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Mahalo Launches Reviews and Ratings
Today at the Search Engine Strategies conference in NYC, Mahalo CEO Jason Calacanis is launching a new feature: product/service reviews and ratings. I sat down with Jason yesterday to discuss the new feature and here are my notes. Jason began by explaining that many of the current Mahalo pages are about an 8/10 in terms of quality, his goal is to make sure every page on Mahalo is a 10/10. He also shared that they currently have between 400-500 how-to pages and the cost to create one how to page is approximately $500.
The new feature launching today allows Mahalo users to rate and review products where Mahalo has created a page. This includes music, movies, books, trips, local merchants, etc. I’ve included some screenshots below.
If you have installed the Mahalo toolbar, you will see the reviews and ratings on search result pages on Google and Yahoo when you search for an item that has reviews or ratings. This has the potential to be a strong mashup for Mahalo as it could draw users into Mahalo that normally would jump to Yelp or Amazon for a review after completing an initial search. Jason said his goal is to create a "better page" than Google or Yahoo can do alone.
Each user is assigned a trust score and that score determines the weight that a review and rating will carry in the system. Users will need a certain number of links to hit the frontpage and Jason noted that some users will receive "power ranking" status.
The system can import reviews from other services including GoodReads for books. I asked about exporting content back to other services and the reply was, "soon".
I also asked Jason to share some stats about Mahalo:
- 3 full-time staff focused solely on reviewing contributed links
- Jan/Feb – 10k links were submitted, 20% approved
- 5,000 users actively using the Mahalo toolbar daily
- 4.2 million uniques last month to Mahalo, they are working on increasing the direct traffic to the site
- 200 message board posts in January