Lets say that you run a highly successful online community of blond vegans who have a penchant for Prosciutto. You would like to manage local reviews for that community, but you do not have the technical ability or the data you need to get it kick started.
Montreal based Praized is an innovative solution in the heavily contested local listings and review space. Praized is designed a white-label platform that integrates seamlessly with editorial content by using either an API or plug-ins that are compatible with SixApart?s MovableType and WordPress. Bloggers and site editors can embed snippets of merchant information within posts or news articles to drive traffic to their Praized-powered local section. Praized also designed its platform to be available to Facebook application developers and others through an API.
Praized communities enable users to search, discover and discuss places with like-minded people. Users benefit from discovering the ?long tail? of places via discussions on lesser known local merchants that struggle to be found through Web search. End-users also get real value from social tools that allow them to tag, comment, bookmark, share and vote on places that matter to them.
Praized is bringing a really novel and sensible approach to local listings. Realizing that you can bridge the gap between the hype-local and centralized business models can bring opportunities in a lot of markets, and that is what Praized is doing here.
Other Canadian local-search and review companies include iBegin, who have moved in to the data wholesale business, and ZipLocal (TSX:ZIP) who recently launched ZipDating. Praized does go beyond just reviews and listings, they also have a recommendation system that allows users to suggest places and things to friends in their social network, including Facebook.