It is bugging me that I can't remember who first articulated the relationship between the number of participants in a community like ebay and its usefulness. The bottom line is that the bigger the community the more valuable the service. I know I have read this somewhere and it is one of the basic tenets of the Internet economics. As the number of people who use the Internet increases so does the rate of attachment because the Internet becomes more and more useful. I can't even figure out how to Google this to find what I am looking for. If someone can point me to a link I'd appreciate it.
I remember that the principal was described much more clearly than I am describing it.
But that is not exactly what I want to talk about here. The purpose of this posting is to talk about Zipingo.com. It is a new service that Intuit has launched into beta test this week. We are building a database of business ratings. The site describes itself as the "yellow pages with ratings." Obviously a site like this isn't useful unless what you are interested in has been rated. So for now we are trying to get a lot of ratings. By the way I am not working on this project at Intuit. When I say we I am saying we as in Intuit. Anyway Zipingo is only going to be really useful when it has millions of ratings so Intuit has added a link to Zipingo from Quicken 2006 and a link from Quickbooks. This should make it really easy for people to rate their transactions. It is also really easy to rate a business or your optometrist or your chiropractor from the site itself. Give it at try! I am really enjoying watching the growth of the number of rankings on the site. I've done 27 so far and the number this week is up to 41,777. It will be fascinating to me to see how it grows.