Search and Directories - Time for a Real Change
By Arthur Browning
A strong integration of social networking, blogs, and search will be important to success in ecommerce for the near future. Bloggers reportedly drive qualified traffic, comparable to major news sites. The relationship between social networks, search engines, and blogs confirms what we already know about word-of-mouth and telephone directories in the real world, but it can be much more efficient on the net.
Ebay.com has already devised, and systematically refined, a word-of-mouth system over the last 10 years. If you aren't familiar with this system you should see how feedback is left by any member, buyer or seller, for every transaction. Comments are encouraged and are easily read by any member about themselves or other members.
Ebay.com also has a some interesting numbers prominently displayed next to the members name. These numbers show: 1) how many transactions a member has made totally and 2) the percent of those transactions that were rated as satisfactory by the cotransactor. These numbers say a great deal to Ebay.com members.
From these two numbers alone you can see much business a member has transacted and how happy are their customers. Many Ebay members won't transact with members holding less than a 97%. Some Ebay members won't transact with other members unless they hold over 100 transactions and have a 99 -100% rating.
I can't remember seeing any members, recently, that have less than a 95% rating. And there is a somewhat effective system for determining what members are overly critical in their judgments. Ebay also provides a dispute resolution process. And there are discussion forums available as well.
Similar systems will find their way to all internet transactors because they work. They are not foolproof but I have seen Ebay's system work very well at weeding out the manipulators and con artists, and at the same time promote the honest and helpful members.
A legitimate, comprehensive Web directory is long overdue. The search engines have been able to stay just ahead of a truly legitimate directory by some refinements, but they have been so profit-motivated and controlling in their changes and methods that their days as major sources of the "information" pie graph are numbered.
About the Author
Web Templates Blog
Arthur Browning began his career teaching technical writing in a small midwestern university for 15 years. He later editted and published a national professional journal for some ten years. He is now an investor. His interests include art collecting, web marketing, writing.
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