Tuesday, January 04, 2011

FoodSpotting's Social Graph: FoodSpotting Day: January 15

I came across this Facebook update in my Facebook stream when I logged onto Facebook Monday evening. The screen image I took later when I started work on this post. Update spotted! I took a screen shot.

FoodSpotting's Social Graph: FoodSpotting Day: January 15
Going Backwards: FoodSpotting, FourSquare, Twitter, Facebook
Fractals And FoodSpotting
FoodSpotting Is The Next FourSquare
Instagram Magic
Checking In, Tweeting, Spotting, Updating
StartUp Anxiety For FourSquare?
Self-Serve Makes Sense For GroupOn, Also FourSquare
Fractals: Mandelbrot
Making Dick Costolo An Offer He Can't Refuse
Congrats Zuck
Jai Ho
Gender Talks
Soraya Darabi
Should FourSquare Be Scared Of Facebook?

I worked on my blog post about Facebook going into search in a big way after that, scheduled to be posted Tuesday at 8:00 AM. And I sent out this tweet. The tweet is to Amy who left a comment at my last post about FoodSpotting. She does social media for FoodSpotting, and has a great foodie blog of her own.

So January 15 is FoodSpotting Day? Good to know. The first thing that came to my mind when I learned that was that April 16 is FourSquare Day.

I would like to believe I am the first person to call FoodSpotting the next FourSquare. I talked in terms of fractals.

I have consistently talked in terms of the butterfly effect in relation to my political work for Nepal's democracy movement from a few years back. Mandelbrot is the guy responsible for both concepts: the butterfly effect, and fractals. He died a few months back. He is one of my absolute favorite thinkers.

So I did my last post on Facebook and search. It makes sense to talk in terms of FoodSpotting and social. FourSquare also has a great social graph. You might be Facebook friends with people you did not really even care to become good friends with at high school, but with FourSquare I think you get more careful. Do I want you to know where I am? I am not sure. FourSquare's social graph is a more curated social graph.

Just like it is inevitable that Facebook will get into search in a big way and will challenge Google in ways Bing never really did, I think it is but only a matter of time before FoodSpotting gets into the social graph in a big way.

The social graph that revolves around food is pretty powerful. Festivals revolve around food. When people go on dates, they often eat. Life's big occasions have food in them. Before they execute you, they ask you if you want to eat.

FoodSpotting has to go to the masses like Instagram, and you don't do that if your public image is - like one guy said in a tweet after he downloaded the FoodSpotting app - that "Do I have to eat good looking food now?"

FoodSpotting is not just about or primarily about taking pictures of dishes when you might be at some fancy restaurant. You should be spotting
Image representing Foodspotting as depicted in...Image via CrunchBasefood by the roadside. Street vendors selling food are fair game.

And why do you need to be in a business location? You don't. If you only eat out, I am worried for your health, not to say your wallet.

When FoodSpotting gets into the social graph business, home cooked food could take a new meaning. You share a meal with someone you care about, and you share pictures of those meals only with people you had those meals with.

It is not true Mark Zuckerberg makes more money when he invades your privacy. He makes more money when you really enjoy using Facebook.

Similarly, if you have a social graph that only consists of people you ever ate with, humdrum meals are not humdrum no more. They are not even shared. Meals come with memories. They stay private. Thanksgiving meals get FoodSpotted. Your social graph expands along with your waistline.

I have a feeling FoodSpotting's primary monetization might come from its social graph and not its food recommendations, although food recommendations are good business too. And there are other verticals besides food to explore that FoodSpotting might get into, or might get taken by other startups. Only time will tell.

There might be a FoodSpotting feature down the line that might allow the health conscious/obsessed to count the calories. Shared meals are good for your health.

At some points I think restaurants will take charge. They themselves will take pictures of all their dishes. At that point instead of taking pictures of your dishes - which you can still do if you so feel compelled - you would simply check into them, rate them, comment on them, recommend them or not, thumbs up, thumbs down.

Happy FoodSpotting Day, FoodSpotting!

New York City Venue 1
New York City Venue 2 (featuring Amy)
Official Party

Going Backwards: FoodSpotting, FourSquare, Twitter, Facebook
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