Technology

Real estate ratings by the people for the people

Interactive directory site steps up community features

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A home purchase led Stu MacFarlane to develop InsiderPages.com, a site that features business listings coupled with consumer ratings, reviews and networking. "About three years ago, right after my wife and I had purchased our first house, we realized we wanted to get work done on the house. We had a tough time finding contractors," said MacFarlane, Insider Pages CEO. They asked their real estate agent and neighbors for recommendations, he said. An idea grew out of the experience: "Wouldn't it be great if there was a single resource where we could get this sort of information?" MacFarlane launched Insider Pages in 2004. The site includes listings from across the country, with about 600,000 consumer reviews and about 2 million unique visitors per month. He is no stranger to startups. Before creating Insider Pages, MacFarlane served as vice president of the new ventures group at Idealab, a company that has jump-started such tech biggies as CitySearch, a pioneering business directory and ...