The founders of Sofa.com, Pat Reeves and Rohan Blacker, have launched a new startup that should be particularly useful for anyone who has ever had trouble finding things to do in their community, or while on vacation. With Ooh.com, they’re offering a place for activity providers to sell their services with as little fuss as possible — much like eBay did in the late nineties for used and collector goods, but without the auction aspect.
At the site activity providers can post their events (pretty much anything “time-bookable”) for free, and allow customers to check out via Paypal or Google Checkout. Activity providers can incorporate Flickr and Youtube into their listings, and also promote events to Facebook and Twitter from within the site. It doesn’t look like the site has any place for free events — but given that there are so many other online venues for finding free activities, it’s probably better for Ooh.com to stick within the paid event niche.
Ooh.com competes with the likes of Craigslist and Eventbrite, but its all-in-one solution for activity providers is fairly unique. It’s simpler than Craigslist because the activity provider doesn’t have to worry about tracking incoming payments via a third-party service, and it caters to individuals and smaller activities better than Eventbrite.
The UK-based service already boasts some 1,000 activities from North America, Europe, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. According to their press release, the variety of courses and activities listed so far include:
[A] jam and chutney making course in Hampshire, paragliding with hawks in Nepal, a holiday cottage in Dorset, medieval jousting lessons in California, film screenings in London, financial crisis tours in New York with a former bond trader, ski lessons in Japan, lindy hop lessons in Belfast, hip hop tours in Harlem and bushcraft days in Missouri.
While there are many similar options available, Ooh.com’s simplicity may be an appealing option to activity providers and users just looking for something fun to do.