Judy’s Facelift

I invested in Judy’s Book around Thanksgiving and wrote a long post about why I made the investment.  Earlier this week, Judy’s Book rolled out a major release which we’ve been fondly referring to “the facelift.”  The front end is significantly changed (and improved based on user feedback) as are a bunch of things under the hood.  In addition – like many good “early versions” – there were a lot of architectural changes made to make it much easier to rapidly roll out new functionality now that we have a pretty good sense of where we are going.

For the techies in the audience, we’re now supporting WOPM (“write once publish many”) where you can create a review in Judy’s Book and have it published automagically on your blog (TypePad, LiveJournal, Blogger, WordPress, and Movable Type are currently supported).  Oh – and these are formatted using the hReview microformat (hmmm – wonder where we are going with that? – remember – I said we made architectural changes to make it easier to roll out new functionality.)  There are plenty of RSS feeds easily discoverable to see what people are writing about in each city in the US, or – if you just want to see what a particular person is writing about, you can subscribe to their feed alsoMembers get their own pages with a user-definable URL – think “platform” for this if you want a sense of where things are going.

For the non-techies (and techies) in the audience, give it a whirl and give us feedback.  We are providing some financial incentives over the next three weeks – $100 gift certificate each day to the person that writes the most new reviews that day – so don’t be bashful.

  • I like the new look. Besides the new stuff, I have always liked the way that I didn’t have too much work to write a review — other than the review itself.

    Riffs was cool — until I had to find and upload images myself to write a decent review. That got really old.

  • I like Judy’s Book and I was first introduced to it through this blog. It would be great to get the Chamber of Commerce of different cities to promote it. Through grassroots promotion it could be even more successful.

  • I like Judy’s Book and I was first introduced to it through this blog. It would be great to get the Chamber of Commerce of different cities to promote it. Through grassroots promotion it could be even more successful.

  • 【他们说】和菜头:霍元甲二三事

  • I am relatively indifferent to the new look, but I continue to be dissatisfied with the Judy’s Book categorization. I frequently find miscategorized entries (ex. Stucci’s Ice Cream – obviously an ice cream shop, is under “Restaurants” rather than the more appropriate “Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt” or “Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts.” I have submitted feedback to Judy’s Book regarding this and other similar errors (a restaurant listed in “Miscellaneous”) but have only recieved automated responses and the listings have not been corrected. I suggest two solutions to the problem of categorization. First, there should be some mechanism for user-driven categorization. This might be subjected to approval by a Judy’s Book staffer or by other users (“It has been suggested that this listing should be categorized in X. Do you agree or disagree?”). Second, in such a database, there is no need for each listing to be limited to just one category, if more than one is appropriate. In the above example, Stucci’s Ice Cream could be listed in both “Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt” and “Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts,” as well as (less intuitively, and therefore more helpful to users) “Soup.”

    Another area in which I have noticed large potential for improvement is in chains. There should be some relation between (for example) Le Dog on Liberty St in Ann Arbor, MI, and Le Dog on Main St in Ann Arbor, especially when (as often seems to be the case) one location of the chain is reviewed and others are not.

  • Eric

    Here is what I don’t understand. If I am a small business and I get some jack$$$ customer that comes in wants the special which is a sandwich, but wants a different sandwich and wants a shake instead of a malt,etc. and I tell her no and she comes on the site and badmouths my business. Do I get a chance to defend myself? I’m just worried about customers holding small businsses hostage with sites like this.

    Just a comment.

  • Eric – here’s a comment from Chris DeVore – one of the co-founders of Judy’s Book – after I asked him about your issue.

    Merchant rebuttals to consumer reviews are the #1-with-a-bullet feature request from the merchant team. Don’t have a ship date yet, but business & technical design is underway.

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