A new website hopes to quantify the buzz around a particular product and help the shopper use the buzz to buy the right product.
This is done by writing a piece on the product, commenting on an existing article, or recommending the product with a simple click.
Created by Philip Wilkinson, founder of Shopgenie and Kelkoo UK (now part of Yahoo) and Chris Scollo, a former vice president at Ciao, Crowdstorm takes what Wilkinson describes as a "step back" in online shopping.
"Kelkoo is great for people who know what product they want, but we decided to take a step back to help the people who know they want to buy a digital camera but don't know which one," he said.
Crowdstorm is intended to mimic how people have always bought products offline, according to Wilkinson.
"We wanted to do something more detailed than a price comparison site, something that looked at how we buy products," he explained.
"Normally people buy goods after a recommendation either from a magazine or a newspaper or a friend. We just want to improve on it and bring technology into the equation. So we designed this community to do the same thing."
As well as through advertising, Crowdstorm intends to create revenue through links to third-party sites like Kelkoo and eBay and by using the site as a platform for companies wanting to launch new products into the market.
"By loaning new products to our influential users and opinion formers, a company can get their product in the public eye and create a buzz," said Wilkinson.
However, the use of gifts and 'long-term loans' from companies to encourage writers of impartial blogs to write favourably about a product has been an increasing problem.
"The key to the site is its impartiality; it takes a long time for someone to build a reputation online," said Wilkinson.
"If they give good advice then people will trust them, but if the advice is to buy a product that doesn't work then they won't be trusted anymore."
Crowdstorm is currently in beta and will launch fully sometime in the next three months.
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