With a number of Q&A services mushrooming around the globe Gootip promises to be different. What makes this location – based Q&A startup from France different from others? For starters Gootip is trying to separate itself by not only enabling users to ask and answer questions in context of a particular city, town or specific location, but in addition it allows users to sign up and link their accounts to Foursquare and Facebook so that the users can integrate their check-in data, along with their home and work location. Users then categorize their questions and enter a date by which they want their answers.
This expiration date (for when they need their question answered by) can be 24 hours or one week.
To ensure that Gootip is not just a simple mobile app, the start-up is aiming at building a platform that can retrieve and analyze local questions and answers from both internal and external services: Web, mobile, APIs, SMS, social networks and more.
Gootip has created “Askgtip”, which it calls a “mentioned application” that works with Twitter to ask questions. Askgtip allows users to ask questions directly of Twitter. Once the question is posed Gootip will analyze the question, pull the location data, and post it to Twitter and Gootip.com so that users of both will be able to see the question and post an answer. The application retrieves answers given on Twitter and displays them on their homepage, specifying locations given in the answers. Askgtip also supports Twitter’s topics, which are often linked to an event (like #tcdisrupt, for example).
Gootip will analyze by the application and link it to a specific location. That’s the main pain point Gootip is trying to address: The difficulty of finding locations and analyzing questions to produce the correct location and location-correct data.
So, for example, if you were to ask “Who is the best doctor in the ‘Mission District’ in San Francisco?” Gootip would convert “Mission District” to a location that exists on the Gootip website so that when Askgtip answers the question the answer would be transformed into a map and location on both sites. In other words bringing Gootip’s functionality to twitter and vice-versa.
It is expected to increase Gootip’s influence over Facebook, Foursquare, and Gowalla soon. The website already offers authentication with Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Gowalla and Google plus. The service is currently available in English and French, with German and Spanish translations to be launched in the next few weeks.
Gootip is also launching an iPhone app to enable users to search, ask and answer questions, with content presented based on a user’s GPS location – all from the comfort of an iPhone. Since Gootip already has over 30 million locations that it is
working with, every Gootip search can be performed by keyword from millions of towns and cities across the globe. Results are presented with the number of answers to the question, with locations pinned on an interactive map with all the details, including address, phone numbers, etc. As Gootip rolls out its service for various social networks, it is also opening up its APIs and plugins.
Gootip was founded by Price Minister alumni Mathieu Bidart, Eric Gagnaire and Thierry Sebba, and operates out of a small garage in the South West of France. For more on Gootip, check them out at home here (http://www.gootip.com), and play with Askgtip here )