Monday, October 20, 2008
Boo Rah Gets a Rah From Me
I love UGC review sites. Love them. Sites like Yelp are a great place to find out about places you haven't yet tried, and if you can learn to take a more holistic view, not taking one review as gospel in other words, then you really can get a phenomenal perspective on a place. I bring up the holistic view, because I have friends that own a store, and their competitor down the block does patently transparent flame reviews.
So I was happy to learn about Boorah, a UGC site with a different process for collecting and providing such reviews.
The first thing I like about this site are the boo rahs, which are naturally thumbs downs and thumbs up respectively. They average the ratings and provide these fun little ratings thermometers:
But the real difference in this site is the use of what they call a Natural Language Processing system that helps collect reviews and parse them into topics that can be considered quickly as part of the reviews.
Here's their self description:
BooRah is the ultimate, personalized review guide providing consumers a smarter way to find great restaurants. BooRah's patent-pending natural language processing technology automatically summarizes a collection of online reviews from bloggers, professional critics and consumers, and allows consumers to search based on their personal preferences. By capturing the community vibe and social essence of existing online groups, and comparing the results to an individual's search criteria, BooRah delivers unsurpassed relevance with the broadest community reach.
BooRah's service helps consumers achieve their ideal dining experience by allowing them to search thousands of restaurants to meet their individual requirements. BooRah currently delivers pertinent information gathered from over 1.5 million online restaurant reviews in the top 20 metros across the United States including San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.
Our system uses patent-pending Natural Language Processing technology to generate quantitative scores for domain specific attributes from plain English text, automatic summaries from most relevant user sentiments and enables a highly customizable search based on personal preferences. This technology can be extended way beyond restaurants and will revolutionize the concept of business and service search.
The reviews themselves are actually collected from across the web, making it a sort of Open ID for the restaurants reviewed. You can go to one place and see reviews from a variety of sites.
For restaurant owners, they offer free sign up, a unique dashboard that helps the owner track new comments and ratings, and a variety of paid marketing opportunities including advertising and a loyalty program that allows you to offer paid discounts and communicate with opt in users.
It's a great site, and one you should visit the next time you want to hear about any restaurant around.
Thanks for reading, and don't forget to write.