Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Naturally low in facts.

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User inputs a product or service name, gets back alternatives.
  [vote for,

Sample Input: varsitybooks.com (sells cheap used textbooks) Sample Output: bigwords.com (same thing)

Sample Input: ZipUpTheWeb (crawls and saves entire web sites, recursively following links, up to some given depth) Sample Output: SurfSaver (same thing)

By the way, it was quite a challenge to compile these two examples. This is precisely because I know of no system that does this.

An information source to counter the negative effects of marketing: (1) marketing costs and (2) poor decisions by customers.

(1) The consumer always pays for the marketing campaign that sold him.

(2) The system today is such that people don't buy something because it's good, but because the marketing convinced them that it was good when they decided to buy it.

This would help superior products and standards win the race, by helping consumers make decisions based on the product's real value.

GusLacerda, Apr 17 2001

Repeat after me http://www.northernlight.com/
pick a folder, any folder... [thumbwax, Apr 17 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Microsoft-specific one http://microsoft.toddverbeek.com/
This just list alternatives to Microsoft products [krelnik, Oct 25 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

alternativeTo http://www.alternativeto.com
Open Source alternatives to commercial software [pashute, Jun 15 2011]


       No, I think the idea is that the apparatus of advertising trains us very carefully to associate brand names with products and services, rather than a more generic description. That way, when our windows are dirty, rather than saying "Honey, could you pick up some spray ammonia window cleaner at the store?" we say "Honey, could you pick up some Windex(tm)?".   

       The point of this idea, I think, is to counteract this effect by making it super convenient to find alternatives to a product.   

       Where it falls down (which I think you and the squeke are both pointing out) is that you can accomplish this effect any number of ways. Go to dmoz.org (or any major directory); enter "bigwords" and you are taken to "Shopping: Publications: Books: Education: University: Buy and Sell"; enter "surfsaver" and you're taken to "Computers: Software: Shareware: Windows: Internet: Search Tools".   

       It's a nice thought, but I don't think a specialized service is needed.   

       What is needed is a way to perform that search automatically. When you go to bigwords.com, somewhere in your peripheral vision should appear a list of other textbook shopping sites... but "What's Related" does almost exactly that. When you're looking at Windex in the store, somewhere in your peripheral vision should appear other window cleaning products on the shelves... oh wait, they already do.
egnor, Apr 17 2001

       If anyone with a potentially revolutionary discovery would be good enough to name all components and raw materials with suitable foresight, a lot of naming disparity would be avoided. For example, if a big whopping grin <LOL> was called a 'choc'--you could call a consumable designed to make that grin more prominent something besides 'Grin-full-o-nuts', or 'LOL-full-o-nuts'. Or...?
reensure, Apr 17 2001

egnor, Apr 17 2001

       Isn't that ePinions?
egnor, Apr 17 2001

       Not just sites. "Find products like" is closer to what I want.   

       egnor: Neither dmoz.org nor Yahoo does this very well, unfortunately. This is because the directory structure is a simple tree. Since products often have more than one use, it's impossible in general to create a tree structure which allows you to find all similar entries by looking at what is in the same directory, and not have a lot of other junk in there. (You can always put everything in one directory, but then you're junk-bound)
GusLacerda, Apr 17 2001

       Maybe you should maintain a subjective catalog of what is complementary pairs of goods and what is substitutional pairs of goods, the latter being competitive goods in the context of forsale goods. I've always been an advocate of like attracts like in forsale goods and like repels like in unforsale goods. I also advocate goods of a mixed forsale/unforsale character. But that's baked, glazed and flamb&eacute;e.
LoriZ, Aug 07 2001

       northernlight does a respectable job
thumbwax, Sep 07 2001

       You realize that if you create this site, you'll be sued by countless corporations for trademark "violation" (the point not being that you're really infringing, but that it's worthwhile for market leaders to try to shut down the site).
bookworm, Sep 07 2001


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