The Brownbook is owned by everyone we can all use it however we want. Every entry is tagged using microformats, its open content, we can all use it, from developers right through to simply exporting a businesses details directly to your PDA or your Outlook contacts.
- Because The Brownbook is open, we all have the freedom to write reviews against a business, good or bad, or just informative.
- The BrownBook overheads are very low so the costs for everyone is zero, unless you are business that chooses to be notified automatically when a change or a review is added to your listing, in which case it is £5 per year. There is no need for agents to cleans data, a sales force to go out and sell advertising, a marketing department to advertise to you, or an order entry department to enter business details.
In summary, the advantages of The Brownbook over traditional IYP’s are that; The Brownbook is as current as we all make it, its as ‘open’ as it can be so that we can all benefit, and its free to everyone.
We LOVE the peer-produced web.