Featured Pitch: Bizwiki

By Editor November 9, 2009

Bizwiki logo 

Web Site: www.bizwiki.com

Headquarters: Aldershot, United Kingdom

Year Founded: 2006

Investors: Self-funded

Employees: 12

Company Description in 140 characters or less:

“Bizwiki.com is the user-edited Business Wiki.  Anyone from Bizwiki’s fast-growing audience can add and edit business listings for free.”

By Matt Aird, Co-Founder

Matt Aird, BizwikiBizwiki is literally a wiki for business.  The site launched in the U.S. in July 2009, promising to change the way local search works by enabling its users to build up the most detailed and up-to-date index of business using wiki-style functionality.

Three years ago myself and co-founder Keith Hinde were discussing our frustrations with the long delay and lag between when a company’s details change and when they have been updated during our work for conventional directory and “Yellow Pages” publishers.  Tens, even hundreds of thousands of important details such as a company’s addresses and phone numbers may be incorrect or out of date, but the books keep on being printed.

In a break with traditional Yellow Pages websites, Bizwiki invites business owners and representatives to get involved in adding and improving their records with everything from contact details to prices and opening hours, completely free of charge.  These can be updated with changes and additional information quickly and easily on the site.

We’re happy to say that the public response has been excellent.  The early alpha-version of Bizwiki.com was opened to the public in December 2008 with the beta following in June, and several hundred thousand people are already using it each month!  There is definitely a strong demand for the sort of information a web 2.0 business site can deliver, and the increasing amount of users on the site provides a compelling motivation for businesses to get involved in adding and editing their listings.

So why should any of your readers on StartUp Beat care?

Bizwiki.com is becoming a detailed and trusted resource, and we are gaining the hundreds of thousands needed to make it worthwhile for people to add and edit the information about businesses on the site.  We plan to build it to the point where small businesses—especially new startups and companies working online—will be driven to add and update their information in order to gain access to free traffic from the site.

That’s not to underestimate the challenges ahead, or downplay the fact that what we have built is the shell the site needs to grow into, but if all goes according to plan you should expect to hear more about Bizwiki.com in the future.

The Bizwiki difference:

• It’s free – Unlike many established publishers that charge for inclusion, Bizwiki is free to search, free to edit and free for companies to list on.
• It’s editable – The “anyone-can-edit” approach is a challenge to the frequently out of date records of conventional printed business directories.
• It’s a wiki – The wiki approach allows far more depth of information about each business to be compiled than anything conventionally available.
• It’s structured – Bizwiki is built using structured data, allowing reusability of information, bulk updates from chambers of commerce or web spiders, and an easy search experience for users.

Bizwiki was built by industry-veterans with years of business directory and meta-search experience behind them, including myself, Keith Hinde, Craig Sefton and Arthur Jenkins, who between them have helped develop directory and search products for Infospace, local directory publisher Thomson Directories, TradePage and Webcrawler.

To try the new Bizwiki site, or even add and edit a business record, visit http://www.bizwiki.com/.

For Bizwiki for the United Kingdom, visit http://www.bizwiki.co.uk/