Monday, May 16, 2005

Barry and the Beacon

A few random thoughts for the day...
First off I've been getting a decent amount of traffic to my Las Vegas pages, but very little input. I think the reason for this is fairly obvious and part of the problem with Lopico in its current state. Las Vegas is a tourist town, so for the most part people don't know what the best is, so when they come to Lopico most likely they just want to use the find function, they don't have anything to add. A problem, but I know if this is going to work it's not going to be a quick process.
Second, Good old Google, is finally catching up in its Lopico coverage, I mentioned in my last post (which you didn't read) that Google had listed one page for Lopico. Now I think it's up to about 21 or so. A far cry from MSN which has 1,157 pages listed, but I'm happier. I think the difference, strangely enough, is that I put an info.txt file into my site. I've never really seen this discussed anywhere, but I had one before and Google listed a few pages, I took it off for awhile and now that it's back up Google is listing my pages again. Not sure if this is at all relevant or if it's mere coincidence. The reason I previously had an info.txt file was for Alexa. If you're not familiar with Alexa, it is a service from that ranks websites popularity. However, it only ranks sites based on traffic of people who have the alexa toolbar. My rank has been as high as 27,304 but I really don't pay much attention to the rank, because I know that I've definitely had days that I have higher traffic but lower rank. It is fairly interesting though, to see where pages approximately rank.
Next I think I'll explain the Barry and the Beacon title of this blog. These relate to two sources that are very similar to Lopico that I have come across recently. First Barry refers to web Mogul and probably one of the best businessmen anywhere Barry Diller. Barry is the CEO of interactive Corp. (IAC) the parent of sites such as,, and Citysearch. Citysearch is better than Lopico, because it has more information and has millions of dollars behind. I would one day like Lopico to have as much information as citysearch, but I want my rankings to be unbiased. If you read how Citysearch ranks its businesses, you'll notice that user vote is not the most important by far. However, now there is a new side of the site (new to me anyway) called best of Citysearch, which looks very Lopicoish, in that each business now has a vote button next to it, and there's even a spot to nominate your favorite. Fine, but I like my completely user driven site better. But really comparing Lopico to Citysearch is like comparing watermelons to raisins. IAC has an incredible portfolio of brands, I just think they need to be more closely connected, if you were on one site you probably wouldn't know it had any relation to the others. I wouldn't bring all businesses them together into one (it also owns HSN) but I think several could be combined, but Barry Diller doesn't believe in synergy. This may be changing though, IAC recently bought ask jeeves, which could develop into a Yahoo style portal. The problem is citysearch and other services are available from other web portals such as MSN, to really take advantage of the offerings of IAC needs to keep its offerings to itself (offer only through its portal) yet somehow convince people to give up their current homepage (a tough task).
The beacon refers to the Akron Beacon Journal, the newspaper in Lopico's home area. This weekend the beacon put out its best of Akron lists. This was promising for Lopico for two reasons, first some of the lists looked like they could have been taken straight from the pages of Lopico, which means so far we're pretty accurate with our listings. Second, this type of list is an honor, and as the beacons insert proved, a great place to advertise.
Last but not least I changed the look of the Lopico home page, if you've been there before (which you haven't) you'll notice that the graphic on the top of the page is brand new and the "Where the Locals Pick" graphic is gone. I like it hopefully you do too.

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