bermuda.com goes local

Posted: September 23, 2010 in Bermuda, internet, Technology, travel

Went to the launch of the new-look Bermuda.com tonight. The tourist-focused site has been overhauled and aims to be a lot more dynamic in terms of content. There’s better integration of Google Maps and social media-type tools and the leaner redesign should be faster to load and the site claims to be optimised for better search engine results.

The site is aggressively going after the local market and Yellow Pages in particular with its bermuda.com Local section which offers users impressive search, rate, share and review functions for local businesses. Click on a business and you get map location and turn by turn directions.

Advertisers themselves can dynamically add text, images and video and have access to an very useful back end that tracks their online presence across the internet and what people are saying about their business on various websites, blogs and social media networks. Online reputation is critical these days and this is an easy-to-use option to keep track of it.

A new Onions section aims to draw more locals to the site with things like flight status, off island travel deals in conjunction with Expedia, Bermynet-style party photo pages, contests and what it claims is a simplified guide to what’s on at the movies – something no one seems to get right. This attempt is better but infuriatingly there is still no “at a glance” guide to what’s on – you have to click through to the Bermuda Sun’s movie reviews to find out where the film is playing [Bermuda.com and the Sun are both owned by Media House].

All in all though, a lot of useful improvements but it remains to be seen whether local users will gravitate to it in any great numbers. As their Facebook page has only 411 followers (as of 10.15pm tonight),  it suggests they may have some work to do.

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