Outside.in – Local Search, With A Local Voice

The local search arena is currently the most exciting and dynamic area of search. But when I try a local search engine I always feel like there’s something missing. What is it? The Locals! Sure, every engine has a map, there’s a list of local sandwich shops or pizza parlors or hotels or whatever and all the businesses are ‘locally owned’, but there’s no conversation going on. No truckdrivers available to ask about where to grab the best bellybuster. The experience is devoid of local flavor.

Outside.in wants to change that. And not by simply adding a comment box for “user reviews”. The creators know that local content is constantly being created, and rather than simply aggregating business listings, they’ve created a site that manages to incorporate user content in such a way that you actually feel like locals are providing you with real information, not a simple business profile.

From the site:

Every day, the web collects new essential information about your local community: the open house around the corner; a restaurant review in the local paper; a rant from a parent about a declining public school; a concert that’s just been announced; a police report on a recent break-in; gossip about a celebrity sighting. But while that information is all grounded in a real-world place, on the web it is scattered everywhere: in blogs, online newspapers, discussion threads, government sites.

outside.in is designed to change all that, as a bridge between information space and real-world space — a place to see in a single glance all the interesting things that are happening around you.

What’s more, when I looked at the site, I saw, “the best way to discover conversations that are going on in your neighborhood”. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve mentioned the importance of conversations. Local search needs to be local, not just a group of local listings. Local search needs more than just business listings. Local search needs local conversation.


  1. I looked at this. Whilst I agree with the concept of building in local content improves the user experience isn’t this going to be just one more case of someone running a bot against someone else’s content as a vehicle for that someone else profiting off the other company’s content? Someday it’s going to be all-bots-all-the-time, all for the good of someone else’s bottom line. That works fer shur. ;-P

  2. DG

    >>isn’t this going to be just one more case of someone running a bot against someone else’s content

    I hope not. If the concept gets traction I hope that people write content specifically for them.

  1. 1 Local Search Needs Locals at SEO Newsbreak

    […] Perhaps Local Search With A Local Voice? The biggest problem with local search to date has been the lack of of a local voice. While a free tee shirt might be some incentive, in order to get local search right, someone needs to pony up some cash and actually pay some local writers. […]

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