Compare and Contrast with vsChart

By Lynsey Anderson |

A new side-by-side wiki is set to shake up the product comparison space. Offering a straight forward and direct way of viewing product information, vsChart lets its users edit, add to and construct categories highlighting the best products on the market.

Its founder Florian Heinze described it as a way to “compare all kinds of products and all kinds of things,” and to achieve this there are a number of categories for each product. For electronics, these include things such as screen size, memory, processor and dimensions. All users need to do is click on the products they want to compare and vsChart will then provide side-by-side product information.

“It’s unique because it helps you see products clearly and directly,” Florian added, with a green highlighter making it easy to pick the ‘winner’ in each category.

The site functions as a wiki, encouraging its users to get involved – if they think a category is missing, they can simply add it. All the information entered into vsChart then automatically produces a majority answer.

Florian has spent two and a half years building up the site, which has involved a lot of hours doing the tedious task of trawling through endless websites to find the right information about specific products. But he recognises, however, that “as the site is getting better and better, the community is bringing in more data themselves.”

And, as with so many startups, the inspiration for vsChart came from Florian’s own frustration, in this case with using a search engine to compare two products. “When I was lucky there was a blog post but often not in a way that I liked – I didn’t want a long text, just the data itself.”

He stuck upon the idea for vsChart after coming across a PDF with a table comparing various items. The site is in open beta, and should launch fully in the next six months. Florian revealed that vsChart is already geared up internationally, with a number of users especially in the US and across Europe.

This is helped by the fact that the site is currently in both English and German, and Florian wants to add many more languages once the community s up and running. He added: “There is a need for other languages so I hope I can implement this as soon as possible.”

Although his initial goal is to simply compare products, Florian also hopes to integrate price comparison in the future: “There are lots of good sites that compare prices very well but not the product, so I want to concentrate on that first. However, in the long term I would like to compare prices too.”

His primary goal, however, is to establish a strong network of users. “The most fundamental stuff is done. Now I have to scale it up to get more visitors and contributors to build a community.” Once a core fan base has been established, new features will be added to the site including discussion boards and forums where users can voice their opinions about different products.

So get comparing!