10 September 2008

Loquo.com sucks & Yahoo!Pipes rocks!

loquo.com is definitely the main ads service in Barcelona (Spain?) . If you want to find a flatshare (people willing to live in Barcelona can't afford to leave on their own or buy a property until the house market completes its explosion), something second hand, this is the place to go!

loquo.com sucks. I am not talking about its old school user interface ... At the end of the day, what's matter most in an 'ads' website is to find what you're looking for !!!

loquo does not have any kind of advanced search:

The image “http://lh4.ggpht.com/jeanmichel.garnier/SMefBJr8b1I/AAAAAAAABFg/dZmTpla4EWM/alquiler%20de%20habitaci%C3%B3n%20Barcelona%20%7C%20vivienda%20%7C%20Loquo%20Barcelona.png” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

You can't filter anything. Most of the ads specify "only girls", so if you're a guy you'll have to read these hundreds of "solo chicas" ads. You can't filter by area or anything in the description.

By contrast, London based and free service moveflat.com offers the most useful search filters "ever ever":

The image “http://lh6.ggpht.com/jeanmichel.garnier/SMefqgjo_oI/AAAAAAAABFo/fjg8q8DMqiw/London%20flatshare.png” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Another problems is the repetition of ads. Adding an add is free so most people add their add many times to make sure they appear at the top of the search results. Loquo displays the results order by date of publishing and you can't change the order ...

Fortunately, Yahoo! pipes rocks and will help us to filter loquo search results using the RSS feeds. I have created a pipe you can tweak to adapt it to your needs. Here is an example of the output for 'a monitor OR pantalla OR LCD with price<= 150€:

The fact that loquo was bought by ebay and since then no major feature was added tends to comfort me in my opinion that innovation comes mainly from the small guys. The creators probably got some money and left ...

Once again, the contrast is huge with moveflat.com created by an amateur who does not make money of it and did it for the sake of doing things well and help other people ...

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