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Microsoft Bing Leaves A Paper Trail

Claiming your business online has become all the rage lately. Most location enabled or location based web sites make this process easy, but not Microsoft’s Bing. Microsoft feels the need to go old school with their verification. Fitting for a company who continues to bring us iterations of Internet Explorer year after year.

Bing LogoWhat happens when you claim your company as a place on Bing (which you can do via their local listings center)? You spend 20 minutes filling out extensive details on your company only to reach the end and get no prize. Instead, you get a letter. This letter takes so long to arrive, my office had moved by the time it was sent out.

Now I needed to change the address. “No problem”, I thought. Now that I have my extra special PIN and confirmation of my listing (with a log in hooked to the Windows Live service whether you want it to be or not), I’ll just go in and change it. Ten minutes later, I was looking at a notice telling me my listing was again private until activation could be sent by – you guessed it – snail mail.

I’m taking bets on what will get here faster, the official release of Diablo III from Blizzard or my next letter from Microsoft Bing. Location based services may be the new hotness, but they are worthless with an offline component that moves slower than glacier speed. Take a cue from fast iterating companies like Foursquare, Bing, and up your game to be more responsive. It’s 2010 – I promise, you have the technology.