Citydomo rewards you for crafting reviews, but penalizes you for writing nonsense
June 20, 2012 by Terence LEE
Taiwan startup Citydomo is putting an interesting twist to online reviews by adding a gamified layer.
Instead of simply creating a website and praying that users will flock to it to rant or rave about something, they’re incentivizing them with goodies like Jason Mraz concert tickets, spa treatment vouchers, and discounts at wedding service providers — all redeemable with Domo Dollars, which is the service’s virtual currency.
Citydomo isn’t restricted to food, and users can leave reviews for other kinds of establishments like spas, hotels, and retail stores. As such, it’s more similar to Yelp and less like Singapore’s HungryGoWhere. But unlike these two, a user will get 10 D$ for writing a review, and an additional 2 D$ for posting a photo of the establishment.
Users can also be fined for posting irrelevant stuff. A down-vote costs the review writer 2D$. Those who try to game the system can be permanently banned after three strikes. The first two times they’re caught would cost all their points. I do wonder, though, if Citydomo is able to detect users who down-vote useful reviews for nefarious purposes.
The site launched into beta in April this year, and made it to Singapore as part of the Echelon 2012 Marketplace, after pitching at the Taiwan Satellite event.
Since their debut, they have accumulated about 700 food reviews and 200 reviews in other categories, garnered 15,000 unique visitors in the last quarter with a 20 percent growth rate in new users per quarter. Visitors are spending an average of 4.5 minutes on the site.
They’ve recently launched a Business Management section, which allows companies to check how many points have been generated from their businesses and activities, as well as track their billings and traction.
Citydomo is currently heavily focused on Taipei, but the team is looking at expanding to other cities in Taiwan in the coming months. Revenue is not a major concern now, even though they’re bootstrapping, although they hope to get income from individual brand consultations. The startup is seeking to raise a seed funding round of between US$150,000 to US$250,000.
The company is founded by Taiwan native Kevin Lin and Austria-based Joe Pearce. Both met while pursuing an MBA at Duke University, and traveled together to the United States, United Kingdom, UAE, India, and China to work on localization business projects.
Kevin has been a social media strategist with small enterprises, and worked as a Global Business Development Manager at Rockwell Automation, garnering experience in sales, marketing, and engineering.
Joe, an IT strategist, previously ran two online advertising related businesses. He currently owns a small boutique consulting firm specializing in large-scale customer applications for financial institutions.
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About The Author
Terence LEE - Editor
Terence writes mainly about technology trends and startups in Asia. He believes in crafting smart content: Not just a regurgitation of text, but well thought-out pieces that serve the reader using a combination of data, design, narratives, analysis, and visual impact. His articles have been published on Venturebeat, Yahoo!, Straits Times, Today, and The Online Citizen. He also co-founded NewNation.sg, a satirical news site covering Singapore affairs. Engage him on LinkedIn and Twitter.Read other posts by Terence LEE