GenieTown launches today, just like CitySearch, Yelp and Craigslist before it for local services such as plumbers, electricians and other such service providers. The initial piece on TechCrunch signals two details that might help and hinder this business.
Michael Arrington points out that the Q&A section is the best part of the strategy. From what I can tell, there’s also a provision to provide guides and articles. In the Squidoo way, this will prove to be a great move from SEO, traffic generation standpoint.
What local, SMB targeted startups have in common is the chicken and egg, critical mass problem. Furthermore, locally targeted businesses always have trouble signing up SMBs to varying degrees. The ability to creatively and effectively sign up businesses and customers provides the most important differentiation.
Commenter #2 Dito writes:
It doesn’t allow you to link back to your company’s website. worthless.
Like many of the local, long tail startups, it’s not immediately useful enough to start. This exacerbates the chicken and egg problem. Similarly, you might not like the dismissal offered in the above comment but it’s correct by and large in that one-liner way.
I like the overall concept, but there are some things I’d do differently. And it’s interesting to watch how other startups hop into a somewhat similar sandbox as we’ll be entering.