We’ve witnessed a lot of local start-ups banging their heads just to clone some successful Web 2.0 sites from the US and hoping to strike gold in the process. We’ve seen Digg clones, Friendster clones, Facebook clones, iTunes clones and a lot more but they didn’t seem to take off among the majority of online Pinoys. All buzz, no pizzazz.
I think they’re approaching this social networking model a bit too superficial. Let me share with everyone what I think would be a better Web 2.0 niche for the Philippines.
- Social Job Search. JobsDB and Jobstreet Philippines have been a thriving online business for more than half a decade now. The model relies on paid listings from companies looking to hire people. What if you can democratize this? Create a site which allows people to submit job openings for free and rate the listing by the number of people who applies for that job. Now, it would be interesting to see which jobs are hot and which ones are not. Tag searching would be nice tool to go with that. If this goes well, I think it will kill the paid model.
- Apartment Hunting. I think this is an un-tapped sector. Most of the internet-savvy Filipinos that are working in the metro live in condos and apartments. You could do social reviews and ratings as well as ranking apartment units or condos by affordability and proximity to cetain business districts. You can do this for real estate as well. Ever wondered why Inq7.net’s front page is full of real estate ads?
- Remmitance Service, Web 2.0 style. The volume of money flowing in to the Philippines is in the range of $USD10 Billion (with a B) annually. Be creative and offer something traditional remittance companies, like Western Union, are too lazy to do.
- Mobile Content. Just this morning, Smart sent me SMS infomercials (read: text spam) at least 3 times and I quickly deleted them. But what if one is interested to see the offerings? Sites like Globe Interactive already offer previews before you can download stuff but they aren’t that interactive actually. What if you can provide users the ability to upload their own original mobile content and have it available for others to download for free or at a cheap price. That user can also get his commission thru free loads, Smart Money, GCash or something.
- Metro Maps. FindMe map services might fit the bill but I think new technology could offer something better. Why not invest in street-deep mapping service? Only if Google Earth could zoom down that close. You can get ad contributions from fast food chains, restaurants, hotels and almost every other commercial establishments. I can just see bubbles popping up out of the map announcing sales, bazzaars, concerts,and promos. You could also port this service to 3G phones as well.
There are tons of other ideas I got in mind but for now, these 5 services are on top of my wishlist for a truly Filipino-focused Web 2.0 service. Go ahead and grab the idea. That’s what Open Source Consulting is all about.