Why this site/group is needed

I grew up in a big city. The best place to find things was the Yellow Pages. While you tended to build long-term business relationships through friend's recommendations and evaluating choices, setting up something new (for example, a pipe broke and I need a plumber fast) typically came from the Yellow Pages.

If you live in a small community, word of mouth is the typical tool. Unlike the Yellow Pages, it also came with the advantage of some "opinion". That is, people could add their personal experience to the information.

In the Internet age, it would seem that an on-line directory is the logical next step. That is, it could offer all the advantages of the Yellow Pages (easy access, updated information and such plus some user feedback). It's a good theory but without the "control" of the Yellow Pages it will fail. What do I mean by control? A free listing came with your business telephone service and outdated listings were deleted because "no phone, no free listing".

Enterprising companies decided to create their own business directories. The difference was that there was no control. Listings got stale plus lots of businesses decided to not list themselves. Even Google got into the game by adding businesses they knew nothing about to a map with the listing claiming that if this was your business you could claim it.

I have tried to come up with a solution but, unfortunately, I have failed. I don't feel bad as even Google has failed here but, in the mean time, some help finding that plumber is needed. This site won't offer the universal solution but it will extend word-of-mouth beyond just talking to your neighbor.

Posts have a date so you can see how "stale" the information is and comments exist to get personal opinion. We will never be comprehensive but at least you will have a place to start your search.