UK-based TrustedPlaces is a very interesting site that has been built with comparatively little investment. It’s been mostly in Europe but is now starting to make its way into New York. In many respects it appears like other “Web 2.0” sites focused on the local market. However, it has two features that are unique (as far as I know):
- The “TasteMatcher” game, which helps in a visual and fun way elicit a user profile (tied to later collaborative filtering, personalization and the site’s algorithm). Once your profile is established the site can match you to other users and show you recommendations accordingly.
- And the ability to “follow” recommendations from particular users without “friending” them. While some might make jokes about stalking this feature is valuable because if you find someone whose taste or choices you like you can keep track of their recommendations with a Facebook news-feed-like feature. You don’t have to artificially try and connect with that person to do so.