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|Announcing the re-launch of Quad Cities Alive|
|News Releases - General Info|
|Written by Derek|
|Monday, 09 May 2011 12:37|
QCalive.com was originally built 5 years ago to help people find new places to eat, drink, and hang out in the Quad Cities. It started off as a basic restaurant review site, and has been a helpful service for years, but has since been dwarfed by national review sites like Yelp, Urbanspoon, etc...
Over the past year, the team behind Quad Cities Alive decided to change directions to help draw people away from national franchises and into our great LOCAL establishments. The first phase of this new focus was a long overdo refresh of our site, that is packed with many new, exciting features.
Here's what we launched this week with phase 1:
A new Focus on Local
This is where we're really putting our energy. All of our local establishments are setup to stand out on the site. Whenever users view a listing for a merchant that's not local, we're going to provide them with local alternatives. For example, if you look at Olive Garden on our site, we're going to tell you about Trattoria, Lunardi's, etc. We're excited about the local businesses in the Quad Cities, and want to show those off.
Ease of use
We've completely redesigned the site to make it even easier to browse, navigate, and search. Rating locations has also gotten much simpler. We've removed those confusing half-star ratings and have added the ability to rate a location without writing a full review. We've also added Facebook Connect for easy registration and all site listings can now be sorted by name or rating.
We've gone hyperlocal and have began displaying neighborhood information. We're also now displaying tweets for all of our locations that have a Twitter account. These tweets will be aggregated on our homepage, and also be displayed on their respective merchant pages.
Power to the people!
We've given users a lot more freedom with this version of the site. Registered users can add new listings to Quad Cities Alive as well as add tags to any of our existing listings. We're also no longer moderating reviews before they're submitted. Users can even mark reviews as helpful or not helpful... so the most helpful reviews will always be the most visible.
Other new features
We've greatly improved our search functionality and have added Google Maps to our locations. Looking for the best wings in town? Search for wings and we'll show you some great options. Also, if someone stumbles upon a location on our site that has closed, (either through a Google search or old link), we're going to provide that user with some similar local alternatives. For example, the old Portabella's will try to draw that visitor to places like Centro, Trattoria, Lunardi's, etc.
How we're different than [insert random restaurant review site here]
First and foremost, the team that built Quad Cities Alive has a vested interest in The Quad Cities. Half of us grew up in the QC and have plenty of friends and family in the area, as such, we can easily focus on promoting local establishments. We have the ability to provide content curation and offer higher quality content than some of these giant national sites. We're not interested in "worldalive.com" or "unitedstatesalive.com." You will never see us launch an alive site in a city that we don't know and love.
There's much less noise on Quad Cities Alive than on other bigger review sites. We're focusing on something very small, and you won't find giant, hard to navigate pages full of fast food chains on our site. We're also offering plenty of data for our merchants that some of these national sites cannot such as tweets, etc.
Go check it out and rate or review a couple of your favorite places!
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