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23/10/2006

Sun columnist launches a "Tripadvisor for shoppers": Youthejury.com

The Observer Business & Media carried an interview with Sun columnist, Jane Moore yesterday, the main angle of which was her heading up a new shoppers' complaints website, Youthejury.com:

"There's a really good holiday website called Tripadvisor. If it becomes anything like that it would be great."

In the words of the website:

This is a website for the people, by the people. Whether you’re planning to spend a small fortune on a new car or just a few quid on the latest electric razor or tinted moisturiser - forget what's written on the packet, brochure or website by someone with a vested interest, and check out the invaluable opinion of the consumers who have bought it before you.

If Ms Moore were to achieve her stated goal, it would be a very lucrative site indeed.

This is at first glance a clever strategy. Not getting the Sunday Times to launch a Tripadvisor wannabe but to take a social media concept that's worked in travel to a traditional mass consumer audience.

Youthejury.com is at first glance not that impressive. Reviews are very brief. I expect it will be more useful as a warning of poor service or products than a rival for Amazon's reviews or social shopping experiments like Crowdstorm.

What I find incredible is that it's actually a start-up rather than a Sun / Murdoch-backed venture - but she is hoping to sell it back to her boss after a couple of years?

Moore contemplated approaching her employer, News International - or even Rupert Murdoch himself - for start-up cash, but decided to go it alone. 'If in five years' time somebody like Murdoch or Yahoo says: It's a nice little website, how much do you want for it?', Moore will be off to her villa in the sun. If not, she says, 'I'll be selling The Big Issue.'

As with all social media communities of information its potential usefulness will come from the number of people. I ran a couple of trials on TVs I was thinking of buying - it did have one of the brands, but not a specific model and there wasn't much information beyond a positive two-liner and a 4-star rating.

 

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Comments

Jane Moore is married to Gary Farrow, an ex-Sony bigwig who is worth hundreds of millions of pounds. She doesn't need start-up cash from Murdoch, and she has very little at risk if the site fails.

Hiya! what a great site, my partner and i went to PC WORLD last saturday to purchase some software at the cash desk we were asked for personal details ie,, address phone no e-mail address etc we said we would rather not give personal details because of credit fraud! we have been asked on previous occassions for personal details at PC WORLD, a supervisor came over to the cash point and because we refused to give the details was exremely rude to us! we told them to keep the software and purchased it elsewhere no problem, by the way we were paying cash, we phoned to complain but have not heard anything as yet, anyone else had this problem? thanks lynn.

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