I started a while back to gather info about different schools as I'll be applying to my 3 year-old for school this year. After the numerous opinions I've received, I decided to put up a website to collect reviews of Egyptian schools. Introducing Schoolata with 100% Ruby on Rails. It's still in its infancy (pre-alpha that's to say), and I have yet to see whether it will grow and If I'll be spending more time on implementing features. I'm using the free hosting service donated by Pratik at typo.in to host the website for the time being.
The local market lack such implementations (customer reviews of anything) which can be attributed to the dominant internet culture that doesn't foster using the internet as a collaboration media (I'd probably dedicate a separate post to the issue).
For such local applications to succeed (assuming good capabilities, features, interface) I guess few things have to occurr:
- Marketing the service – heavily – “way outside” the internet (brochures, hardcopy banners, word of mouth)
- Adding features according to user requirements (who doesn't do that), but would encourage the sense of ownership, creating passionate users (I can already see that in the inital phase)
- Changing the prevailing internet culture of using the internet for leisure and news (I always wanted to do something that would change the world, I guess it would be easier to change the world)
I was able to convince (force? :-)) some friends into writing their reviews into Schoolata (talk about driving traffic). So, if you're reading this, and know someone who'd be interested or want to share your opinion about Egyptian schools, Schoolata is the place.