DigitalTown’s Smart Search is a whole new way of looking at Search. Unlike search behemoths like Google and Bing, DigitalTown search is not being done on a single website, but rather on a massive global network of local sites, all of which are connected by a single login.
For starters, city search powered by DigitalTown is local. Rather than wading through a sea of irrelevant search results, local search powered by DigitalTown is focused on what is truly local, systematically weeding out the search results published by sources that are either not authoritative or not local.
Smart Search uses natural language to smartly identify what you are seeking. If there is a known structured answer to the question, including the ability to book or buy from a local merchant, these options are presented rather than having to click out to an external site.
When logged in, Smart Search knows your preferences and over time learns more about you, and assigns preference in search results to the items that are most pertinent to you based on your interests and preferences.
DigitalTown’s global network of sites follow a standard set of conventions based on cities and topics. Nashville.city is about the city of Nashville. Chicago.menu is about restaurants in Chicago. All of a sudden the web makes sense!
DigitalTown is an engine for economic development providing a breakthrough set of tools to unleash the productive capacity of the community. DigitalTown makes it easy for locals to buy local, and at the same time equips local producers to sell global across Retail, Services, Dining, Lodging and Property.
DigitalTown provides merchants of all sizes with a free storefront entirely funded by transactions rather than having setup fees and monthly fees that can quickly become a burden, particularly for new merchants. With just a few clicks, a new merchant can begin selling online.
For small businesses, getting approved for a merchant account can be an ordeal, and moreover there are many rookie mistakes to be learned. With DigitalTown as payment processor, merchants are able to immediately start selling, and DigitalTown is watching out for both buyer and seller.
With winner-take-all platform providers like Expedia charging up to 40% commissions and paying up to 60 days after stay, it has become increasingly difficult for small and medium sized enterprises to compete. DigitalTown’s approach empowers local stakeholders to buy local and buy direct.Case Study
The idea of helping improve a city has not a new idea. However, traditionally this is for a small cadre of participants that have somehow become connected to structured programs that aspire to improve the city. The average resident is an observer. DigitalTown turns legal residents into engaged citizens.
In a DigitalTown, citizens can start or join projects, participate in polls or petitions, and discuss issues. By participating in civic improvement projects, verified citizens also build their online reputation, not just locally but also globally. In a DigitalTown, it literally pays to be good.
Among city planners, the ubiquitous term is called “Wayfinding” — the ability to find your way. In the move to digital mapping and GPS-enabled smart phones, the emphasis is on getting to where you want to go. However, what if you don’t know where to go? Therein emerges the great challenge of creating Smart Destinations, and that is to deliver on the promise of Smart Agents that can translate your needs, interests, location and availability, into answers to questions like “Where to go?”, “What to do?”, “Where to stay?”, “What to eat?” and “Who to meet?”
Digital Inclusion is about making better use of the productive capacity of all stakeholders in a community. DigitalTown provides the organizing framework that connects people and organizations in order to solve shared challenges through win-win cooperation, mediated through verified identity. People who help will accrue online reputation while making better use of the community’s productive capacity.Case Study