Tag Archives: Ratings and Reviews

How Social is Yellow Pages Group in Canada?

It was one of those amazing days of incredible meetings, finalizing a new deal (wait for this one) and introductions to some incredible technologies and start-ups in the social media space. During one of those meetings, I was asked the question; “How Social is Yellow Pages Group?”.

This was one of those questions that I had to pause to give some thought. I answered by outlining some of the initiatives and realized we do a lot. So I figured this would make a good blog post.

Here are just some of the things that we are doing in the social space.

YellowPages.ca

Introduced this year, you can now login into YellowPages.ca using your Facebook Username and ID which will automatically set you up with a Yellow Pages Account. Login in the top right hand corner of the site. This initiative is lead by YPG’s social media guru, @martyboy008 and his incredible team of social media experts.

My Yellow Pages Account Sign-In Page

This sign-in allows you to rate and review businesses and share your discoveries with your social graph. For example, here is screenshot of a recent review that I wrote on the Red House Thai & Malaysia in Pickering (this is the place that started my love affair with Thai food and anybody that knows me, knows I love Pad Thai).

Read Reviews on YellowPages.ca

Finally when you connect using your Facebook Account, you can actually see what businesses your friends like.

See Which Businesses Your Friends Like

YellowPages.ca Facebook Application

The first of its kind in Canada, released in 2008 – the complete YellowPages.ca experience within the Facebook environment complete with ratings and reviews.

Facebook Application for YellowPages.ca

This one even got press coverage by CTV in June 2008 – check out the video,

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

RedFlagDeals.com

Without a doubt, RedFlagDeals.com is Canada’s most active shopping network featuring one of the most active forums discussing all the best places in Canada to find deals.

RedFlagDeals.com

For everybody looking for free stuff, one of their popular areas is Canadian Freebies & Free Stuff,

RedFlagDeals Free Stuff

Coming Soon … the RedFlagDeals.com Daily Deal,

Canada's Daily Deal of Day by RedFlagDeals.com

Urbanizer iPhone Application

Urbanizer is Canada’s first “mood-based” application for the iPhone (here is the link the iTunes Store) that works in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

Urbanizer for the iPhone - Mood Based Search

One the web you can see moods of current cities. Here is a screenshot of Calgary.

Mood in Calgary for Restaurants by Urbanizer

LesPac.com and BuySell.com Classified Sites

In the province of Quebec, LesPac.com has established itself as the leader in the classified space. In English speaking Canada there is BuySell.com, another top classified destination for Canadians.

LesPac.com - Quebec's Leading Classified Site

BuySell.com - One of Canada's Leading Classified Destinations

Restaurantica.com

One of Canada’s most engaged communities, Restaurantica.com features over 200,000 reviews on restaurants.

Restaurant Reviews on Restaurantica.com

New Additions to the Social Family of Yellow Pages Group

Urban Pill

One of the leading blog destinations for what is happening in Vancouver, UrbanPill.com is pretty cool to follow if you live or plan on visiting Vancouver.

Vancouver Based Entertainment Blog

GigPark

GigPark is a social recommendation engine that was built by @pema and @noahgodfrey (these guys kick-ass in the Canadian tech space) – who sold this platform to CanPages in 2009.

GigPark Social Recommendation Engine

Quick Links to the Social Destinations for the Above

YellowPages.ca on Facebook
YellowPages.ca on Twitter (managed by @zelia, YPG’s super crazy social media communicator)
PagesJaunes.ca on Twitter
Yellow Pages Group Local Video Channel on YouTube
Yellow Pages Group Ad Campaigns on YouTube
Yellow Pages Group on LinkedIn
YellowPages Mobile on Twitter
Urbanizer on Twitter
RedFlagDeals.com on Twitter
RedFlagDeals.com on Facebook
Restaurantica.com on Facebook

Funny thing, on the phone this took all about 2-minutes, this blog post took a little bit longer. Perhaps I should have done just a video.

Tell me what you think – did you enjoy this post? Any feedback?

Are Canadians Checking In?

There is no doubt about it, if you follow the online local space that Check-In is “In” for 2010. A recent article on Mashable, “Foursquare’s Growth Not Slowing Down: 725,000 Users, 22 Million Checkins” definitely proves the point for this 1-year old startup organization.

In February I did a post on my FourSquare experience that you can read on my initial experiences and the impact on local.

A couple of days, one of my work colleagues, Mohamed Kahlain, follow him on Twitter, sent me the link to CheckIn Mania, a mashup that features checkins from FourSquare, GoWalla and Britekite. This was originally posted on Mashable.

In a nutshell what CheckIn Mania does is allows you to enter any city, click on the map and select a business. Once you select a business you can see who is the mayor of that place + how many checkins to that business and any tips. You also have the ability to select the “Search by Map” which is a neat feature that allows you to move the map and the locations update as opposed to updating the locations by click.

Here is the screenshot with one of my favorite restaurants (of which I am in the Mayor in Calgary) called Spicy Hut.

Check In Mania for Calgary and Spicy Hut

It is no secret that any of the location based services listed above have the highest penetration in major US markets like San Francisco and New York, but what about Canada?

Are Canadians checking in?

So I decided to spot check some businesses in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal to see how active Canadian’s are. I decided to focus on Restaurants. My selection criteria for which restaurants and spas to choose was as following, In Google I did a local search and selected business #3 in their 7-pack. In YellowPages.ca, I selected the #8 business and in Yelp.ca I selected business #6. This would give me a random sample of businesses. I also limited this to FourSquare as this is the most popular check-in service.

Here are my findings.

Vancouver Restaurants:
C Restaurant (selected from Google) – 9 checkins
Tojo’s Restaurant (selected from Yelp) – 33 checkins
Top Of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant (selected from Yellowpages.ca) – 17 checkins

Calgary Restaurants
Calgary Marriott Hotel (selected from Google) – 21 checkins
Capo Restaurant (selected from Yelp) – 5 checkins
Karma Fine Indian Cuisine (selected from YellowPages.ca) – 2 checkins

Toronto Restaurants
Bistro 990 Restaurant (selected from Google, this is actually listing #4) – 11 checkins
Pomegranate Restaurant (selected from Yelp) – 8 checkins
The Real Jerk (selected from YellowPages.ca) – 34 checkins

Montreal Restaurants
Restaurant Toqué (selected from Google) – 5 checkins
Santos (selected from Yelp, actually #8) – 40 checkins
Arahova Souvlaki (selected from YellowPages.ca) – 15 checksin

The only thing that surprised me about the above results is Toronto. I would have expected to Toronto to come in closer to Montreal in terms of checkins because of population concentration and smartphone penetration. However, this might be a result of the fact that Toronto does not have the density of Montreal (land mass to population size), which might also explain why Vancouver is more comparative to Montreal. Calgary actually holds it own, relative to its population size and the fact that Calgary.

Although comparatively to the US, Canada is not at the 1/10 rule (see some US results below), it is pretty clear to me that Canadians in the large urban markets have started to embrace checkin. This group, like in the US, are the ones at the start of the product curve and the big question going forward is whether checkin services will hit mass adoption.

How does this compare to the top US cities. Here are the results for San Francisco and New York using the same process as above. I used YellowPages.com as the 3rd source.

San Francisco Restaurants
Zuni Cafe (selected from Google) – 459 checkins
R & G Lounge (selected from Yelp) – 296 checkins
Cote Sud (selected from YellowPages.com) – 6 checkins

New York Restaurants
Spring Street Natural Restaurant (selected from Google) – 495 checkins
La Sirene (selected from Yelp) – 52 checksin
Serendipity 3 (selected from YellowPages.com) – 236 checkins

First Look – Screenshots of the new YellowPages.ca

Last week I had the pleasure of posting screenshots on the new YellowPages.ca iPhone Application launch – check out that post to see those pictures, this week I get the pleasure of posting screenshots on the new YellowPages.ca.

Canada’s Largest Online Directory has just launched its most ambitious release. This release includes some new features that are sure to please users. I will follow this posting up with a more detailed look at the new features, but here are some screenshots and highlights.

Of course the best way to experience this new platform is to check it our yourself at YellowPages.ca.

New YellowPages.ca Home Page

You will notice some new features on the home page. Type-ahead, links to Deals, provided by RedFladDeals.com and new Dining Guide provided by Restaurantica.com.

New YellowPages.ca Home page

Deals from RedFlagDeals.com

Deals Provided by RedFlagDeals.com

Dining Guide by Restaurantica.com

Dining Guide by Restaurantica.com

New Search Results Page

Here I did a search for Restaurants in Calgary.

Restaurant in Calgary Search

On this page, notice a few items. At the top of the screen – towards the right hand side you will notice that I am now logged into YellowPages.ca using my Facebook Account. You will want to do this as this is what is going to allow you to rate and review businesses.

Logged in Using Facebook Connect

Another neat feature is when you have a listing that has lots of individual listings in a city, for example, big chain restaurants. Here is a search for Restaurants in Toronto and you will notice the listing for Mandarin Restaurant expanded to show me locations.

Mandarin Restaurant Listing in Toronto Expanded to Show All Listings

New Merchant Page With Ratings and Reviews

Here is a search for Monty’s Crab Shack in Calgary.

Monty's Crab Shack

If you are the first to review this business, select the review this business icon and you will be presented with the following pop-up window:

Monty's Crab Shack Reviewing

Finally if you are looking at a listing that does not contain any enhanced content information, YellowPages.ca will suggest other places that are similar that contain enhanced information. Here is a search for Badass Jacks Subs and Wraps in Edmonton.

Similar Businesses to Badass Jacks and Subs in Edmonton

Focus on Mobile

New YellowPages.ca Mobile section featuring direct access to all the popular device applications such as iPhone, Blackberry, Android and Palm.

YellowPages.ca Mobile Application Centre

The Video Channel continues to get it home page exposure and is fast becoming the source of local video searches in Canada. Check out my original post for YellowPages.ca Video Channel Get Home Page Exposure.

In my opinion, the Online Services team at Yellow Pages Group did a great job pulling this together. From my perspective, always great to working with a team of incredibly talented individuals who can make big projects like this happen. I am proud of their work.

So what do you think?