When is that? What needs?
(taking off my TrueLocal hat)
TL and other startup local search engines have significant advantages over the big search guys who are getting into it. With the exception of Yahoo (we'll have to come back to them later), I don't think LS is a priority for the big guys. Mostly, because LS is hard to monetize. It's not self service at all, and it doesn't scale.
The little guys are innovating right now at a very fast pace.
Our own Chicago has said time and time again that the YPs are something to fear. But they don't always have the technical ability. So there's a market there for backend turnkey solutions (a la Local Matters).
Oh, yeah, you mean you want features other than your basic name, rank, serial number? How many times can you make the same cool map go round and round?
I had drinks last night with a few of the MSN Local guys. One of them asked me where I see things going - typical big picture question. All I could say is "Great Plains, Small Business Server" over and over and over again. It was the only thing coming through my mouth.
But they're not leading the small business accounting world. Guess who is? Oh, yeah, QuickBooks. Hey, wait, didn't Intuit just lauch a local search site? Look at all the negative reviews they're getting... "just another LS site"... "nothing to write home about"...
Wait until realtime inventory is implemented. Intuit already has the technology infrastructure built for on demand communication of financial needs - why not go to inventory? It wouldn't be hard.
So now we have inventory data. Google wants to do that too, but MS will never partner with them.
How about Yahoo? Yahoo wants to own commerce on the Internet.
And, you still have 60% of the folks who own a high-speed internet connection but still go back to the yellow pages, mostly because they never thought to look on the Internet for what they need. Weird.
Oh, and someone still has to provide data to all of these people. Who's going to do that? And don't say "The Yellow Pages". Because there is hundreds in the US alone. And the directory companies don't sell their data.
Google is not it in this space. They are a player, but there is a lot more to be done.
Ask Jeeves sold for $2 billion.
I'm sorry you had a negative experience. I could lie to you and say we're perfect and we have no work to do, but we do. We have a tremendous amount of work to do, and I spend 18-20 hours a day doing it. So do 25 of the hardest working people I know.
But I have a lot more work to do. So does everyone else.
Things get better every day in this space.
While everyone is loudly blogging and harping on and on about AJAX, a few of us are quietly building an empire.
Who here knew that the yellow pages was a $20 billion/year business?
(putting TL hat back on)
One of my senior developers reminds me often of an old tactic in academia. You see, a good amount of scientific breakthroughs come from graduate students.
A professor will give an assignment to a grad student that the professor and the rest of the scientific community know is impossible.
But, the grad students, often unaware of the negative stigma, will find ways to solve the problem.