April 27, 2009

Lunch.com Opens Up, Connecting Similar People Through Reviews

Outside of Facebook and MySpace, a growing number of Web fanatics are getting social and sharing their likes and dislikes in a number of new networks - including Likaholix, which launched earlier this year, and the new Lunch.com, which emerged from beta this evening. Based on information you provide the network, Lunch.com connects users with similar interests, hoping you can find good content through peers - focusing primarily on rich reviews and a collection of facts, essentially taking the best of Yelp.com and Wikipedia.

When you open an account on Lunch.com, the site asks you for your spheres of interest (like Technology, TV and Music), and then prompts you to suggest favorites in each category, including TV shows, bands, albums and the like. Based on these entries, you then further refine your profile by rating suggested items on a -5 to +5 scale (higher being better). The more data you select, the more likely it is that you will find other Lunch.com users like you and therefore possibly discover content and helpful reviews.

Entering My Profile Data to Lunch.com

Saying What I Like More or Like Less

The site takes some elements of Delicious or MyBlogLog, letting you browse popular tags, and drill down into the rich content pushed into the service. Click through to Books and you will find popularly rated and reviewed items, as wella s related tags, like Nonfiction, Politics and Biography. Choose Electronics instead and you get the option to review popular items such as the iPhone 3G, MacBook Pro or Bose(R) Headphones.

Top Tags on Lunch.com

As you rack up activity on Lunch.com, you accumulate an ever-higher number of reviews and other users can rate your review as "Helpful", "Thought Provoking", "Fun to read" or "Well Organized". (See this iPhone review for one popular article.)

Lunch.com Updates Activity In Real Time

And like with most sites, you can connect and "follow" other users, which will become relevant as you determine how high your similarity score is. A higher similarity score, like on Toluu and other comparative products, is determined by the level of overlap you have. Interestingly, Lunch.com also not only shows top contributors by total activity, but also a "Recent Activity" feed that in real-time is updated as reviews flow in. One of the fastest-flowing items in the site is a feature called "ExhilaRATE", which lets you further refine your profile by rating items up or down, like the "Top Movies of 2008" or "Favorite Sportscasters.

One of My Reviews on Lunch.com

As usual, you can find my profile at the "louisgray" ID, here: http://www.lunch.com/louisgray. Maybe you'll even like my review of the BabyBjorn Infant Carrier." I said it was a must if you want to be mobile and carry your baby.