The company was founded last year by Eliot Horowitz, former DoubleClick CEO Kevin Ryan and DoubleClick Co-founder and former CTO Dwight Merriman. It’s self funded and aims to profit only from contextual advertisements. Its feature set is awesome.
ShopWiki says it crawls more than 120,000 online stores for its search results. Its search engines understand complex natural language queries. There’s a price slider and user written reviews.
The two most notable features to date have been user written and edited (but ShopWiki vetted) wiki buying guides for more than 1,200 item types and a color wheel that will filter your search results by the color of the item. The color wheel was launched just last week and is really quite a technological feat in and of itself.
The further inclusion of user created short videos about various products is likely to be a powerful addition to this already very impressive site. Lest you think that a start-up paying that much money for user generated content indicates Bubble 2.0, think about the subject matter at issue. All the lip-synched music videos in the world probably aren’t worth 25k, but product reviews by users just may be. Shopwiki already adds value to the user experience by leveraging users’ writing in its company-vetted wiki shopping guides. The availability of select videos on key pages should carry this strategy even further.
Whether the timeliness of those videos will be maintained in time-sensitive sectors like electronics is a question – but if a system like this takes off then many people will want to be the face in the newest iPod review video. The best video of all those submitted for that page should be worth well more than $50 to ShopWiki.