The way things can tangle (and my – Google is fast)…

27 Sep

So I was perusing over some stats for iBegin Source, and saw that the last person who had downloaded our data had come via ‘local business data

Looking in the results, I noticed a post on Webmaster World titled “Good Source For Local Business Data?

Lo and behold, it redirected to this page, which had been posted roughly 24 hours ago. And lo and behold, someone had mentioned iBegin.

This was both amazing and frightening. Amazing that not only had Google indexed it so fast, but there were now other people mentioning iBegin. But frightening too – there was no easy way for me to know iBegin had been mentioned. This was especially crucial as tennis_fan28 was slightly incorrect – it wasn’t 50k for the full US, but 40k (not that big of a deal, but accidental mis-information). It wasn’t picked up on blogs. There was no link for me to find it on referrals. BoardTracker (imo the best bulletin board search engine) missed it by a mile. The only thing that would have caught it would have been Google’s advanced search option (where you can specify the date-range of when something was first found). Unfortunately this has two problems: 1) it finds a lot of junk/redundant stuff (eg anything on the domain new to Google) and 2) it only works for *new* pages – a forum thread started a while ago but with a new mention of iBegin would pass through.

Anyway – what eventually happened was I posted in two separate threads where iBegin was mentioned, and the next day the threads were gone. Turned out they had been flagged for review – and I don’t blame them, it did seem very convenient. The posts were restored the next day – anyone try to crawl and Good Source For Local Business Data?

6 Responses to The way things can tangle (and my – Google is fast)…


Randomness - Tech Soapbox

September 27th, 2007 at 7:40 pm

[...] My last post was on the randomness of how a search let me to find out about other people discussing one of our companies. [...]



September 28th, 2007 at 8:09 am

Glad you think BoardTracker is the best board search engine! :)

The reason we missed by a mile in this case is because we dont spider webmasterworld since their robots.txt forbids ‘unauthorized’ bots. We tried to contact the admin to see about getting authorized but no luck which is a shame.

btw – BoardTracker v2 is also ‘coming soon’ ;) You can play with the (slow/buggy) beta at



September 28th, 2007 at 10:28 am

Yeah I know Brett doesn’t want any one else crawling – He talks about it in his robots.txt blog :)

Didn’t even realize you guys had RSS results for the searches – time to subscribe :)



October 16th, 2007 at 11:02 pm

Hi Ahmed, sorry for posting the incorrect info in WW. I honestly can’t remember when I came across iBegin, only that it was a few months after it launched, before Ottawa went up.

I had an idea to start a large Google Maps mashup back when CNN first posted an article about Google Maps hacks and the first ones were Craigs List and crime maps. I saw iBegin and that it was only in Toronto at the time and then Ottawa, then Kalamazoo and then Nashville. It wasn’t until I saw Source that I began to sweat thinking someone had the same idea and did a much better and faster job (though it does help to have a team and I am working on this in my spare time…lol). I saw other sites like Yelp and I had no idea where the freak you guys got your information. I totally commend you for doing such a great job and sharing with everyone just how you got it.



October 16th, 2007 at 11:04 pm

Actually, I remember Business 2.0 had an article in an issue a couple of years ago now where they asked VC’s what they wanted to invest in and one said to have a new community driven Craigs List. That’s what got me going and I thought that if it didn’t work, at least I would learn a lot in the process. And I have.



October 17th, 2007 at 7:01 pm

Thanks tennis – both for the kind words and for help spreading the word on iBegin Source :)

I still think we are in the infancy stage – people come to us, poke us with a stick, and then watch to make sure we will be sticking around.

I think in about 12-18 months we will become a *true* heavyweight to reckon with.