StoreBoard, ShowMeLocal and CrunchBase Making Waves
A handful of new business communities have popped up in recent months and appear poised to make a serious run at traditional kings of the small business directory/community Manta and Merchant Circle.
One of these is CrunchBase, which appears to be the business affiliate of TechCruch.
CruchBase is slightly different from the others in that anyone can suggest an edit, and anyone can add anyone else to the site (it's also for the people who run the businesses). However, it has a unique look and feel to it, and it's the only site in its class that allows a company to list literally ALL of its presences on third-party and social networking sites.
Egan Medical Equipment
Another of the three communities to really raise some eyebrows is Storeboard, whose membership is growing faster than America's national debt. While Storeboard hasn't been around that long, the site is clean, highly functional and for the most part well-patrolled for spam.
Storeboard has a comprehensive set of features, as is evidenced by the photo below of a typical Storeboard profile:
In addition to their main profile page (pictured above) Storeboard allows companies to host their own blog, post news stories, post links, add photos and videos, list their Facebook and Twitter info as well as chat away in the new-to-debut Storeboard Forums.
Like most sites of this nature, both Storeboard and the below-described ShowMeLocal.com allow users to post products, coupons, deals, jobs and classifieds to the site.
Finally, the third of the three online communities for business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals that appears poised to mount a serious challenge for marketshare in the online world of small business directories / business owner communities is called ShowMeLocal, with the emphasis on this one obviously being the local aspect.
ShowMeLocal profiles are too large to include in this post with a single screen-shot, but they're nearly as full-featured as are Storeboard's.
The bottom line with all three of these sites is that their platforms, technology, features and staff all seem to be at least equal to if not better than the two dominant players in the business, and any of the three could emerge as a long-term competitor that will draw significant humans and resources away from the other two, dramatically altering the landscape for years to come.
If you own a business and care about how well it does or whether or not it succeeds, having a profile on each of these sites is absolutely imperative.