Malcolm Lewis’ new startup is called Fablistic (Lewis was the founder of PremierGuide, which he sold to Local.com). It’s part of a new group of local sites — though Fablistic is broader than local — which try to “get you to the short list,” in Lewis’ words.
There are no reviews, only recommendations as reflected in the compiled and ranked lists.
The site is evolving so it’s a bit of a work in progress, but the concept behind it is compelling: enable people to see recommendations (lists) from friends and colleagues (or those they follow) across a broad range of categories. It’s a bit like the old LivingSocial, which shifted and become a Groupon clone.
Of course it’s integrated with Facebook Connect.
It shares a conceptual approach and orientation with AlikeList and Tellmewhere — and with the new direction of CityVoter. In a sense it’s a cousin of “best of” lists that have been around forever, but reinvented in a post-Facebook, post-Twitter world.
People develop lists over time and then those lists and rankings can be shared and sorted according to several criteria. I can search, for example, for books, wines, movies and restaurants (among other categories) and then sort by a variety of filters.
Those filters include most popular, people I’m following or “just me.” The latter capability means I can use this site as a way to compile my own lists, as a “memory aid,” and consult them online — or in mobile later. (No app here yet.)
While many of the use cases are going to be similar to existing verticals or IYPs, these new types of “recommendations” engines or directories — Buzz.com is AT&T’s entry — are a potential successor in many circumstances. We’ll have to see, but they’re more mobile friendly and, if they can get the content and gain adoption, many people will likely embrace them as new directories for a more “cloudy” and socially networked world.