BlockAvenue’s first major update since launching
BlockAvenue is a location-based analytics company focused on providing consumers an intuitive platform to help better understand everything there is to know about a location, leveraging over 50 million data points such as crime, sex offenders, transit options, local amenities, restaurants, schools and a proprietary social layer to provide its BlockScore across the United States. The company operates on the understanding that all real estate is local, down to the very street, and offers a platform for neighbors to communicate, rate, and inform others.
The company has announced their first major update, allowing users to actively follow and contribute to conversations on the site, with topics ranging from recent crime reports to news of grand openings. This live feature allows locals to track the latest happenings in their neighborhood, status updates, and what others are saying about it.
BlockAvenue said in a statement, “Our goal on this release was to bring the “social” feature front and center. The data aggregation we’ve done is cool, but the comments, reviews and votes local folks are writing are way cooler and way more interesting. On top of that, the ability to connect with your neighbors was hot item that had been requested over the past few months, and we’ve truly captured that this time around.”
Tony Longo, BlockAvenue Founder tells AGBeat, “Over the past 8 weeks, we have collected nearly 8,000 reviews and comments in our “beta” markets (Boston, DC & NYC). It has been very exciting to see local conversations build in real time. Bringing this conversation has always been true to what we are building, and I think with our new search interface we have accomplished that.”
Three major BlockAvenue updates
They have added three major updates, including the “top box” which is the large search box at the top left, offering local talk (“think Twitter meets Quora for locations,” the company asserts), the ability to report a neighborhood problem like a pothole or recent fire, as well as being able to drag the pin around the map to narrow down search. Secondly, the company updated the user interface to bring the conversation front and center, stating, “You can search, comment, vote, write a review, read reviews and view full-details of any data point all from the same page. Bad ass, isn’t it?”
The third update may be the most important and one that the company has been wrestling with since their inception earlier this year, and that is the ability to post anonymously. “We have witnessed other review sites become poisoned with fake reviews or spam and this is an issue we are dedicated to avoid. However, about a month ago a user called us up and asked us to anonymize her reviews as she had vented some very real and some very big problems going on in her neighborhood, and for her safety didn’t want her name attached to them.” It still requires Facebook login to authenticate the user and avoid spam and scams, but anonymizes the reviewer’s identity.