Is that a Slingshot in your wallet or are you just happy to see me?

Last night, I stumbled upon a new website called Slingshot. The site, “powered by Capital One,” is a strange yet fascinating combination of a consumer review site and a social networking tool. What comes to mind is something like a mash-up of Yelp with a little LinkedIn thrown in for seasoning.

So, what’s the catch here? And what are the “What’s in your wallet?” folks up to?

Slingshot is for small businesses and customers of small businesses. It allows small business owners to connect with other small business owners and share their insight on relative industries and markets. It also allows those small business owners to connect with their customers. The customers can write reviews about the small businesses they’ve worked with, working to promote the best of the best in their city’s lightweight division.

The site is, in fact, run by Richmond’s own Capital One and, on the surface, it looks like a great idea. It was released in February of 2008, though some of the blog-like Q&A entries date back to early January, and seems to be making really slow progress. The press release from February was picked up by 3 websites and 0 newspapers. Since then, there’s been little—if any—mention of the site in new media or the blogosphere. I guess that the lack of promotion over the past nine months explains the fact that the site still only has under 3,000 members. Let’s face it: anyone could’ve produced a full-sized baby in that time. Yes, that’s a metaphor. Part of me wonders if Capital One really wants Slingshot to progress out of its Beta stage. Maybe they aren’t sure, so they’re not promoting it.

But I give cyber-props to Slingshot, their site admin have at least responded to the forum discussion about Why Slingshot isn’t making it on the website.

Anyway, it looks as though Slingshot could be a very valuable tool for consumers and small business owners…that is, if consumers and small business owners ever hear about it.

Hey, Marketing Department at Capital One: We’re here if you need us.