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Introducing YouMagix – a unique social experiment in local listing/classifieds business

YouMagix, a Bangalore based startup is the newest entrant in the world of local business listings – except that it’s not the regular listing site.If you have been following our coverage of local search market, one of the things that I have always emphasized is that

  • It’s not easy to beat Google in search – be it the www search or the local search (and now Google is hiring locals to track the entire business listing! Can you beat that?)
  • Why not try something unique? Why not build services around search (just the way OnYoMo is doing)

youmagix - user generated listing service

YouMagix is an early stage startup and I am glad to see that these guys are thinking on a different line – YouMagix is trying to be the wikipedia of listing business (as far as generating content is concerned); and YouMagix isn’t trying to copy the regular business listings – but listings that are relevant in your day to day life.

As Subodh, founder of YouMagix mentions:

When Time magazine named “You” as person of the year, a few blinked in surprise and the most looked with amazement at a paradigm shift in the way worlds destiny is being shaped. The tectonic shift was from a few powerful making a difference to world’s destiny to billions small contributions of billions of people creating & shaping the collective destiny of mankind.

As YouMagix becomes available to millions, it faces the same power and challenges faced by other user powered platforms. The biggest being to protect and support the productive work of 99% of do-gooders from destruction by 1% brains with inverted priorities. Second, but equally important is of providing open and easy to use platform that spurs contributions from everyone.

YouMagix has taken care of these two key challenges. First, by a robust versioning system to protect the contributions Secondly, technology team has taken extreme care to keep it easy to use by making it available to everyone without even a need of creating an account.

The technology platform also includes myriads of small innovations such as keeping the automated bot attacks away while not causing inconvenience to genuine visitors.

The way YouMagix works is that you can search for a business listing as well as add business listings. You can post your own reviews or read thru’ others. Like Wikipedia, you need not be logged in to do all this. In short, YouMagix relies on User generated content and now the yellow pages/databases for the listings.

My feedback:

Though YouMagix sounds like an ideal world solution, the challenges in the Indian market are aplenty – especially with regards to information hoarding by middlemen (esp. the classifieds business), and of course the lack of any standard database (more about that in a later post).
Moreover, I strongly believe that giving away a blank canvas and expecting your users to paint that is asking for too much. YouMagix doesn’t have any relevant seed content and though one can always quote Wikipedia (and strong UGC), I still believe that Indian audience needs to be trained when it comes to UGC.

Do give YouMagix a spin and share your comment.

I’d love to know your thoughts on these points – Will you use this service? If yes, will you add listings? If not, why not?

tags: youmagix, local search market

Related: Analysis of local content players, Interview with Anand, founder of tolmolbol (text, podcast)

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