In my recent eHub post about restaurant review aggregator, BooRah.com, I mention that one of the most difficult things about writing the article was deciding on what I should leave out. I called the website “…the tip of the BooRah iceberg.” Perhaps I should have added that my review touched on only the tip of the tip of the BooRah iceberg. (Maybe that makes it an ice cube instead of an iceberg…)
Talking with Brian and Nagaraju prior to preparing the article was quite different than many of the interviews and demos in which I’ve participated. In speaking with people who operate in the world of “web 2.0″, you inevitably run into a wide spectrum of professionalism. (While that’s true elsewhere as well, I sometimes think that the speed of change on the internet doesn’t always leave time for professionalism in our interactions.) Throughout our communication, there was a general sense that these two weren’t strangers to the business side of Silicon Valley.
This became more apparent as we discussed what BooRah actually was. While a tremendous amount of energy and investment has gone into building BooRah.com, the website is really only BooRah’s public face. The technology behind the face, the semantic aggregation of data that meets particular criteria, is really where the future lies. Our conversation in this direction was naturally limited. There is the whole corporate secrecy thing, and besides that, I would have immediately gotten lost as they tried to explain how exactly BooRah did what it did.
It was explained to me that BooRah definitely has plans to move beyond the bounds of a website. Indeed, they have already made in-roads by establishing partnerships with media producers to incorporate BooRah’s technology into their own sites. And there is no reason that BooRah can’t expand beyond aggregating foodie blogs and restaurant reviews, either. According to Nagaraju, preparations for such an expansion are already underway.
It very evident, and rather refreshing, that BooRah is one “Web 2.0″ startup whose business plan extends beyond being bought out by Google. Although the demo was rather one-sided due to some Skype issues on my end, I was shown a multi-faceted product built on a flexible and future-oriented technology. I was introduced to a team who is able to speak very competently about their business, not just their product. And as an added bonus, I learned a lot about the restaurant scene in Chicago just in time for SOBCon08.
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Tags: Food, Interviews, Social Web