TrustedPlaces.com, your guide to UK

March 1st, 2007 at 12:00 am
 


Yesterday, I wrote about a site called friendsEAT.com which is a social networking site containing reviews and ratings of food served in various restaurants all over the world. Just now, I found another website that is very similar, although, admittedly there are probably dozens more websites out there that looks and functions the same as friendsEAT.com. Nevertheless, I found about TrustedPlaces.com first and decided to write something about it.

TrustedPlaces is also built on a social networking interface. Users can be as involve as they want in rating and reviewing restaurants, bars, clubs, theatres, museums, etc. So far the website's reach and user contributions are limited to cities and towns in the UK. The website do intend to, however, branch out to other places around the world.

The user interface is not bad. Tags are available for quicker searches. There are categories too that helps make navigation easier.

These kinds of websites are highly dependent on the amount and quality of user submitted reviews. And to encourage users to post reviews, TrustedPlaces has incorporated an award system. If you post reviews you will be given points, if you invite friends to join the site you will also earn points, so do when you add pictures to someone else’s reviews and so on. A point is equivalent to a single ticket for a lottery draw that is held regularly.

Every review oriented website has the potential to become the ultimate resource guide. For TrustedPlaces, it can evolve to be one of the most respected and reliable guide for restaurants in and around UK. But the problem with user contributed reviews is the fact that they are highly subjective. Since individuals have their specific tastes and preferences with regards to food and venue people who read their reviews are not easily inclined to trust them. However, in due time reviewers will develop their own reputation as the site further evolves and matures.

The website still remains free except for requesting information through SMS. But all in all, the site's services are being paid by advertisers. Once they become a respected resource guide, the demand for advertising space will surely pick up.