Building a directory is a time consuming editorial task. Not only may it take years, your staff may not know about all the best places in your town. Our Facebook application allows you to use crowdsourcing to let your audience suggest and comment on each other's suggested places and links.
Seattle is known for coffee. So, at The Needle, we've begun a crowdsourced directory list of great coffeehouses! With our directory feature, you can create any number of categories e.g. coffee, ice cream, pizza, beer, government links, local blogs, etc. You can link to the Directory home page or a specific category page in the directory or any specific entry.
Whenever you start a list, it's good practice to seed your list with a number of entries and always use photos. I've even added video to several listings, in this case a tour by a local foodie blogger which went by a nearby farmer's market and into Caffe Fiore. I just googled for Caffe Fiore under videos and found that one - it turned out to be my friend Jess Thompson.
Recently, The Charlotte Observer published a link to their Ice Cream Store directory page on the front page of its paper.
After creating the list, you can promote it in other places you regularly publish e.g. in print or on air. Include a call to action: Encourage readers to submit, vote (like) for, comment and share their favorites. Be sure to post a link to your list on your Facebook page, to your Twitter feed and on your website.
If you already have staff writing a review of a specific place, post their review as a story or blog entry on your application and then create a listing to the place on your Facebook application and link to it from there. Put a call to action at the end of the story to suggest other places or comment on the review.
In the future, we'll make it possible for local businesses to sponsor your list. We're also planning to make it possible to add links to web pages related to specific listings e.g. additional reviews of a coffeehouse.