Helpful articles

I've found a few articles with more detail how exactly some sites take users tastes and make recommendations based on them. First there's What is the Music Genome Project, which details Pandora's time-consuming database work that took years before they could launch, then The New York Times had an article discussing both Pandora and Last.fm. more from the perspective of what users get out of the sites, and finally an interview with Last.fm co-founder Martin Stiksel.



Yelp is a site that one can personalize to fit a specific location, for instance, as linked, Tempe, Arizona. Once one creates a profile, upon returning to it Yelp recommends events, restaurants, shopping, nightlife, and an array of other activities and places nearby. The most useful part of this is that these items are ranked by popularity over time, so there are lists of what is currently or recently popular and what has long-term popularity, based on Yelp users' consistently positive reviews. The tagline, "Real people, real reviews," truly encapsulates what the site is about, and what it delivers. My main issue with the site is that things that aren't reviewed on the site will most likely never be noticed.



I've recently pitched a project idea that revolves around social networking strictly for teenagers. I envision having features that allow for user feedback, with reviews, ratings and recommendations. Based on the feedback I want to be able to tell people overall what's popular, what's actually "good," and calibrate people's tastes. Essentially, I'd like a charting system similar to Last.fm's, that could also conjure recommendations based on other users who share particular likes or dislikes.


High Concept Pitches

DustBuster: Lugging around a heavy, loud, over-sized vacuum cleaner for the smallest of clean-up jobs will no longer be a problem with a cordless, light, hand-held DustBuster with as much power as a vacuum, but a fraction of the size. Easy to use and transport; perfect for anyone needing a quick, thorough cleanup. Target market: Busy moms, bachelors and college kids.

Wite-Out: Wasted paper, illegible copies, letters and documents filled with typos make communication untimely and difficult. Wite-Out makes easy, fast corrections to documents with its quick-drying white liquid solution. Target market: offices, writers, editors, students.

Disposable lighter: A safe, easy and modern alternative to dangerous and environmentally unfriendly stick matches. Carry it in your pocket or purse for a guaranteed quick and convenient light. Target market: smokers, parents, 18-24 year-olds.