Irish review site launched

11 May 2007

An Irish-based website dedicated to aggregating user-generated reviews of everything from computers to baby bathing buckets has been launched.

LouderVoice is the brainchild of web entrepreneur Conor O’Neill, who described it as a site for people who want to find reviewers they can trust and get their own voice heard.

Users can use a search engine on the site to find reviews of things they are interested in. O’Neill said it allows internet users to go “beyond search”.

“Brand leader Google will return a million pages to a search term but human recommendation is what we all turn to when it comes to making decisions,” he said. “Google can help you find information but the next generation of search has to advise you on what the best course of action is for you.”

Online user-generated reviews are nothing new and have become an essential part of consumer decision-making. In particular, they have revolutionised the tourism market, with consumers able to bypass the sales spiel of hotel owners and tour operators and read about the genuine experience of other tourists before doling out their cash.

The importance of blog reviews in consumer decision-making has been recognised by tourism body Failte Ireland, which last month announced that its new €5m marketing campaign would include advertising on blog sites.

According to O’Neill, the benefits of is that it makes opinionated web content visible to the widest possible audience and it can turn any web user into a reviewer. Any user who’s ever sent an email can write a review and build their reputation globally in areas where they have expertise, he said.

Users can vote on reviews, with the most popular featuring at the top of the search results.

By Niall Byrne