Our vision is that every business and organization will eventually have a web site to market their company, products, and services. Users will migrate from the off-line yellow pages to the web to find and contact local businesses. Current online search tools do a good job of indexing the web, but finding location-specific businesses is haphazard and inaccurate. We focus on cataloging every business and organization web site into a single commercial database so that users can quickly and easily find local, national, or global businesses online.
1. Become the definitive source for listing & displaying business & organization web site information. Similar to the off-line yellow pages, we want to be the single source of information about every commercial web site and keep it the most current and up-to-date.
2. Instead of becoming a destination site, we deliver our robust database to navigation sites (search engines & directories), media companies, local portals & government sites, and any other web property that want to help their users find a complete source of business web sites in one spot.
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3. Help manage the navigation tools at the smaller sites by delivering navigation data and allowing them to outsource their search engine content maintenance to create a network of smaller portals that share navigation content and resources.
We have developed technology to spider the web and categorize & database commerical sites. The technology is similar to a search engine spider in that it gathers the URL and description of sites by following links. But we use a process that assigns each link to one of our 15,000 yellow-pages type categories by using specific keywords and comparing where it is categorized in other online databases. Also, our spider gathers business contact information, such as address, phone numbers, and email information. This allows us to follow-up our efforts with a direct contact to each business to ensure their listing information and category is correct.
Our active technique ensures we gather 5 times more web sites in each category than the average online directory maintains. By categorizing each listing and recording the contact data, we provide much-needed "periphery" for the web: our technique allows the user to see all of the particular businesses in a particular geographic location. It is a cross between the yellow pages and an online search engine of web sites.
The process of updating our data is one the most robust on the web. First our spider revisits each site at least once every quarter to verify the information. Unlike other services & software that just check if a link is "live," we can tell if the site is under contraction, or the domain name is for sale, or other signs that the business is unavailable although the link remains active. More importantly, we e-mail the business at least once a year for changes, and reward companies that respond with a higher ranking. This gives us a good repsonse rate and ensures a proactive interest from each company to keep their data up-to-date.
The primary targets are those established portal and navigation sites online that have a need to deliver this content. These include:
Web-based directories and search engines, such as yahoo, excite, lycos
Business directories and smaller search portals
Industry-related sites & portals (apparel.net, lawyers.com, etc.)
Media sites (newspapers, television stations, radio)
Direct mail services & mailing list providers
Content providers & other infomediaries
Together I have databased 500,000 web sites so far, and many of them are businesses in these categories. Each listing includes a link, business name, address, phone numbers, and email. For our meeting next week, I will provide an Access database of all the companies I have categorized in these fields.
I want to see if there is a need for my product in any of the markets that I"ve described above. My biggest concern is finding a market for the product I"ve developed, and these questions might help answer that.
What is their biggest need in terms of their site?
Do they maintain a listing of links to web sites relating to their field?
How do they add new information and keep existing information current?
How much time and money is spent on managing this data?
Would they be willing to share this data with us, in return for receiving the information shared by other sites in our network?
If we could save them time and money, would they be willing to outsource the management and upkeep of this information?
Do they have a need for the type of data we"ve gathered and services we provide?
Do they think their users would benefit from being able to find a complete listing of other web sites related to their subject matter?
Would they be willing to pay to use our current and complete database at their site?
Who else would be willing to use this data? What other types of businesses have I"ve missed?
For an example to goal #3 above, it takes a lot of time & energy for a local portal to gather the links of businesses in their area. They only catch the ones that are submitted to them, or the ones they find using their human editors. Likewise, a site focusing on the apparel industry can use a lot of energy & effort to record and display links to clothing & fashion sites in its industry. On the maintenance side, it can be time consuming to categorize their listings, check them to make sure they are current, and modify/delete old & dead links.
We want to partner with each site and provide the infomediary to exchange data: since they both share data with Speedy Pete"s database, they have access to not only our spider"s adds, but the other site"s listings, as well. The local portal may have listings related to the clothing industry that the apparel portal does not have and vice versa. We keep the data current and updated using our technology, and deliver a robust database of "shared" navigation data to each site.
Remember. This is just a sample.
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