Upload video reports with Angie's List Mobile

Upload video reports with Angie's List Mobile

We're always looking for innovative ways to connect with our members.

When Bill Oesterle and I started Angie's List 15 years ago in Columbus, Ohio, I literally went door-to-door, asking homeowners for referrals on good service providers. I worked in a one-room office at a card table using a borrowed fax machine and a phone my parents bought me when I was a teenager.

As we built our business, we expanded to other cities and added staff to handle all the phones. Today, most of our more than 1 million members communicate with us over the web. We still operate our Call Center, but it was the Internet that helped speed our growth across the United States and Canada.

Our latest technological venture is taking us mobile. I hope you've already heard about the Angie's List Mobile application, which can be downloaded to your Apple iPhone and iPad, and will soon be available on the Droid.

Our mobile app allows members to search for ratings and reviews — and instantly submit reports — on local contractors and health care providers from literally anywhere, whether it's the bathroom, break room or your doctor's waiting room.

You also get access to the Angie's List Big Deal — discounts for up to 70 percent off popular services that are only available from highly rated contractors in your area.

My favorite feature on Angie's List Mobile, though, has to be how easy it makes it to add video to your reports.

As members, you have long had the ability to submit photos with your written reviews. The feedback we've received has confirmed just how valuable a tool many of you find it to be. Pictures can really tell more of the story. We've had members submit photos of half-finished jobs abandoned by contractors midway through the project, and before and after flood photos where the contractor restored the home to better condition than before the damage occurred.

Well, a picture might be worth a thousand words, but video is worth a thousand pictures. With our new video reporting capabilities, you can capture your projects and then upload them with your report. When looking at reports, you'll be able to see video evidence of someone's experience with a contractor. No more wondering if someone is exaggerating about how good or bad the job went. With a service provider's approval, you could even record your personal interactions to share with other members in your area.

We know we have some pretty savvy members who have given us written reports and photos with some amazing details. With video reporting, we can only imagine that the sky is the limit. Add special effects, music, record it in a foreign language and put in subtitles, whatever you want — as long as it's in good taste and accurate.

We're anxious to see just how creative you get with your video reporting. And please let us know what you think of Angie's List Mobile and the new features in our comments section below or at mailbag@angieslist.com.

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