I am always on the look out for new and additional ways to get small businesses listed locally on-line.  A few months ago, YellowBot was created.  From what I saw, it looked very interesting so I decided to do some more research.  I contacted them and Erron Silverstein, Chief Executive Officer of YellowBot was kind enough to give me some time for an interview.

Q. What is YellowBot?
A. YellowBot is an online community designed to help people find businesses and make informed decisions.

Q. What makes YellowBot different?
A. YellowBot has a geospatial local search (not just a keyword search). We also use a simple clean user interface. Our users create their own taxonomy through tagging power and change their local search results.

YellowBot does not have structured categories; it uses tags rather than a hierarchy of super category, category and sub-category. We also aggregate information throughout the Internet about businesses and allow our users to build up a network of friends and family for them to share the experiences and recommendations about businesses.

[Very important point here, No categories]

Q. Erron, can define a tag for my readers?
A. A tag is just a keyword to describe a business.  It can be defined by a YellowBot user, our search engine, partners, etc.  For example, if users tag a restaurant with a yellow pages-like word such as “Italian” or “pizza” or a user-defined term such as “romantic”, “kid-friendly”,”expensive”, etc. that business shows up in our search results within the geographic area of that search.  Tags can be any word our uses want them to be.

The major difference between YellowBot and most IYPs is that we want our users to define the taxonomy, not define it for them.  That means each search subsequent to a new tag gets smarter based on the accumulated actions of all users.

Q. Why should a small business use YellowBot?
A. Based on demand by numerous business owners that have contacted us, we are building a toolset for these business owners to update their information and interact with consumers which may have already visited their business or are still in the decision-making process.

Business owners can subscribe to find out about what people are saying about them throughout the Internet and can see how they are doing over time (we supply ratings overtime when historical data is available).

Q. When will the business toolset be ready? Any hints on what might be included?
A. We’re doing some closed beta testing before releasing it to the public, so you’re going to see it in the Fall.  We’d be happy to share some more information and links to see what you and your readers think once it’s live.

YellowBot will make it easy and fast for business owners to communicate with their current and potential customers by sharing accurate enhanced information and about their business and managing their reputation online.

Q. Say someone leaves a business a bad review on Yellowbot, what can the business owner do to respond to that?
A. The business owner toolset will include a function that enables businesses respond as the owner to user reviews.  Today, most users want accurate enhanced information, including both positive and negative user reviews, to make informed decisions in local search.  If there is an absence of negative user reviews–or they are default-sorted out of existence–savvy users sometimes distrust the herd.  We’re building an ecosystem where both users and business owners can exchange their information and opinions.

I will hold off with my comments until tomorrow when we finish up the interview…