GigPark is a Toronto-based startup that seeks to create a network of friends so you can tap their knowledge base about local-anything, but predominantly service providers. The company has also built a Facebook application (like Loladex).
In the US there are dozens of competitors. In its home market, GigPark faces competition from ZipLocal, Torstar’s Toronto.com, iBegin and YellowPages.ca (not to mention the search engines).
The site launched in February and I was unaware of it until recently. The problem right now is that there’s basically no there there, just an aggressive effort to get people to upload their contacts and to start posting about local businesses. Literally there’s almost no content that I could find in several searches. And you can’t do any searches until you register.
If the site were widely adopted by my friends and their friends (or the parallel Facebook app) you’d have a potentially rich database of content. But the site hasn’t bought a commercial database (InfoUSA, Axciom, Localeze, iBegin Source) so that there’s at least some content to jump start that process. This is the chicken and egg problem taken to new levels.
However there is, apparently, content in GigPark’s hometown of Toronto, linked off the homepage, e.g.:
The concept behind this is of course sound. It’s populating the content that’s a challenge. The Facebook application may help. But nobody wants to be the first one at a party.