Lately, there has been a clear trend towards more ratings and reviews in online Yellow Pages. Though letting users write reviews can sometimes be at odds with retaining paying advertisers (more on this concept at The Kelsey Group Blog), they can help online Yellow Pages build deeper content and stay competitive with search giants that continue to build out comprehensive local offerings. The benefits can also include viral marketing and stickiness that come with the creation of community and trust in peer generated content.
Then today, MojoPages launched. The site combines traditional online yellow pages listing with social media features such as discussion forums and ability view and post pictures and video of local businesses.
The nature of online Yellow Pages listings make them naturally conducive to these forms of media, but the challenge MojoPages will face will be to motivate the critical mass of user participation to make this work. This has been proven challenging for local search destinations built on user generated content such as Yelp, InsiderPages and Judy's Book.
The company claims to have a "strong following of early adopters" already in place, but it will have to prove this outside of the context of a press release. The additional challenge it will face is to not only motivate reviews and recommendations like the aforementioned sites, but to rely on internet yellow pages users' yet-to-be-proven proclivities for posting - or even watching - video and pictures of businesses.
But MojoPages seems to be the first to bring together all of these elements in one place within the IYP space, so it will be interesting to see how it does. The space certainly needs experimentation and new models like this to be pushed out in order to raise adoption and awareness of the possibilities for multimedia-rich local search applications.