Denver’s six person LgDb is not sexy, but I like it.
LgDb is “The USA’s Best Legislative Database” according to founder Scott Yates. Think IMDB, but for bills instead of movies – Who’s in charge, who’s involved, what’s the current situation, what’s the “plot”, and what are people saying. I like the site because it aims to give consumers easy and direct access to information on bills that is otherwise scattered around the web in an unorganized fashion. LgDb aggregates information about bills from various states and brings the information together in a simple consolidated view.
Members of the LgDb community can participate by searching, tracking and commenting on bills that they are interested in. LgDb also offers a paid service ($495/year) which is targeted at heavy users or other stakeholders in the process such as lobbyists and gives them advanced features such as keyword search alerts, activity alerts, and bill sheets to keep track of bills of interest.
I think it’s fun to watch important (or unimportant) bills travel through the process. If LgDb can attract more users to the system, I can envision interesting ad-hoc social networks that could develop around each individual bill. Scott says he wants to support the community by adding wikis and other social features within each bill. I would expect to see bloggers linking to bills on LgDb as the depth of content improves.
Highly specific social networks are popping up all over the place. Way out here on the tail, you can actually charge the most interested parties for efficient access to the information they crave. The tactic is to use the general public to draw attention to your site and to add content, and then to present the enhanced offering built on top of the community to the paying few. In the absence of problems with execution, I see this approach working.
Prior to LgDb, Scott Yates founded MyTrafficNews.com, which was sold to Traffic.com earlier this year. Scott has also started a new (and yes, quirky) blog called CreditCardVC.com which is the “site for business owners who don’t want VC, thankyouverymuch”. From that, you can probably guess that Scott is a bootstrapper and is not currently seeking investment capital.
UPDATE: Scott has a fantastic 5 minute video up about the benefits of LgDb. A quick video is almost a must these days to explain your new product at launch.