Lee Odden

Wize.com Brings Collective Wisdom to Product Research

One of the most frustrating things people encounter with search engines is doing product research. Hard as they try, the affiliate links, spam and irrelevant content plague search results. There are a number of recommendation shopping sites and recently popular social shopping sites available to perform product research, but the information is often narrow or biased.

There’s a new kid on the block called Wize that we’ve been working with and I have to say, it’s a pretty impressive research tool for consumer products. The site launced today and it’s worth checking out.

Wize.com

Doug Baker, the internet entreprenuer who created Wize.com has taken the notion of collective wisdom, made popular by New Yorker columnist James Surowiecki’s 2004 book ���The Wisdom of Crowds��� and combined it with the technology behind the jux2.com search engine he purchased earlier this year to create an easy to use comparison shopping and product research web site.

Wize.com consolidates expert and consumer-written reviews for over ten thousand consumer products and then sorts them by “Wize Rank”, a score between 0-100. The “Wize Rank” score is determined by the content of the consumer and expert product reviews and provides a quick metric for comparison.

This is the kind of search function that really makes me optimistic about how social media and consumer generated media can be used to make search better. That is, taking thousands and some day, millions of editorial decisions about content, in this case product reviews, and applying an algorithmic ranking to it.

Sites like Wize.com can serve consumers by providing the information they need during all phases of the buying cycle: from product information to links to online vendors for purchasing.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely on a beach somewhere doing absolutely nothing.

Comments

  1. I agree that the site is well designed and a cool concept. However, I tried researching a couple of products (beard trimmer for my goatee, audio receiver) and the reviews appear to be miscategorized. The Norelco beard trimmer, which appeared to have the highest rating linked to a review for a Philips beard trimmer on shopping.com. The amazon review linked to a replacement power cord.

    The promise of the site is that the Wize score is all you need to know. Not true if the underlying data is all jumbled up.

  2. Thank you for the heads up Steve. I was able to duplicate the situation you described and have passed it on to the Wize development team.

  3. i think they will have huge problems compiting with viewscore.com that just got huge VC funding.

    and they seem to have much clever algorithm then wize…

  4. Thank you Lee and Steve for sending along your feedback on the site — and the issue you experienced. With more than 17,000 products, there are a few anomalies — you’ve obviously stumbled upon one. We’re working to get it fixed.

  5. David raises an interesting point about ViewScore, which I think aggregates expert opinions with their own algorithm. We agree that expert opinions are extremely valuable. We also believe that combining those expert opinions with reviews submitted by customers across the web (who have purchased and lived with their products) to create a single, simple Wize Rank is incredibly powerful, and completely unique.

  6. David’s grammar and punctuation seems to have more problems than Wize.com ever will…

  7. I think Wize has a definite advantage by being able to combine both expert and user reviews. Who knows how unbiased the “expert” reviews really are?

    In the future, if Wize allows users to add their reviews to products on the wize.com site, I think it would go a long way towards building community as well as provide another source of data for Wize Rank.

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