Friday, July 04, 2008

GreenMango : Listings of consultants whom we need frequently!

I have been thinking of reviewing (for-profit) social ventures for quite sometime. This is my first review. My observations are personal and usually in terms of scalability, accessibility, sustainability and of course usability. If your social project is to be reviewed, then please send me details (to my Gmail id: malapati) along with your contact numbers. Note that I would review them selectively.

GreenMango (currently in beta) appears at the first sight as if it is a collection of websites for our plumber or carpenter or electrician etc. It has listings of consultants whom we need daily or occasionally. You can search them based on pincode or based on an area.

Each listing of these small business owners has contact numbers and is integrated with Google Map in order to locate them easily. Users can review the listings in terms of service quality, similar to a listing on Amazon or EBay. It appears that GreenMango charges for listing of a business owner, if not, I am not clear of business model here.

I had few questions for the founders who failed to respond:
  1. How do these business owners enroll? Is there any verification process?
  2. Do you goto them or they come to you or users submit them?
  3. Here anyone can review a business owner. How do you avoid spammers, or the people who compete with a business owner writing negative things?
  4. If there are 100-200 reviews about each business owner, how can a customer make a decision? I mean, do you have anything better than just rating system?
  5. Is this service only web-based? or can a user make a call, similar to JustDial's service?
  6. What is the business-model here? Is it like one-time annual listing fee?
  7. Is your platform designed for mobiles?
It appears that word of mouth advertising is the only way to reach users here. There are many coding errors or usability issues present on website (currently is in beta stage and so they must ensure that those issues will not present when they bring it to live). GreenMango has been a recipent of EchoingGreen fellowship'08. I am not clear whether EchoingGreen critically examines on scalability or its just the social motivation that they look for. In any case, if GreenMango do not ensure that the reviews are trustworthy, then this website won't be worthy.

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