Click2Connect Takes a Run at Friend Filtering

A new site, Click2Connect, seeks to build a better version of local search by using Facebook’s social graph. From the release:

Bringing a deeper level of personalization to social local search, Click2Connect today launched its next-generation social local search web site and Facebook application. The new tool provides access to unique Facebook friends’ ratings and reviews of local businesses — enabling users to search qualified recommendations from friends rather than from the anonymous general population . . .

For each review, users designate themselves as “easy going,” “moderately demanding,” “demanding,” or “connoisseur,” — adding yet another layer of background qualification for the pool of reviews. Users can also view three different overall business ratings (between one and five stars): their individual rating, their network’s average rating and the general population’s rating.

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Before Click2Connect, Loladex was trying to do something almost identical but has suspended operations for the time being. There are other sites trying to offer a friends/network filtering layer on local search in different ways, among them GigPark, Goodrec and a number of others. And then there’s the integration of Facebook Connect into sites like Citysearch, which does something quite similar as well. So the idea of your friends recommendations is not new. It’s quite “old” as a matter of fact but it has been a challenge to execute well against.

I spoke with Click2Connect CEO Russell Gain and we discussed some interesting directions for the site in view of the challenges he faces. There are some novel elements here but it’s a path that others have been down without great success — not yet at least. While I could be quite wrong my view is that Click2Connect will need to try some different things and experiment before it can gain the necessary momentum. Along those lines, Gain has a good idea about how to differentiate, which I can’t discuss or he’d come after me.

The central challenge of course is to build usage. If Click2Conncet can do that it will certainly get visibility in Facebook. I did a quick, sample review during my call with Gain and subsequently a number of people commented on the review because it went out in my Facebook news feed.


3 Responses to “Click2Connect Takes a Run at Friend Filtering”

  1. Russell Gain Says:

    Thanks for the review!
    I thought it might be worth mentioning that what is currently happening on the internet with respect to merchant reviews and recommendations is the offline equivalent of walking down the street and asking perfect strangers to recommend a plumber to you.
    Its just something none of us would do.
    The oldest form of recommendation is word-of-mouth referral from people you trust and know. What we are trying to do at click2connect is bring that age old person-to-person referral system online so that your entire social network can benefit and contribute.
    We allow you to use your Facebook connections which were ready made for that type of interaction.

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    Good luck Russell and keep me posted.

  3. I Like AlikeList « Screenwerk Says:

    […] filter” to local sites, either on their own destination sites (e.g., GoodRec) or as an app on Facebook or by incorporating Facebook Connect (e.g., Citysearch). But AlikeList does this in a more […]

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