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gliebster

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Hello Everybody,
Bed & Breakfast Browser has been redeveloped and relaunched. Innkeepers can now submit and update listing details and photos. Inngoers are able to write reviews and upload their photos.
http://www.bbbrowser.com
We would like to invite you to submit your B&B listings or update your listing if you find that we already have you. We do not charge fees or place limits on the number of pictures you can upload. For the benefit of the inngoers, we want all bed and breakfasts, everywhere, to share as much detail about their offerings as they have available. For-pay directories have benefits (the legit ones, anyway) but also we see that they self-limit their own size and usefulness. We are taking a different direction, one that we have been successful at with other sites. Our goal is to become the most detailed B&B directory online and to do it at zero cost to the innkeeper (eventually we will tastefully monetize the site with contextual ads - Google AdSense).
So with that said, we'll appreciate your submissions and any feedback you might have on the way we operate. Also kindly let us know if you find any bugs or typos. Lastly, we would appreciate it if you would point visitors to your listing on our site so that they can write a review.
Thank you for reading.
 

EmptyNest

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How did you get the ones on your site right now? There is one from our town listed and they are not a B & B.
 

egoodell

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How did you get the ones on your site right now? There is one from our town listed and they are not a B & B..
catlady said:
How did you get the ones on your site right now? There is one from our town listed and they are not a B & B.
They have one in our town that is not one either. A company that offers rooms in homes and cottages that are privately owned.
RIki
 

JBloggs

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Steven how are you paying for this directory if you do not charge the innkeeper? Just google ads later on? I like the layout and the inns listings...I will add mine after I serve breakfast today.
 

swirt

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Is there a review policy? I didn't see one. If there is a dispute about a review, what methods will you use to verify the legitimacy of the review? Will innkeepers be allowed a management response?
 

Proud Texan

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The information must have been gathered from old web listings. They are listing only one B&B from my area and it's been out of business for several years.
This one smells funny. Are we starting to get spammed in our own forum??
 

swirt

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The information must have been gathered from old web listings. They are listing only one B&B from my area and it's been out of business for several years.
This one smells funny. Are we starting to get spammed in our own forum??.
Proud Texan said:
This one smells funny. Are we starting to get spammed in our own forum??
LOL. Starting to get spammed....we get spammed almost daily. Fortunately we have great members that flag off topic spam (like v1agara, port-a-potties, seo, wrinkle cream...) quickly enough that most members never even see it.
This one is spam but its on topic, so it stands. This gives us a chance to kick the tires and check it out. ;)
Sadly, outdated listings are almost always the plague of any "free" directory. There is no built-in clean-up cycle like their would be if the innkeeper stopped paying the bill.
 

gliebster

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The information must have been gathered from old web listings. They are listing only one B&B from my area and it's been out of business for several years.
This one smells funny. Are we starting to get spammed in our own forum??.
Proud Texan said:
This one smells funny. Are we starting to get spammed in our own forum??
LOL. Starting to get spammed....we get spammed almost daily. Fortunately we have great members that flag off topic spam (like v1agara, port-a-potties, seo, wrinkle cream...) quickly enough that most members never even see it.
This one is spam but its on topic, so it stands. This gives us a chance to kick the tires and check it out. ;)
Sadly, outdated listings are almost always the plague of any "free" directory. There is no built-in clean-up cycle like their would be if the innkeeper stopped paying the bill.
.
egoodell said:
catlady said:
How did you get the ones on your site right now? There is one from our town listed and they are not a B & B.
They have one in our town that is not one either. A company that offers rooms in homes and cottages that are privately owned.
RIki
If you can point me to those I would appreciate it. Most of our data is four years old and came from spidering the web plus manual review. Unfortunately there is outdated information. What I may do is once a bulk of inns have submited/updated their listing is purge the older ones. We've had a hundred or so listings be updated over the weekend so it will just be a matter of time. In the meantime I really appreciate the pointing out of any outdated information.
Joe Bloggs said:
Steven how are you paying for this directory if you do not charge the innkeeper? Just google ads later on? I like the layout and the inns listings...I will add mine after I serve breakfast today.
Yes, Google AdSense in a tasteful way once traffic has built up. This is how all of my company's content sites are supported.
Thank you for submitting your listing... after breakfast. :)
swirt said:
Is there a review policy? I didn't see one. If there is a dispute about a review, what methods will you use to verify the legitimacy of the review? Will innkeepers be allowed a management response?
We have a list of guidelines for reviewers which explain the obvious: you must have paid, stayed, etc. I had not thought about a policy for handling disputes. I agree innkeepers should be able to make a response and I can incorporate something along those lines when I setup our commenting system. Until then I will approach it case-base case if situation arrives. We track IPs so for example if an innkeeper claims their competitor is leaving negative reviews it would be a red flag if the "reviewer" traces back to the local area.
From an innkeeper's perspective, what would you like to see in a dispute policy / process? I admit that I approach this site more from the consumer end.
Proud Texan said:
The information must have been gathered from old web listings. They are listing only one B&B from my area and it's been out of business for several years.
This one smells funny. Are we starting to get spammed in our own forum??
But it sure is pretty, isn't it? Seriously though, if you want to keep watching this site over the next few years you'll see that there are no tricks here. As said above, I do realize the data is not on par with the other major sites at this point, but we will get there (we are getting there). I've invested two years in the development of this site already and have no intention of getting lazy.
And with that said, I'd appreciate innkeepers submitting and updating fresh listings. Nothing to lose but a few minutes.
swirt said:
Proud Texan said:
This one smells funny. Are we starting to get spammed in our own forum??
LOL. Starting to get spammed....we get spammed almost daily. Fortunately we have great members that flag off topic spam (like v1agara, port-a-potties, seo, wrinkle cream...) quickly enough that most members never even see it.
This one is spam but its on topic, so it stands. This gives us a chance to kick the tires and check it out. ;)
Sadly, outdated listings are almost always the plague of any "free" directory. There is no built-in clean-up cycle like their would be if the innkeeper stopped paying the bill.
I appreciate you guys kicking the tires.
You have a point about the "built-in" cleanup cycle that paid sites have. However, we are living in a new time. Some of the best and most useful sites today are basically user-managed. I plan to place a nice big note atop that asks visitors and [especially] innkeepers to help report inns that have closed.
Aside from that, there are other ways to clean up other than sending people bills. One might be to ask innkeepers to update their listing every so often in order to keep it active. Listings not updated within X period of time could be deactivated. Assuming that at some point B&B Browser will be able to drive respectable traffic to innkeepers, I do not think innkeepers would need to much prodding.
It will be a big mountain to climb to make this into one of the more popular directories for inngoers as a free site, but I like a challenge and I like trying things different.
 

swirt

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I don't think he started with 4 year old data...when he started, the data was fresh, maybe not accurate, but fresh.
Are you sure Locust Grove was never a B&B, it is listed on the gov tourism page....just a few below some other B&B that is no longer open ;)
 

JBloggs

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Steven!!! ARGHHHH!!!! You have to change the icon for SPA SERVICES!!! PLEASE! I about fell out of my seat here.
 

JBloggs

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I had to add a city, but appreciate allowing me to enter the info on the city as an attraction and tourist location. Secondly, appreciate all the areas to add even more info on my listing, like addtl wording for photos not just a caption, it does look nice, so well done on the visual aspect.
All in all I like it. Now is guests could find it you will be in business!
(Not liking the icon for spa services however)
 

EmptyNest

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I don't think he started with 4 year old data...when he started, the data was fresh, maybe not accurate, but fresh.
Are you sure Locust Grove was never a B&B, it is listed on the gov tourism page....just a few below some other B&B that is no longer open ;).
NOpe..that site is so out of date it isn't funny. Locust Grove is a cabin rental NEver was a B & B.
 

EmptyNest

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The information must have been gathered from old web listings. They are listing only one B&B from my area and it's been out of business for several years.
This one smells funny. Are we starting to get spammed in our own forum??.
Proud Texan said:
This one smells funny. Are we starting to get spammed in our own forum??
LOL. Starting to get spammed....we get spammed almost daily. Fortunately we have great members that flag off topic spam (like v1agara, port-a-potties, seo, wrinkle cream...) quickly enough that most members never even see it.
This one is spam but its on topic, so it stands. This gives us a chance to kick the tires and check it out. ;)
Sadly, outdated listings are almost always the plague of any "free" directory. There is no built-in clean-up cycle like their would be if the innkeeper stopped paying the bill.
.
egoodell said:
catlady said:
How did you get the ones on your site right now? There is one from our town listed and they are not a B & B.
They have one in our town that is not one either. A company that offers rooms in homes and cottages that are privately owned.
RIki
If you can point me to those I would appreciate it. Most of our data is four years old and came from spidering the web plus manual review. Unfortunately there is outdated information. What I may do is once a bulk of inns have submited/updated their listing is purge the older ones. We've had a hundred or so listings be updated over the weekend so it will just be a matter of time. In the meantime I really appreciate the pointing out of any outdated information.
Joe Bloggs said:
Steven how are you paying for this directory if you do not charge the innkeeper? Just google ads later on? I like the layout and the inns listings...I will add mine after I serve breakfast today.
Yes, Google AdSense in a tasteful way once traffic has built up. This is how all of my company's content sites are supported.
Thank you for submitting your listing... after breakfast. :)
swirt said:
Is there a review policy? I didn't see one. If there is a dispute about a review, what methods will you use to verify the legitimacy of the review? Will innkeepers be allowed a management response?
We have a list of guidelines for reviewers which explain the obvious: you must have paid, stayed, etc. I had not thought about a policy for handling disputes. I agree innkeepers should be able to make a response and I can incorporate something along those lines when I setup our commenting system. Until then I will approach it case-base case if situation arrives. We track IPs so for example if an innkeeper claims their competitor is leaving negative reviews it would be a red flag if the "reviewer" traces back to the local area.
From an innkeeper's perspective, what would you like to see in a dispute policy / process? I admit that I approach this site more from the consumer end.
Proud Texan said:
The information must have been gathered from old web listings. They are listing only one B&B from my area and it's been out of business for several years.
This one smells funny. Are we starting to get spammed in our own forum??
But it sure is pretty, isn't it? Seriously though, if you want to keep watching this site over the next few years you'll see that there are no tricks here. As said above, I do realize the data is not on par with the other major sites at this point, but we will get there (we are getting there). I've invested two years in the development of this site already and have no intention of getting lazy.
And with that said, I'd appreciate innkeepers submitting and updating fresh listings. Nothing to lose but a few minutes.
swirt said:
Proud Texan said:
This one smells funny. Are we starting to get spammed in our own forum??
LOL. Starting to get spammed....we get spammed almost daily. Fortunately we have great members that flag off topic spam (like v1agara, port-a-potties, seo, wrinkle cream...) quickly enough that most members never even see it.
This one is spam but its on topic, so it stands. This gives us a chance to kick the tires and check it out. ;)
Sadly, outdated listings are almost always the plague of any "free" directory. There is no built-in clean-up cycle like their would be if the innkeeper stopped paying the bill.
I appreciate you guys kicking the tires.
You have a point about the "built-in" cleanup cycle that paid sites have. However, we are living in a new time. Some of the best and most useful sites today are basically user-managed. I plan to place a nice big note atop that asks visitors and [especially] innkeepers to help report inns that have closed.
Aside from that, there are other ways to clean up other than sending people bills. One might be to ask innkeepers to update their listing every so often in order to keep it active. Listings not updated within X period of time could be deactivated. Assuming that at some point B&B Browser will be able to drive respectable traffic to innkeepers, I do not think innkeepers would need to much prodding.
It will be a big mountain to climb to make this into one of the more popular directories for inngoers as a free site, but I like a challenge and I like trying things different.
.
Why did you waste your time using 4 year old data? This makes you look un professional. Better to start out with an empty database and encourage innkeepers to join you than to put in stuff you just gleened from on line.
Locust Grove Inn in Luray, Virginia was never a b & b. Just because it has the name Inn associated with the title, doesn't mean it is. This place is not and never has been. I see lots of others in VA that are incorrect or that I have never heard of. Also the one in Churchville is not correct either.
[/h2]Porches On The James Bed & Breakfast in Smithfield, Virginia Retired and closed[/h2]
 

egoodell

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The information must have been gathered from old web listings. They are listing only one B&B from my area and it's been out of business for several years.
This one smells funny. Are we starting to get spammed in our own forum??.
Proud Texan said:
This one smells funny. Are we starting to get spammed in our own forum??
LOL. Starting to get spammed....we get spammed almost daily. Fortunately we have great members that flag off topic spam (like v1agara, port-a-potties, seo, wrinkle cream...) quickly enough that most members never even see it.
This one is spam but its on topic, so it stands. This gives us a chance to kick the tires and check it out. ;)
Sadly, outdated listings are almost always the plague of any "free" directory. There is no built-in clean-up cycle like their would be if the innkeeper stopped paying the bill.
.
egoodell said:
catlady said:
How did you get the ones on your site right now? There is one from our town listed and they are not a B & B.
They have one in our town that is not one either. A company that offers rooms in homes and cottages that are privately owned.
RIki
If you can point me to those I would appreciate it. Most of our data is four years old and came from spidering the web plus manual review. Unfortunately there is outdated information. What I may do is once a bulk of inns have submited/updated their listing is purge the older ones. We've had a hundred or so listings be updated over the weekend so it will just be a matter of time. In the meantime I really appreciate the pointing out of any outdated information.
Joe Bloggs said:
Steven how are you paying for this directory if you do not charge the innkeeper? Just google ads later on? I like the layout and the inns listings...I will add mine after I serve breakfast today.
Yes, Google AdSense in a tasteful way once traffic has built up. This is how all of my company's content sites are supported.
Thank you for submitting your listing... after breakfast. :)
swirt said:
Is there a review policy? I didn't see one. If there is a dispute about a review, what methods will you use to verify the legitimacy of the review? Will innkeepers be allowed a management response?
We have a list of guidelines for reviewers which explain the obvious: you must have paid, stayed, etc. I had not thought about a policy for handling disputes. I agree innkeepers should be able to make a response and I can incorporate something along those lines when I setup our commenting system. Until then I will approach it case-base case if situation arrives. We track IPs so for example if an innkeeper claims their competitor is leaving negative reviews it would be a red flag if the "reviewer" traces back to the local area.
From an innkeeper's perspective, what would you like to see in a dispute policy / process? I admit that I approach this site more from the consumer end.
Proud Texan said:
The information must have been gathered from old web listings. They are listing only one B&B from my area and it's been out of business for several years.
This one smells funny. Are we starting to get spammed in our own forum??
But it sure is pretty, isn't it? Seriously though, if you want to keep watching this site over the next few years you'll see that there are no tricks here. As said above, I do realize the data is not on par with the other major sites at this point, but we will get there (we are getting there). I've invested two years in the development of this site already and have no intention of getting lazy.
And with that said, I'd appreciate innkeepers submitting and updating fresh listings. Nothing to lose but a few minutes.
swirt said:
Proud Texan said:
This one smells funny. Are we starting to get spammed in our own forum??
LOL. Starting to get spammed....we get spammed almost daily. Fortunately we have great members that flag off topic spam (like v1agara, port-a-potties, seo, wrinkle cream...) quickly enough that most members never even see it.
This one is spam but its on topic, so it stands. This gives us a chance to kick the tires and check it out. ;)
Sadly, outdated listings are almost always the plague of any "free" directory. There is no built-in clean-up cycle like their would be if the innkeeper stopped paying the bill.
I appreciate you guys kicking the tires.
You have a point about the "built-in" cleanup cycle that paid sites have. However, we are living in a new time. Some of the best and most useful sites today are basically user-managed. I plan to place a nice big note atop that asks visitors and [especially] innkeepers to help report inns that have closed.
Aside from that, there are other ways to clean up other than sending people bills. One might be to ask innkeepers to update their listing every so often in order to keep it active. Listings not updated within X period of time could be deactivated. Assuming that at some point B&B Browser will be able to drive respectable traffic to innkeepers, I do not think innkeepers would need to much prodding.
It will be a big mountain to climb to make this into one of the more popular directories for inngoers as a free site, but I like a challenge and I like trying things different.
.
gliebster said:
If you can point me to those I would appreciate it. Most of our data is four years old and came from spidering the web plus manual review. Unfortunately there is outdated information. What I may do is once a bulk of inns have submited/updated their listing is purge the older ones. We've had a hundred or so listings be updated over the weekend so it will just be a matter of time. In the meantime I really appreciate the pointing out of any outdated information.
It is Guest Houses in Charlottesville. They have one little house in their inventory that is listed as a one room B&B and they use that property to list themselves as a B&B and they use that to show them as in town. But all of the rest of the properties they rent are either cottages or rooms in private homes, some in town some not. So directories allow them in.
But they are not a B&B. They rent Guest Houses and Rooms.
Riki
 

EmptyNest

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Hey... they have a B&B in Harrisonburg that closed 5 yrs ago ..Thats funny... .Mary in Bridgewater,Va..
yeah I saw that..but there are so many problems with the listings I just figured...why should I do their work for them. They obviously don't care about what they put in their directory so why should we go out of our way to help????
I just saw where the same company that created it also created this site. Wonder where they got all the information from??? Culled from the Internet???? But..maybe this one could be helpful to some of your innkeepers out there.
 

gliebster

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Hey... they have a B&B in Harrisonburg that closed 5 yrs ago ..Thats funny... .Mary in Bridgewater,Va..
yeah I saw that..but there are so many problems with the listings I just figured...why should I do their work for them. They obviously don't care about what they put in their directory so why should we go out of our way to help????
I just saw where the same company that created it also created this site. Wonder where they got all the information from??? Culled from the Internet???? But..maybe this one could be helpful to some of your innkeepers out there.
.
Joe Bloggs said:
I had to add a city, but appreciate allowing me to enter the info on the city as an attraction and tourist location. Secondly, appreciate all the areas to add even more info on my listing, like addtl wording for photos not just a caption, it does look nice, so well done on the visual aspect.
All in all I like it. Now is guests could find it you will be in business!
(Not liking the icon for spa services however)
I'm glad you like it. We're pretty confident about the system but as you know the info is what we need to focus on now.
Haha, the first two people I showed the spaw icons too has hilarious things to say but I decided to go live with it just to see what people's reactions would be. Now that I have one, I think I will put on the To Do to replace it. :p
catlady said:
yeah I saw that..but there are so many problems with the listings I just figured...why should I do their work for them. They obviously don't care about what they put in their directory so why should we go out of our way to help????
Thank you everybody for opening my eyes to the fact that there is too much out of date information on the site. I will take the approach of removing the bulk of the original information so the data can be built fresh from ground up. I'll give innkeepers a little time to continue updating existing listings first since that's going pretty well.
catlady said:
I just saw where the same company that created it also created this site. Wonder where they got all the information from??? Culled from the Internet???? But..maybe this one could be helpful to some of your innkeepers out there.
Yep, www.vegandietcenter.com is our site too. My wife and I wrote that site. We are both vegans and love to cook. Most of those recipes are our own or from my mom. If anybody has a strange vegan guest, feel free to refer to that site for tofu wraps. :p
 

gillumhouse

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OK, I just went to West Virginia. #1 I suggest you go to the WV Tourism web site and discover the names of the regions. There are now 9 not 5.
I will think about it but as of now I would be in the wrong region totally. Mountains & Lakes as you call it are 2 regions and neither is Mountains. The 2 regions covered here are Mountaineer (referring to the West Virginia University Mountaineers) and Mountain Lakes. The major mountain areas are in Potomac Highlands and in the New River/Greenbrier regions. The three counties near the DC area are called the Eastern Gateway. The Ohio Valley region is actually the Northern Panhandle and Mid-Ohio Valley. The last 2 are Metro Valley and the Coalfields. I have given you the correct names. Most any tourism map of WV will show those regions.
 

JBloggs

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From MY area the listings are all current. Any time a magazine or book puts in a listing for BnB's for our area they pull up those who have been closed for a decade or more, but oddly enough for ME you did not do that for our area.
The icon was one of two images - the better was the person trying to kill the other, the worst...well I will leave that oscenity off the forum. I removed SPA from my listing until further notice.
Thanks for the vegan resource as well. I have it bookmarked.
 

gliebster

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OK, I just went to West Virginia. #1 I suggest you go to the WV Tourism web site and discover the names of the regions. There are now 9 not 5.
I will think about it but as of now I would be in the wrong region totally. Mountains & Lakes as you call it are 2 regions and neither is Mountains. The 2 regions covered here are Mountaineer (referring to the West Virginia University Mountaineers) and Mountain Lakes. The major mountain areas are in Potomac Highlands and in the New River/Greenbrier regions. The three counties near the DC area are called the Eastern Gateway. The Ohio Valley region is actually the Northern Panhandle and Mid-Ohio Valley. The last 2 are Metro Valley and the Coalfields. I have given you the correct names. Most any tourism map of WV will show those regions..
I just chopped a huge chunk of the database off. I removed about 3,000 questionable listings. They were the ones we do not have website or email for. In the coming week we'll visit the website of each B&B remaining in our database to verify that 1) they are open and 2) they are a B&B. This should start us off with a pretty accurate database of 1,500+ B&B's (versus 5,000, mostly being questionable). You guys have been invaluable.
gilliumhouse: That's interesting. We followed what http://wikitravel.org/en/West_Virginia came up with for WV. Not all of our maps are based on state tourism maps. We tried to take a general approach with between 3 and 8 (large states) commonly accepted regions for each state/province. California and New York are probably the only states we felt it necessary to have more than 8 regions (Quebec tourism advertises 19 regions, for example, which I believe which would probably have made it difficult for our visitors... unless they do become their own country
).
 
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