December 29, 2010

Bubbalon: Fun Ratings, Reviews and Sentiment Sharing

On the Internet, it seems there's little more we enjoy doing than telling people what we like and what we don't. Facebook's Like button is becoming ubiquitous, and there are many sites that let you review movies you've seen, give star ratings to products you've purchased and restaurants you've visited. Yelp, Amazon and Rotten Tomatoes have built successful businesses with reviews at the core. Reviews are also a major reason I became so hooked on Blippy - not just getting to share my purchase habits, but to tell you why and learn from your own experience. A new-ish startup called Bubbalon recently caught my eye, and they've managed to make community ratings and reviews of products, people and events fun - delivering a sentiment rating that you can dive into, not just globally, but across your friends, or even across demographics you choose.

The objective of Bubbalon is to surface how people feel about products, brands or people. Of course, to encourage participation, users are provided ratings derived from their activity on site, from rating sites to leaving comments, adding objects and acting as a moderator.

Rating McDonald's On Bubbalon

Unlike some niche sites that focus on a specific topic, Bubbalon's treasure trove of objects is open-ended, from big brands like McDonald's and Samsung Electronics, to products like the iPhone 4 and Samsung Epic 4G, people, like Glenn Beck, or even blogs. It turns out has racked up 10 reviews - most positive.

A Discussion on Diet Coke Where I am Outnumbered

But beyond the total rating scores, reviews and comments, Bubbalon has more than a simple slider for each object. The site remembers your own rating for each object, of course, but also shows the world's average score, an average score from your friends on the site (which you can synch with Facebook), and if you're aggressive, you can even tell it to show you a rating based on gender, location and age criteria. This way, if you want to really find out what 18-40 year old guys in California think about McDonald's, you can get that score.

Reviewing Samsung and Adding a Comment

Incredibly, one of the more interesting popular items on Bubbalon has been the East Coast Blizzard 2010 page. While some folks are calling it "Bad", many more are saying the storm is "Excellent", saying they love the snow. This current event is one of many News items that have hit Bubbalon, from the BP Oil Spill to the Ground Zero Mosque, and the Rescue of Chilean Miners.

While I am newer to the site, and many other folks have a great deal more history, you can find my profile here. It'd be a great way to quickly drop in and add sentiment to any of the products or people you like or dislike. Bubbalon demoed at the TechCrunch Disrupt event this fall and was written up by Down the Avenue, including aspects of their location sync with Foursquare. There's an option, should you dare, to pull your Foursquare checkins to Bubbalon and rate them there.

You can follow Bubbalon on Twittter at @bubbalon. I am on Bubbalon at