Your city buddy
Well, there are city search engines and more city search engines. Every city worth its name has one or has folks with entrepreneurial spirit unleash one.
Why the barrage of them, you ask? Well, the ‘biggie’ search engine guys have found that search engine data show many users – roughly between 5% to 30% – searching for local or geography based queries which, in turn, lead them to a buying / availing a service decision. As there is money or potential money to be made catering to these folks searching, well, you get the idea. Of course, moving onto a revenue model at the outset is tricky so things do take time.
Bangalore is no exception to these online services. There are many local search engines here – a simple type on google with “Bangalore, local, city search engines” will give you a number of them and more. Here at MB, we’ve even profiled one of them. If you’ve gotten over that one, here’s one more for you.
It all started a while ago when Sumeeta moved in to Bangalore from Bhubaneshwar around August 2006. Bangalore captured her heart immediately and with gusto, she went around finding places to check out, eat at and shop. Not satisfied with the results of her searches online, she decided to do something about it. Hence was born mycitybuddy, a city search engine for the web and mobile, that lists only the best businesses in the city. In-depth information about each business address, description, maps and driving directions, ratings and reviews, panoramic images with multimedia content, contact tools like email and SMS are her site’s USP.
She readily admits that MyCityBuddy is still in its infant stage and a lot of ground work is being done on the features before a formal launch is announced, perhaps, in 2008. Currently, users can get loads of info on hotels, restaurants, pubs, shops, travel, airlines etc and work is ongoing to have other services like service apartments, movies, theatres etc. Users can also rate and recommend businesses to ensure their trustworthiness. Plans are afoot, she adds, to introduce the service to other metros as well.
Personally, I found two unique things about MyCityBuddy- their SMS Mobile search engine where customers can SMS their search queries to 56006 and search results are sent back to their mobile within seconds. I tried ‘Barista’ and was given many options. Replying again with the option number got me further details on the exact location of the coffee shop with tel. numbers. Saying ‘how convenient’ would be an understatement. Secondly, MyCityBuddy guides users/customers to the exact location of their search via Google maps. To those who are even more tech savvy, they plan to give you latitude and longitude data as well so that your GPS thingamajigs can find the place too!
Savvy businessfolk can also contact MyCityBuddy to use their SMS promotional tool to offer special deals, promos and coupons etc to customers. MyCityBuddy also has inplace a text ticketing system that will allow users to book tickets from anywhere, anytime.
All one can say is that, in this day and age of innovation & enterprise, Bangalore certainly is not lacking in entrepreneurs who have a flair for seizing opportunities & capitalizing on the same.