As internet users become more and more cautious of where they spend their cash in light of the economic downturn, the bigger the impact of website and product review websites in the purchase process. Who will you trust Dell, or some smaller firm selling desktop PC’s online?
Well we’ve had a look at Trustpilot, and this decision might become a whole lot easier. This innovative UK startup have launched a reputation monitoring service based on user comments and reviews, which are then presented to users through their website and their browser app which overlays a trust rating on top of Google results.
Checking out user reviews for a website becomes as easy as reading the colour of an icon that changes from red to green will give you an indication of how trustworthy a given company is, and by placing your pointer over that icon where additional information is displayed.
The information provided includes the percentage of approval the company has, the actual number of reviews as well as a “TrustScore”
If only I knew about this web app when I was flatting it would have made my life a whole lot easier. Expensure is a awesome little application that helps you (and your flatmates) keep track of all living costs and works out how much each person owes.
For a more detailed description of the websites features you can take a look at the tour page.
I caught up with Andrew, one of the founders and he told me a bit more about the idea and how he came up with it.
We were sitting around one day trying to work out who owed who money after about three months of bills and expenses had been accumulated. We had each paid for loads of shared stuff, and owed money for many different bills. In the middle of trying to work it all out for the tenth time we thought, why don’t we just make an app that does it all for you?
I also asked him about his marketing strategy and his reply was so great I’m going to post it here as I’m sure it will benefit a lot of people.
I think this is a very interesting question because you are in a tough position to start with because you don’t have the budget to engineer a mass media promotion, nor do you have the public profile to engineer some free promotion off the back of who you are (see twitter).
The trick is to use your wit and skill to create a 3rd approach that makes use of the emerging social media landscape of bloggers, the social grap(h)evine and making contact with a few niche publications who have ownership of the social/business area that your app will attempt to make its home.
I did find the following blog posts to contain some pretty good practical advice, that is relevant to anyone launching a web app or business:
Social network, Youmeo is brain child of 19 year old entrepreneur Calum Brannan. Calum started the site back in 2005 as “pplparty.com” then recently rebranded as the much nicer (in my opinion) Youmeo.
What I find most impressive is how much Calum has achieved in such a short space of time. Starting pplparty when he was just 15 he now heads up a 10 man team in his London office.
At 17 I went to work for Doug Richard (one of BBC2’s Dragons from Dragons Den) and his team for mobile texting company Trutap. I was working alongside world-class people with backgrounds ranging in companies such as Yahoo, Ebay and T-mobile.
When I first started the business I was working from my bedroom at my parents house whilst doing my GCSEs, then I had our whole team working from my front room until just a few months ago when we moved into office space.
In the time since the pplparty launch in 2005 the site has gained a fair bit of traction currently boasting over 400,000 members. Whilst it still has a fair way to go to make a dent in some of the big boys it seems to have a thriving community and should continue to grow with the recent sexy rebrand.
I made a post recently that showed a way of downloading songs from popular mixtape sharing website, muxtape.
After reading the article and looking at the number of tricky hoops people needed to jump though, programmer James Rose took it upon himself to make the process much quicker and easier. Simplicater was born.
It’s a very simple application. All you need to do is enter the url of the muxtape you would like to download and hit “fetch”. You’re then presented with a list of download links for all the .mp3s for that mixtape.
Twitter has a wonderfully loyal and dedicated userbase so when twitter inevitability goes down people get rather annoyed. It’s also no secret that twitter has been having some recent scaling issues so twitter has been going down noticeably often. So often in fact that it prompted someone to make a handy “is twitter down?” website.
When twitter goes down, twitabit steps up. It lets you que up tweets that will then be submitted the second twitter comes back online.
I’m haven’t tested this out yet (twitter is currently up!) but it looks like it’s a handy little app for twitter addicts. Stick it in your bookmarks then next time twitter goes down you’re covered.
IndieStartups is a blog that covers ambitious self-funded or smaller scale startups. We're not all about venture funding and million dollar investments. We're about how others have done it and how to do it yourself.