CrowdStorm goes live.

UK-based social shopping startup Crowdstorm is creating a buzz of its own right now. It recently announced the public beta to the world at large on its blog.

Crowdstorm was founded and funded by Philip Wilkinson (creator of the shopping comparison site Kelkoo UK) and Christopher Scollo (formerly VP of Technology at

“Crowdstorm takes the experience of online shopping one step further by helping people find what to buy through buzz and recommendations from friends, as opposed to knowing exactly what you want already and just looking for the best price. It was something I always wanted to do at Kelkoo but the market was never ready, but with more people now being experienced online and using social networks, the opportunity is definitely here for us to pioneer the social shopping space.”

What I like about Crowdstorm is the way it has successfully “mash’d up” several web 2.0 technologies – tagging, rating, social networking, recommendations, QnA to create a digg-like product review service.

Speaking with Philip yesterday it’s clear Crowdstorm have lots of exciting plans coming down the line, such as microformat support (hcard, hreview, rel=tag, votelink), creating a mobile web version and possibly integrating Crowdstorm expert reviews into the search results of the mainstream search engines using technologies like OpenSearch and Google Coop.

Right now Crowdstorm is creating a points system to reward users for the number of reviews they write. As yet, they have not implemented the reputation system but I guess it will be along the lines of ebay and Yahoo! Answers. In the UK Crowdstorm have a number of competitors – Reevoo and Trusted Reviews

UPDATE: CrowdStrom is going to feature on Channel4 news today at lunchtime.