13 Jan 2011

It’s like Facebook, LivingSocial and Angie’s List…

All rolled into one!

I love a good deal. That’s no secret. My husband thinks it’s crazy that I’ll spend half a Saturday schlepping to three different grocery stores in order to save a few dollars. (I’m not as crazy as those ‘extreme couponers’ but I do love when it’s Super Double Coupon week at Harris Teeter!)

When sites like Groupon and LivingSocial launched, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. A massage for 67% off?! Yes, please!

I also love crowdsourcing. Why not look to your family and friends for opinions. And when it comes to services for your home, what’s better than a recommendation from a neighbor?

Enter Service Alley, a new site launched by The Washington Post.

Service Alley is an online marketplace to find trusted reviews from friends, create a convenient list of your favorite service providers, and find money-saving deals and coupons from a comprehensive list of local businesses.

From the official press release:

“Service Alley is something Washingtonians need. We’ve created a trusted, comprehensive marketplace of D.C. home improvement providers, all for free. We all want to be able to trust the service providers who work in and on our homes. Service Alley allows you to see which contractors your friends have used and recommended and even keep track of those providers for future use,” said Tim Condon, Director of New Digital Ventures at The Washington Post. “We’re always thinking of ways to provide our readers with useful tools, and we’re excited to launch Service Alley today.”

Plus, users can download coupons, write reviews and create various lists of favorite service providers for future reference.

Since the site just launched, I’m sure we will see revisions/improvements over the next few months as Service Alley finds its niche. And for what it’s worth, I just did a quick search for flooring companies, and the following disclaimer was at the bottom of the search results.

* The Service Alley rank is determined by a number of factors, including ratings, reviews, Favorites listings, how complete the profile is and whether it’s a paid Plus profile. Please see the FAQ for additional info.

But I think this site has potential, and I’m looking forward to recommendations and some good deals on the Hill.

On a related note, if anyone has a recommendation for a flooring company, feel free to share!

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3 responses to “It’s like Facebook, LivingSocial and Angie’s List…”

  1. mappo says:

    “and whether it’s a paid Plus profile” says it all, doesn’t it?

  2. Tory Patrick says:

    I agree, but I think as users post their recommendations, it might be a good source at the beginning of a search for a contractor or service provider. Regardless of the sponsored listings.

  3. Tim Gillons says:

    Hi Tory,

    Thanks for the post; you did a great job of summarizing what we’re all about. We think we’ve built a pretty good initial site, but you are correct in saying that we’ll be making revisions and improvements in the coming months. We built this site for consumers, so we’ll definitely be listening to their feedback and tweak the site accordingly. In addition, the site utility will increase rapidly as more and more consumers (and service providers) use the site and Favorite, rate & review the contractors they’re using.

    In terms of how we rank service providers in search and browse results, you (and mappo) are correct in noting that having a paid (“Plus”) profile does raise the rank of a service provider. However, this is just one part of the scoring for rank, and a service provider that has been added as a Favorite to lots of list, and has many thumbs-up ratings & reviews, will have no problem getting to the top of the results. The best service providers rise to the top in the offline world, and our primary intent is to replicate this on Service Alley.

    Thanks again and feel free to contact me anytime!


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