411 NY is a community-driven social networking website where locals and visitors of New York can share information and their experiences. The public benefit service was launched as with GOOG-411 on April 6, 2007 and is free to its Internet users.
After being online for seven months, 411 NY, on November 1, 2007, launched its online community after it obtained a license from Invision Power Services. This gave the registered users of the site a “meeting place” where they could have public or private discussions with other members.
After a successful year online, 411 New York acquired a second license from Invision Power Services which enabled it to launch on May 21, 2008 a second online community that focused on the Bronx Zoo located in the New York City borough of the Bronx. Although the Bronx Zoo Forum was launched six months after the New York Forum, its registered members has surpassed the New York Forum members by the end of 2008. To help offset the costs to offer the free service, the site started to accept advertising for local and national business through Adwords including those which use banner ads from Commission Junction.
After a long battle with automated posting from scripts hosted on foreign servers in 2008, guest posting was no longer offered to visitors making it a requirement to register to communicate with the community.
New security features for the online community were provided in version 3.0 by Invision Power Services which helped to stop automated posting (as with sites such a MySpace and Yahoo! Answers) and registering so guest postings were once again returned under strict moderator review before the content goes live.
Once a user register on the forum, the system retains the personalized information for future visits. Users have the option to receive an email notification immediately after a response is submitted to their query. The members also have the ability to send personal or private message to each other members through the community. Guest and members are able to view classifieds listed in the online community but only members are able to add and update the information listed in each forum. The classified section covers certain topics such as Accessories, Art/Photo/Music, Automotive, Beauty, Books/Media, Business Buying and Selling, Careers, Clothing/Apparel, Computer & Electronics, Department Stores/Malls, Education, Entertainment, Family, Financial Services, Food & Drinks, Games & Toys, Gifts & Flowers, Health and Wellness, Home & Garden, Insurance, Legal, Marketing, Non-Profit, Online Services, Recreation & Leisure, Seasonal, Sports & Fitness, Telecommunications and Travel. Automated posting from scripts made during version that preceded version 3.0 were transferred to those sections providing they did not have or linked to any portrayal of explicit sexual subject matter.
The electronic guide provides information to those wishing to visit or relocate to New York City. The information is based on collaboration of the members insights and experiences, books from local libraries and reliable sources on the internet. The guide is considered a mini scale version of Wikipedia except that it lacks the feature where members and visitors have authorization to add, delete or edit any materials at will. This restriction helps to avoid vandalism and spam which Wikipedia experiences. Occasionally, freelance writers are used to generate large amounts of textual content for the guide.
This is done specifically to satisfy algorithms for maximal retrieval by automated search engines thus generating advertising revenue from attracted reader’s page views.
In addition to the New York Forum where jobs can be posted and listed for free and without expiration, there is a job portal on 411 New York where anyone can post a job and list a career offer for a small fee and have those offer distributed to SimplyHired.com and its 5,000 social networks, media contents, blogs, and niche website partners for a maximum of 365 days. Employers who post frequently are given a private package or discount code which will either reduce or waive the fee.
411 New York has made it easy to locate under 21 night clubs that are located in and around the State of New York. Working with the owners of nightclubs, promoters and clubbers in the metropolitan area, data is compiled into and easy to read format for the registered members and guests.
Using the power of WordPress, Editorials, Local, National and International News are published daily thus creating related content for the affiliates inbound links and banners. As subscribed and new readers view the articles of interest, they are presented with the products and services from affiliates related to the article. One such example is reading reports about a local auto accident and seeing a banners for discount Auto Insurance.