November 11, 2010
Trying to find the best local pizza place, a great dive bar or the hottest happy hour in town can sometimes take time and be a daunting task. You can try Yelp or UrbanSpoon but may end up missing the granular information you want about the exact things you are looking for. Or your could just try everything – the trial and error approach – which could be time consuming and risky depending on the way things go down. To help with this task, last night Mountain View, California based Bizzy celebrated its successful launch.
Bizzy offers a quick question and answer game to find out about your favorite local businesses. Your favorites are mapped to people with similar preferences, creating a basis for recommendations. Bizzy uses collaborative filtering and algorithms to then offer personalized, local business recommendations based on the places you consider your favorites (once they roll out in your neck of the woods).
The Bizzy experience reminds me of New York-based Hunch, but focused on local areas, leading you through 20 questions as part of the registration process. It asks you questions about everything from your favorite barbershop to your favorite place to go for a birthday cake. After the initial 20 questions, Bizzy will either have additional questions for you or start to send you recommendations. Bizzy has rolled out in San Francisco and will launch recommendations for other locations based on the amount of data contributed about those areas.
It’s worth noting that Bizzy is not really a startup but rather a wholly-owned subsidiary of ReachLocal (Nasdaq: RLOC), a player in the local online advertising space, which means they have some money behind them. It also raises the question about what Bizzy is going to do with the data it collects from its users. Obviously, there is a bigger picture here strategically as they look to grow the ReachLocal business.
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