All of a sudden, the Boston area is lousy with teams creating web-based applications to allow people to review all kinds of products based on not only the quality of the product itself, but various facets of the corporate social responsibility shown by the manufacturers of the product as well.
Listed by order in which I heard about them
- Buy it like you mean it (non-profit) covers the full spectrum of corporate responsibility from the environment to labor relations. The content is generated by the community, and they allow consumers to weight the different areas so the site can offer tailored scores based on ones interests. Looks like their current plan is depth-first, so the community’s focus is specifically on the chocolate industry.
- IzzitGreen (for-profit) Consumer-created reviews on products and services specifically focused on (as you might expect from the name) environmentally friendly products.
- Zeer (for-profit) More consumer related content. This one seems focused more on does it taste good/work well/good for me type reviews than the others. Impressive population of product images and names, they stated this was a “core competency” of theirs in their presentation at the last webinno conference.
- Citizenâ€™s Market (non-profit). Seems very similar to buy it like you mean it, but with a broader focus. Looks to be the newest of the group (heard about them on the Boston ruby group list where theyâ€™re looking for volunteer programmers) Strangely enough, the founder of buy it like you mean it is an adviser of Citizens Market
I think these are all great ideas, especially the ones focused on the global impacts of the products. I just wonder how much room there is in the market for all of these operations to succeed.