How interesting that on one hand, so many people are looking for services and goods and on the other hand, many services and merchants are spending too much but still cannot find customers.
I often receive emails to help on recommend good tour guide, hotel to stay, or places to buy stuff. Many times, I have to reply that I don’t have much more information than the information already on the Internet, or on my blog. :-)
I believe the difference is, there is not a strong TRUST between two side. Even though thousands of ads are running every day to tell you what is the best hotel, people (you and me) will still ask the question to our friends: What do you recommend to stay? We do NOT trust advertisement as much as friends. If people cannot find some friends who know the area – if no one from around has visited the place, they turn to someone they think a little bit more trustworthy, say, Jian Shuo in Shanghai for Shanghai information.
So to run a successful advertisement business, the key opporunity is, to build trust between the two sides…
maybe there should be something like a collection of Q&A on your site.
The best way in my oppinion would be some kind of (moderated?) wiki, where people can contribute and all the recomendations could be gathered in one place. though there might be a big problem with spam and also advertising.
Exactly! But building trust is easier said than done. Everybody knows that, but not everybody can do that. I hope you can. :-)
I believe that a lot of the way you have been able to gain trust is that you provide interesting insight into the city while also having a personal touch. Another major thing, unlike most other (or perhaps even every other) english blog discussing China, yours stays away from directly touching political issues. I have a number of questions and ideas I’d like to discuss with you, I tried to email you before a recent trip to Shanghai, but was unsuccessful, if possible I’d like to get in touch with you, thanks!