There are local search sites, there are city info sites and a few review sites, but none of them under the same roof.
Yulop is attempting to change all that with it’s launch of Bangalore.Yulop.com, a one stop shop for anything and everything related to Bangalore.
Apart from the regular news/weather services (which services like Y!’s ourcity anyway offer, though in a very automated format by reading feeds from few properties), Yulop’s USP lies is the depth of data they have collated for Bangalore.
A few nifty service that deserves mention:
- Swami: is your city guide and hosts all city related info (i.e. news, weather, city events, blogs, forums, videos, city search etc)
- cityfind service – i.e. city specific local business search service. While asklaila, dwaaar and others have also indexed local businesses in Bangalore, Yulop is going beyond that by also helping local businesses create their own microsites (i.e. personal URL like naraynrao,the milk vendor has or the ritzy hotel microsite).
As of now, Yulop has indexed 150+ locations (and all relevant services in these locations) and plans to add more in coming days.
- Books.yulop.com: Being a pure Bangalore service (atleast for now), Yulop has gone all the way and have added 2000 Kannada books to their store (they plan to add 8K more by Feb 2008).
To me, this is a service which no other player will even think about (and that’s why Yulop has a strong differentiator). If you want to be a true local/regional portal, you need to provide services which reflect the true nature of that region (which anyway is witnessing an explosive growth).
These services are also available in Yulop’s wap version: i.e. moblr.yulop.com
In future, Yulop plans to expand to other major cities and will host the above mentioned services in their local flavors (like Chennai will witness “cute thambi” replacing Bangalore’s Swami!)
In my opinion, Yulop has done an awesome job of collating information and services that no other player is doing (with a strong local flavor).
And at the same time, they need to probably strike a balance between being too local vs. staying glocal (i.e. globally local – Bengaluru or Bangalore?).
They also need to differentiate (and converge) the services they are offering. For e.g. it gets a little overwhelming if I have to go to different services for different needs (a Bangalore portal should have all the info at one place (be it cityfind, news, books – all under the same URI)).
Do give Yulop a spin and share your feedback. If you are from Bangalore, I strongly urge you to compare the service (with others) and share your findings. Needless to say, please be candid about it!