StreetAdvisor.com, an entry into the "neighborhood rating" game, is revising and upgrading their site.
A press release dated Aug 1 says this about StreetAdvisor:
StreetAdvisor Launches New Services, Gives People Greater Insight into What It’s Really Like to Live Somewhere
StreetAdvisor lets home owners, buyers, and renters share their experiences at the street, neighborhood, city and state levels
SAN FRANCISCO – August 1, 2007 — StreetAdvisor.com today introduced a suite of new upgrades to its popular online community, giving homeowners, renters, and buyers a place to review, share, and learn exactly what it’s like to live somewhere.
StreetAdvisor.com is an entirely new kind of online real estate community powered by crowd-sourced reviews, photos, and videos. The new StreetAdvisor provides a real-life "insider" view making it the essential guidebook to finding the right street to call home, connecting with neighbors, and discovering new things, documented by the people who have lived there.
Consumers can learn and share vital details about where they live including noise levels, traffic, neighbors, entertainment, and public services, etc., much in the same way people share their experiences with products and travel at popular online shopping and travel sites. It also allows for firsthand recommendations and negative experiences about local businesses, entertainment, services, lifestyle, and back road gems.
I first heard about StreetAdvisor back in March from a TechCrunch post. I took a peak back then, and while the site was well put together and quite slick and cool in a Web 2.0 sort of way, it was completely devoid of content for the Phoenix area.
So I took another look today. 4 months later there are a total of 5 "streets" (neighborhoods) reviewed in Phoenix–the most recent review being completed in May.
Review counts for other major cities in the Phoenix Metro Area:
Hmmm….. fifth largest metro area in the United States and there are a total of six reviews….
Thinking that maybe it's just a Phoenix thing, I looked at the number of reviews in some other large cities
New York City: 24 (here is one NYC area bloggers thoughts)
Los Angeles: 13
StreetAdvisor is very "social networky" and is going to have to build up a large base of people willing to write, photograph and shoot video of neighborhoods. Lots of social networks start off with slow growth, but as it tends to be "viral", growth at some point typically takes off, or the network dies.
Given that StreetAdvisor has been around since at least the May 29 TechCrunch article, and given what appears to be very limited use / acceptance, I'm not so sure this one is going to make it. Some of the marketing material I got from them today said:
The site has been hugely popular and was applauded for giving homeowners and renters a voice online instead of simply focusing on housing values, sales, etc.
It would be interesting to see what areas of the country have experienced "huge popularity". Apparently I'm missing something.
There is a lot of potential for this site, but they face a great deal of competition from a plethora of others like city-data, Zillow's Wiki, Trulia Voices, and even Point2's Neighborhoods application on Facebook, to name but a few. Looks like they are going to spool up some nifty features that could be a boon for both real estate consumers and professionals. From the press release (which I'd link to, but I don't think it's out yet. It was emailed to me):
Street, City, State, Country Level Contributions
Now, in addition to street reviews, people can contribute and read content for cities, states, and countries.
The new StreetAdvisor features upgraded guidebooks that now include four broader categories with options to create additional topics to help channel content related to the quality of life at each level.
“StreetCred” Point System
To recognize member contributions, each person earns points the more they participate, achieving a StreetCred rating from 1 to 5. Active participants who earn a higher ranking can also earn cool prizes.
Local Expert Program
The person with the most amount of StreetCred per city will become the "Local Expert," which is a great opportunity for residents or service providers to share their expertise with others seeking inside information, shopping, entertainment recommendations, or help with buying and selling homes.
“Premium” Billboards provide banner style sponsorships seeded down to all the streets within the city slot with first rights for renewal.
“Base” sponsorship’s are similar to Google Adsense, with two slots available per city.
Here is today's TechCrunch article, which includes comments from Adam Spencer, one of StreetAdvisors founders. I'll be shocked if he pops by this little corner of the blogiverse, but I sure would like his take on how StreetAdvisor plans to "seed" the community growth and what they may have planned for both the real estate agent, as well as consumer.
[tags]StreetAdvisor, streetadvisor.com, real estate social network[/tags]