Today I am speaking with George Oji, Founder of Jippidy.com, small business video yellow pages.
Q. What is Jippidy?
A. We believe that the results produced from local searches should be user-generated results. Meaning in our view, the business owner is best positioned entity to sell a product to the consumer. Essentially we’re pitching a Myspace flat form for businesses, where businesses can add videos, pictures or coupons as they see fit to their profiles
Jippidy is then a user-generated small business video yellow pages site that connects local businesses with consumers. As user on Jippidy, you can create a business or a personal profile and if the choose to, they can create both under the same username. Take a look at the 2 images below, it is a personal and business profile for the same user.
Q. How did Jippidy come about?
A. The idea of Jippidy came about when one of my best friend Jeffrey and I were in Vegas. We wanted to go out but didn’t want to do the usual tourist clubs. We basically ended up surfing the web looking for places and listening to the radio for suggestion. When we found ideas and then searched on the web we found nothing but pictures which as a tourist to the city was of little use. That is when we realized that the future of local advertising is definitely going to be video.
Q. Where did you get the name from?
A. Actually, Jippidy is the nickname my business partner (Jeffrey Kim) goes by. Jeffrey and I founded Jippidy. Link to his Myspace profile is here.
Q.Is Jippidy nationwide?
A. Yes Jippidy is nationwide. But we just launched recently so some areas in the U.S don’t have much content yet. But by middle of August we should have a database of all U.S businesses on the website. With regard to strategy, we have an L.A and S.F team and those are the two areas we’re focusing on. We do have a nationwide strategy but that’s an internet based strategy. Our brick and morter strategy is a land based strategy focused on L.A and S.F.
Q. Is there a fee involved?
A. We believe that you cannot charge small business owners to use this service. For example, Citysearch charges a fee for local businesses to take over their profile and update it with pictures or video. But there’s a conflict of interest if Citysearch is trying to provide a complete, dynamic up to date product for the consumer. If they charge businesses owners, not all business owners will subscribe to their service and thus ultimately the end result is an inferior product.
Q. Do you allow reviews?
A. We have a review section similar to Yelp. Yelp is a website solely based on reviews, while we believe that reviews are very important, they are secondary/supplemental to the user-generated profiles. We believe that down the line reviews will serve as a secondary tool to learn more about an establishment after you have reviewed and fully analyzed profiles. While Yelp is a good product now it will soon be outdated or of a lower importance as soon as video catches on.
Q. Why do you see video being an important aspect for small business to use?
A. Not to sound cliche, but if a picture is worth a thousand words what is a video worth? Secondly, video will go a long way in aiding the consumer make a decision. Look at Yelp as an example and what they’ve been able to accomplish for the consumer using reviews. Simply put, any product that can reduce or eliminate a consumer’s uncertainty about purchasing a service will be very valuable; nothing can accomplish this better than video. Also, if you’ve been following the local search market, you’ve probably noticed that local businesses are starting to complain of consumers using their Yelping power to take advantage local business owners. Jippidy will be a sort of anti-Yelp, giving the local business owner a voice and a say. You can read our blog at blog.jippidy.com if you need more clarity on our my Yelp comment.
Q. Where do you see local search going in near future?
A. Jippidy views the future of local search as user-generated and social. Social in the sense that the consumer will be able to interact and build relationships with the businesses in their neighborhood. I think the content in our local search results will be very dynamic and current. Its a very fun and exciting future ahead for local business search.
Thanks George, look forward to see how Jippidy does.