Spread the Mojo: San Diego Web Startup MojoPages Gets Real World Advice on Building Communities to Review Local Businesses
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kind of traction MojoPages shows with its early media partners.) Is the goal to promote Mojo’s brand name or to drive Internet traffic to its media partner websites? (It’s “absolutely to drive traffic to local media search websites,” Carder said.)
In one of the rare disagreements during the evening, Knapp told Carder, MojoPages would have more success co-branding with its media partners, while Huberman countered, “You have to control your own mojo.”
Huberman also asked a question that touched on the second key issue that Carder brought to the MIT Enterprise Forum: How many registered users does MojoPages currently have? (About 40,000, Carder answered, conceding, “Our community is very ghost-townie.”)
Carder said MojoPages’ workforce has been mostly focused on developing its search and business-rating technologies, and on search engine optimization, or SEO. As a result, the second key question that Carder brought to the event is: “How to attract and retain online community members that will contribute reviews and spread the gospel of Mojo?”
Carr suggested that MojoPages could build its community by reaching people in the online communities they already are in, including Local.com, Citysearch, SuperPages.com, Facebook, and MySpace.
Huberman offered Carder a variety of advice on amassing a Web community: Of the 40,000 users you have, she told Carder, you need to figure out, who are the MojoPages power users? What makes them tick? What are their demographics? And how can you clone them? She recommended that MojoPages work with businesses to create incentives for users to write reviews, so for example, if you write a review about a salon, you get 50 percent off your next spa treatment. Another technique for building traffic, Huberman said, is to “incentivize users,” for example, by offering discount coupons to users who sign up 10 friends.