Skype launches "SkypeFind" to go after Google, Yahoo, Microsoft etc for local business listings... with social networking reviews and rankings
Today Skype launched a new "3.1 beta" release for Windows that does something rather dramatic... it rolls out a new "SkypeFind" service that lets Skype users search a directory for businesses - and then call them, of course. This goes head-to-head with what Google is doing with GoogleMaps (and its "click-to-call" in North America) and what Yahoo!Local and Microsoft's Windows Live Local are all doing.
I've written up a longer review including screenshots over at my VoIP-focused blog, Disruptive Telephony, but I thought I'd mention it here because: a) I know many folks in social media are also Skype users; and b) there's an interesting social networking element to it.
Specifically, the SkypeFind directory started out close to empty and is there for users to add listings and fill up. For each listing, other Skype users can also add their ratings and reviews, allowing the directory to be searched by highest ranking reviews (as well as, interestingly, by "most called"). You also see recommendations from your contacts - and have an ability to "ask" you contacts about recommendations.
The directory also turns out to be pretty much like a wiki, in that any Skype user can edit the listings that are in the directory. While there is a way to view the edit history, I have to wonder about the capability for abuse given the fact that Skype accounts are free... we'll see.
Anyway, more info and links can be found over at my other blog and if you are a Windows user (sorry Mac and Linux users), you can download it and check it out yourself.