Wednesday, December 21st, 2005

Blockrocker – classifed + google maps mash up

Category: Examples is a classified/Google maps mash up. The search results shown respond to what area of the map you are viewing, with the push pins on the map corresponding to items available in your area. You can also create RSS feeds for selected areas of the map.

Do you think this adds much value over the standard “search 50 miles near my zip code” available from ebay or other classified sites?


Posted by Rob Sanheim at 9:30 am

3.3 rating from 6 votes


Comments feed

Hi Rob – thanks for the post! And, good question. The thinking behind using this approach, compared to zip codes, or Craigslist style city listings, is to offer maximum granularity control, global functionality (not limited by the availability of postal codes), and a UI that more intuitively matches the conceptual transactions involved in buying and selling locally or globally.

I’ll spec out one example – granularity: Consider college students in residence as an example of where BR might have value. Students could use BlockRocker to find items for sale in their residence, or within walking distance on campus – which I’m hoping will enable things like on-campus DVD trading networks.

That’s all I’ll say for the moment – looking forward to some constructive criticism!

One further note: The site has plenty of gaps left to be filled – things like the classified submission system will be given an ajax makeover in due course as well.

Thanks again, and best regards,

Comment by Rod Edwards — December 21, 2005

Big freakin’ deal. This is a “so what?” site.

Is there such a thing as overusing dhtml or Ajax? Mashing up maps isn’t all that grand anymore. Again, I gotta say So What? I see nothing compelling.

Comment by Jemy — December 21, 2005

Any constructive feedback to offer Jemy? See past the Ajax and Dhtml and look at the overall user experience, and share your thoughts on that. There are a lot of great things about eBay, Craigslist, and newspaper classifieds, but each has their share of frustrations too – BR is one attempt to address some of these and offer a competitive alternative.

Comment by Rod Edwards — December 21, 2005

well, there is a grain of truth in Jemy’s post…gmaps mashups are a nickle a dozen. i just saw another one – “”. why do i need to see classifieds beside a map? craigslist already organizes ads geographically…everyone on ebay already ships to anywhere….

this is a neat demo but pointless as a real business, as are all of the other mashups.

Comment by grumpY! — December 21, 2005

Well, Grumpy, Jemy – as I mentioned, there are specific groups for whom geography does add value to the classified browsing experience – which, as you mentioned, grumpy, CL has made clear. So – if geography adds value, why not try out some different modes of displaying that information? BR isn’t a revolutionary site by any stretch – but I’m hoping that it is a better mousetrap.

Just like Google entered a market well populated by search engines, and MySpace entered a market well populated with social networking tools, I think there’s room in the classified space for some value added innovation.

Time will tell – and in the meantime, thanks for commenting!

Best regards and happy holidays,

Comment by Rod Edwards — December 22, 2005

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