Bizwiki Blog

Archive for the 'Bizwiki Project' Category

Another huge business record update underway

Work is underway on a huge update of business records across the site.

This is a giant project involving changes and additions across hundreds of categories of business and hundreds of thousands of companies, and involves manually submitted entries added by our users and editors, updates from databases and detailed information gathered by our BizwikiBot spider.

We expect to have the new version rolled out across the site soon, and hope that it will help Bizwiki be an ever more useful resource for our many visitors and users.

Watch this space for more information!

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Massive update of Bizwiki completed

We are pleased to announce a huge update of Bizwiki UK’s index of companies and information has been completed. Consisting of tens of thousands of user-edited records and new additions that have been hand-processed by our editorial team and more than quarter of a million records being updated or having additional information added to them by our BizwikBot spider, this is a major update and should result in even better depth of information across the site.

There is now the grand total of 1,412,330 businesses in the Bizwiki UK database, and thanks to the submissions our registered users and visitors are making this is a number that continues to grow.

A large part of the credit for the quality and depth of information in this update goes to Bizwiki’s Chief Technical Architect, Keith Hinde, who has been slaving away on this piece of work for more than half a year. On behalf of the site’s editors and users, thanks for your tireless efforts!

Thanks also to the  many users and editors who have continued to add high-quality and detailed information about the companies they know, helping make Bizwiki a useful and popular business resource for all our visitors.

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Happy New Year 2012!

We wish all our users a happy and prosperous year in 2012.

It seems that 2011 was a tough year for many businesses due to the state of the economy and turmoil in the markets, but we’re now entering a new one and hope that it will be brighter.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the writers and editors who contributed their diligence, knowledge, time and information to the Bizwiki project during the last year. It has been appreciated, and all our users have benefited from your efforts.

Here’s to the New Year!

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Bizwiki 2.0 goes live – Review Free!

The brand new version of went live yesterday at lunchtime. Apart from being shinier, faster and easier to use than ever before, there is one change that will be instantly noticeable and that brings it in line with the US is now review-free

This may seem to be bucking the trend for websites, with every second site on the web now offering review functionality, but we took the view that we would rather focus our efforts on what Bizwiki does best: building up a unique directory of detailed information about companies and businesses that any user can help improve and enlarge.

Bizwiki has always been dedicated to information over opinion, so it was on request from users that we rolled out a review feature for our UK site at a time where there were less alternatives. Apart from the useful information reviews provide, our goal was to ensure that opinions had their own space on the site and were less likely to be added to information sections.

Over the last few years we have seen the site and its users develop and change, and now an increasing proportion of registered Editors are representatives, owners or managers of businesses and companies. The quality of information has been consistently improving and we’ve been very happy to see the user base grow along with it.

We launched the US version of without reviews, and found that this has been nothing but beneficial in clarifying the purpose of this as the wiki for business, and distinguishing Bizwiki from sentiment-orientated sites like Yelp and Angieslist.

We are confident that this improved focus will give our users more of what they want, and enable our editors and staff to concentrate on increasing both the breadth of the site and the depth of information available about each record.

Finally I’d like to thank our Lead Developer Craig Sefton and Chief Technical Architect Keith Hinde for their tireless efforts to rebuild the site and get this new and highly improved version live.

Enjoy the new Bizwiki!

A note to businesses:

During the time that reviews were featured on some companies accumulated a number of reviews from the public that they may want to retain. If so, don’t worry, nothing has been deleted. The reviews are not being displayed on this site, but are still available on request if you would like to get a copy of them for use on your own website or in your advertising material.

Email us at before the end of 2010 with the name of the company and we will send you a text copy of the reviews received free of charge.


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Bizwiki passes 100,000 Registered Editors!

The Bizwiki project reached another milestone earlier today, when our 100,000th Editor registered on

We believe the most important thing about this achievement is that it is a good time to say ‘Thank you’ to these people, many of whom are busy company managers and representatives of the businesses they are updating, for their assistance in building up the wiki for business.

Millions of people access and use the information on the sites every month, but it is the people who join the site to edit, add and improve the information on it that make Bizwiki what it is.

The Bizwiki site is built around a self-organised and collaborative community that any of our users are invited to join. Rather than the usual experience of just reading what a website has to say, everyone is invited to actively participate. Users can help produce for themselves the best and most comprehensive index of businesses on the web, or the most detailed index of companies in their town or even street.

If you’d like to join in, add a company or update any of the information on the site, just click the Create Account link to become a Bizwiki Editor.

It’s a fast-growing club you are more than welcome to join!

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Bizwiki powers business search for

We are pleased to be able to announce that now powers the business listings on the local search website.

You can now find information provided directly from Bizwiki powering Allonesearch’s search functionality and appearing on many of the business directory pages.

What this exciting development means to our visitors is that by adding your business or increasing the amount of information available about it on Bizwiki, you will get exposure not only to out community of users on this site but also to people using Allonesearch for local information and yellow page look-ups.

If you would like to get a new company added to both Bizwiki and it’s now easier than ever, just click to add it right here.

And the best part is that it’s completely free to do so. That’s the wiki difference.

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We are happy to announce that the American version of went fully live today. Bizwiki was launched as an Alpha in the USA in December 2008, promising to change the way local search works by enabling its users to build up the most detailed and up-to-date index of business in the United States.

The new fully live version features over 5,000 categories of business, and in contrast to traditional Yellow Pages websites invites business owners and representatives to add and improve their companies’ records with everything from contact details to prices and opening hours, completely free of charge.

“We are also launching new functionality today that allows the site’s users to ‘Watch’ any business, receiving an email notifying them of any additions and edits,” said Bizwiki co-founder Matt Aird. “This is useful for anyone who is interested in following changes, but is primarily designed to empower people to get involved in claiming their own businesses and ensuring the information the public sees stays as accurate and relevant as possible.”

Creating a ‘Watchlist’ of businesses on Bizwiki is free. Representatives are invited to sign up with and look up the companies they are interested in, then simply click ‘Watch this business’ to receive notification of any changes to the record. They are also able to add more information and details to records while doing so.

At the moment the Watchlist functionality is only available on, but expect to see it duplicated on in the coming months.

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We are happy to announce that after months of hard work, thousands of hours of dedicated effort by our editors and tens of thousands of contributions of business details from both company owners and the general public, the full set of business categories is now live on

This is a real mile-stone in the progress of this project, meaning that the site has moved out of Beta into its fully live version. There are now over 5,000 categories of business on, divided into vertical groups of similar categories to make navigating and searching the site easy.

We expect to make further improvements over the months ahead, particularly as some of these categories are fleshed out with additional companies and details, but in the meantime we’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has added records or edited and improved the information on Bizwiki. It is greatly appreciated.

We hope you have a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

Watch this space in 2010!

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BizwikiBot adds more detail to Businesses

The BizwikiBot web crawler has been extremely busy recently, and we’re happy to say we’ve been able to add additional detail to hundreds of thousands of businesses right across America.

Our custom-built BizwikiBot is programmed to perform tasks such as confirming or updating vital contact details and retrieving and processing a short portion of text about companies. As well as adding additional useful content about companies on the site, this is a great help to our human editors in keeping information up to date.

Expect to additional information appearing on over a hundred thousand more company pages over the weeks ahead as BizwikiBot continues its crawling, indexing and sorting of data.

You can add a new company to Bizwiki or add a website to an existing business record and the site will be added to a list for BizwikiBot to spider in its next pass.

 What is BizwikiBot?

BizwikiBot is a web crawler programmed to browse the internet in a methodical, automated manner. When visiting sites, BizwikiBot spiders pages and retrieves text as a means of providing up-to-date information about businesses to the many people who use the Bizwiki site.

This automatically spidered information is added to the hand-written content, providing additional detail to the site’s users. Registered users can edit and add to these records, with a goal of providing the public with a more complete picture of each company.

BizwikiBot is designed to be a polite bot, following any instructions from the site’s owners and using the minimum bandwidth and server resources.

If you would like information about managing how BizwikiBot interacts with your site, or need to know how to prevent it accessing certain pages, please see

We hope you find the new content and information useful!

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Wikipedia to Control Changes to Articles About People

According to the New York Times, in a move to tighten up control of sensitive information Wikipedia will soon require approval from an experienced editor before changes to articles about living people are displayed on the site.

In February we reported that Wikipedia was considering just such a move in our post Wikipedia breaks with the tradition of ‘Anything Goes’. They are now going ahead with what is being termed “flagged revisions” which means that any revisions done to articles about living people will not be published instantly but rather be flagged and reviewed by an experienced editor. If it’s approved, the revision will then be published and visible to the general public.

This is very similar to the way Bizwiki works, with editors involved in the approval and moderation of new company data and business information. The difference is that we do this for all records, rather than just some, because we believe it’s vitally important that users can trust and rely on the site’s information.

With people from school children to journalists to CEO’s citing Wikipedia as a reference, ensuring the accuracy of the articles has to be paramount. Mr. Wales, Wikipedia’s founder, obviously agrees and is taking steps towards protecting both Wikipedia’s information and its reputation.

This additional step in the process is sure to be controversial as it means editing these articles will no longer be instant, and the division of experienced volunteer editors from new users is a move away from treating everyone as equal contributors of knowledge. However, I see it more as a necessary maturation of their approach as more and more people are relying on their site for information.

If anything, my prediction is that this trend will continue, with Wikipedia gradually tightening up the control of other sections of the site. With the breadth of articles on Wikipedia now being so huge they can afford to slow down the acceptance of new information for the sake of accuracy and honesty.

They can afford to lose speed, but not trust.

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