Here’s an idea that Shane Snow and I have had for a site and I’ve been meaning to share it for quite some time. The basic idea is to solve a problem in location-based restaurant information apps and websites: fragmentation. The rough name we were throwing around was Socially Edible (sociallyedible.com).
Let’s create a one-stop shop that combines online restaurant reviews (Yelp), location-based social gaming (Foursquare), and online food ordering (SeamlessWeb), and sprinkle in some journalist-produced restaurant reviews to create a connected user experience for foodies.
Why not start with a specific location, say, New York. These features with the combination of social media and mobile technology would make it easier for New Yorkers to get food news and information on the go, as well as the ability to order from our site.
A person looking to get some information on a restaurant can not only read what a reporter has written, but also what website users are logging in to say. On top of that users can also see what the buzz is on social media (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) through trending topics as well as specialized social sentiment reports for each restaurant page (perhaps by using social media mining software?). In addition, users can explore new restaurants in their area by searching with their address or zipcode and browse through search results on a map or list.
Mobile and Social
If users are on the go, they are able to get all the website’s services through a mobile application that also finds restaurants based on their GPS location. The aim is not only to provide convenience, but also create community through user-generated content on the site. This would include text reviews or social photos (Twitpic, Facebook, Flickr), tweet reviews and much more. Those who use the mobile application are able to check-in to the restaurant and write recommendations. Community would also be furthered through an integrated connection through social tools like Facebook Connect, allowing you to see what your friends are eating and recommending.
How will your project improve the way news and information are delivered to geographic communities?
The site would cater to New Yorkers that are looking for a convenient place to find all their food needs. The content would be searchable by address so that users can not only learn about restaurants hyper-locally but also connect with users in their neighborhood. This also works well with deliver methods since many restaurants have distance restrictions. Eventually, this platform can be duplicated and adapted to other communities. Users traveling would be able to learn about food news on the go, review it and order food.
This site, of course, would have a mobile application that combined these elements, but featured a gaming aspect that made dining out rewarding and fun. Perhaps a food-focused version of Foursquare, but features and rewards tailored for foodies.
How is this idea innovative?
There are New York City news sites that review and feature restaurants. There are user-generated review sites like Yelp for restaurants. There are even sites from which users can order takeout from specific restaurants. Then there are mobile applications that provide a gaming aspect to checking into restaurants and seeing where friends are, all while earning rewards. This site would combine these elements into one hub for eaters to go to.
What do you think? Is this something that is feasible? Do you think users would enjoy this? Or is it simply trying to do too much?