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by on July 27, 2010

I remember when I met my husband for the first time. He had recently returned to the US from Jordan. He lived and worked in the capital of Jordan, Amman, for about six months. I remember him telling me all about  the city, the beauty of different parts of the country, and his experiences.

He told me that he travelled a lot around the city but he used taxi more than anything because just looking at a guidebook he could not get all the information related to the roads. Moreover, when he tried using Google maps it was very confusing, because it would give him some strange information and many times the names of streets would be half in Arabic and half in English, or some would not be labeled at all. Therefore, his best option was just to take a taxi. Lucky for him, taxis in Amman is not as expensive compared to the US.

Yesterday searching about Jordan I came across InsideJo. According to the description in their website, engineers from Jordan and United States completed this website and its tools. The idea is to create a service that offers Jordanians navigation maps full of useful information. In addition to the maps the users can also access the city search tool that will show options of restaurants, hotels, services, and more.

As soon as I found the website, I called my husband and asked him to do a test drive on the site since he lived in Jordan before. He was very impressed by InsideJo. He commented that he was surprised that they had such service since his impression of the country was that the government may not like to have so much information about the city and all its sites compiled so publicly.

The things he liked the most about the site were:

  • When you start typing an information search they already complete the term for you if it is a known name
  • On the maps they display the locations of businesses and other places
  • The display for Amman is less confusing than Google maps
  • The information related to the points of interest is very valuable for a tourist or foreigner living in Jordan
  • Users can add information to the system themselvers

On the other hand, he did not like how the maps did not feature a “satellite”/photo image function like Google maps has, which would help one see the buildings in Amman and the landscape in other parts of the country.

Overall, he had a pretty good experience using InsideJo and what he was most enthusiastic about was that users can help InsideJo to provide better service by adding information into the site themselves.

Apparently, my husband is not the only one who has had a good experience with InsideJo.  There were more users who had similar impressions.

I think that InsideJo is a great idea and it could be successful there. InsideJo has a lot of opportunity to grow because it is a very useful tool not just for people who live in Jordan but for tourists and travelers as well.

The world is changing at a fast pace and people are looking for businesses that offers good service in a fast and easy environment and I think that InsideJo offers that.

One thing I could see is that when you look at how InsideJo is doing when using social media to expand their business it seems to me that they are losing some opportunities in that their facebook and twitter pages have no updated information. That is probably hapenning because the InsideJo project has been postponed.

However, that is something they should pay much more attention to when they come back to the project because even when they were using the social networking websites they were not engaging with the users.

Social media cannot be ignored anymore. Social media now is part of strong business strategies. Social Media is the easiest and faster way to create awareness of your brand and it is a low cost investment for companies. For a web-based business and tool, it is absolutely indispensible.

Because InsideJo offers a feature where people from outside can help them to expand the information included, they should invest more in their effort to get people to help their business by embracing the users more effectively.

I imagine that people who liked InsideJo would be enthusiastic about the idea of promoting the company,  but it is the job of InsideJo to find these people and bring then together to make their service more powerful.


From → Jordan

  1. erinnd permalink

    Amina, this is a nice post. I think it’s good to see countries, such as Jordan to create tools like InsideJo. Through my research, I have realized that the government controls so much and I agree with you, that it is interesting that the government has allowed such a site to be created. Hopefully, other countries can follow suite, because a tool like this would be a great resource to others when they travel to foreign countries.

  2. Erin,
    I really like the InsideJo project and I was disappointed when I saw that they had postponed the project. I was wondering if the government has something to do with but I could not find anything.

  3. I enjoyed the topic of your post and how you wrote about it from a personal point of view, sharing your husbands reactions and thoughts to the site. It is definitely unfortunate that the site is no longer operating and I understood that it was probably hard to find more information on the causes for this. Just using social networking like Facebook and Twitter more frequently for the site seemed like a recommendation for a situation that might never happen … them restarting the site. Instead, it would have been great to hear your ideas for where this could go from here. Should they try and sell or share the data with Google maps so that it wouldn’t be lost? What if the site decided to build more on Ushahidi’s platform which we looked at last week? A stronger description of what you thought about this site and its potential was the one missing thing this week. Otherwise, a good post. (4 + 1 for being first = 5)

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