The Internet has become an essential tool for finding product information. Many spend countless hours searching the web for information. For example, if you are searching for a new digital camera you might search the web for a wealth of information. But how do you know which digital camera is the one to buy? Sites like CNet, Shopzilla and Consumer Reports currently offer consumer reviews and purchasing options but now consumers have another option. Wize recently launched to bring a new wisdom of the crowds approach to a product research site.
Wize has created WizeRank which is similar to Google's PageRank to rank products online. WizeRank is derived as follows:
WizeRank can range from 0 to 100 with 100 being the highest ranking. There are currently 32 products that hold 100 rankings and are being dubbed the Wize100. Behind the scenes, Wize leverages the jux2 Meta Search Engine (which was purchased off of eBay!) combined with user-generated content.
Aside from WizeRank, for each product review Wize provides users with a number of links to online shopping options that specific item. I assume Wize is using some sort of lead generation business model and has agreements in place with these online retailers, but I could be wrong.
Interestingly, Wize also allows enables the ability for users to save and make notes on products they find interesting in an area on the site called "My Research." This can be done without the hassle of creating a Wize account since it is cookie-based and ties to your "My Research" area to your computer. The downside to this approach is that if you delete your cookies you lose your saved information. Also if you switch computers you will not have access to your saved products.
Lee Odden recently highlighted Wize and concluded by saying:
"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."
Which is definitely an interesting notion. For more information and updates on Wize be sure to check out the Wize Blog.