Even as I create this blog post there’s a list of ‘features’ down one side of my screen. Our lives have become one big endless list. There’s the bucket lists, shopping lists, to-do lists, the check list and – as we have previously discussed – waiting lists.
I started thinking about how and when I was first introduced to the concept of lists. While for some it may have been the Bible (The 10 Commandments is the daddy of all lists) but for me, it was Father Christmas’ naughty list (that’s Santa Claus for our American readers). Although I can’t remember if I was on the naughty list – it’s a distinct possibility.
I do wonder why we believed it so willingly? Who decided exactly which childhood crimes meant your name went down on the list, and did we ever find out what being on the naughty list actually constituted? Did anyone ever get a piece of coal with a place cherry on top for Christmas?
Santa is watching
Of course the current generation may have been using Google before the concept of good Ol’ Santa’s naughty list reared its ugly head to terrify children into compliance during the run up to the holidays. Not that a freaky elf on a shelf is at all scary? Thanks to our colonial cousins across the pond, our poor children now think that they are being spied upon for 24 days (and nights – not a scary notion at all) and every indiscretion is being reported by a small employee of MI5/CIA back to the big man himself. Happy Holidays kiddies!
Anyway – I digress.
We’re surrounded by lists that we either create to help remember things, or that are curated for us because we’re looking for something. Many of these lists remain incomplete or they don’t give us exactly what we are looking for. How many times have you got home from the store only to remember something you didn’t put on your list?
It’s the same when we’re looking for someone to do something for us. Maybe we need something doing around the home or with one of our pets. Not that long ago we would look through the Yellow Pages or other local listings, but now we’re more than likely to use a search engine.
The great cupcake search
We’re almost completely reliant on software to show us results based on what we’ve asked for, but is it really giving us what we want?
Well, if you’ve been extremely specific then yes. Try searching for “Cupcakes By Jo in Aberdeen” and you’ll definitely find that shop, but if you search for “cakes in Aberdeen” do you get the same results? You do not. And while the search is admittedly more vague, you wouldn’t expect to see results for cake makers 130 miles south of Aberdeen, would you?
All too often, when you search for something, you’re not seeing what’s best for you. You’re actually seeing results that are determined by a number of factors designed to get websites on the very first page of your search results (because how many people go past page two of the search results?). Your search is manipulated by people and businesses that have the time, money, or both, to make sure that they’re first on your list.
But what about those people and businesses that don’t have the money to invest, the technical know-how to do search engine optimisation, or are simply too busy trying to serve their customers because they’re the only person in the company?
Is the service they provide any less valuable or relevant than a business that spends a small fortune on Google Ads, or which paid an agency to build them a website precision-engineered to get them ranking higher than everyone else?
In an age of ‘curated’ lists, the sad reality is, these people will struggle to stand out from the crowd.
Although we hope that we have helped Cupcakes by Jo get a little more attention.
A new approach
The me:now platform will be available to download very soon and we think it will help the small guy not only stand out from the crowd, but get to the top of the list.
Businesses using me:now will show what they do and where they do it (which is pretty much the same as any other search engine) but they’re listed by their availability. So, if you need someone to groom your dog next Tuesday, we’ll only show you dog groomers, near you, that can groom your dog next Tuesday.
That’s got to be better than calling every dog groomer within a 50 mile radius to see if they can squeeze little Oscar in for a trim!
If you are a small business who wants to be at the top of the list, then sign up over there on the left hand side or drop us a line on Facebook Messenger. We’ll keep you up to date with our progress and you can register to join our initial testing.