checking in places and letting friends know where we are or where we've been. Some of those services also allow users to leave reviews and recommendations, notifying others about our experiences there. But none of these sites are really ideal for keeping track of locations you might want to visit in the future, events you might want to attend, or experiences you might want to have. If a friend tells you, "Next time you're in Eugene, Oregon, try the pulled pork sandwich at Papa's Soul Food Kitchen," you might make a mental note, but there isn't really an app that will help you keep track of these sorts of recommendations and plans from friends all in one place- until now.As location-based social networks have become more popular, we've grown fairly comfortable with
WhereBerry, a Y Combinator-backed startup, launches today to tackle this problem of tracking and sharing plans - both specific and "someday." Friends can be invited to join the activities and can comment on the proposed plans as well.
Plancast that are really geared towards events, WhereBerry allows these future activities to take any shape: it could be an event like a music concert. It could be an event like a future film release. It could be something like a hike you'd like to take at the coast, a museum you'd like to visit in another city, or a restaurant you'd like to eat at in another country.WhereBerry allows for a very free-form entry of data. Unlike services like
Recommendations from Friends, Not Algorithms
At this stage, the startup isn't using any sort of algorithm to recommend activities to users. Instead, it uses their social graph to point to what others in their network are doing. That makes these recommendations quite different from, say, Yelp where you are taking suggestions often from total strangers. "Jessica K." might say that this is the best Chinese restaurant in the town, for example, but who is "Jessica K"? Do you trust her?
WhereBerry utilizes your Facebook social graph to build out your friends list initially (and thus assumes you trust your Facebook friends' recommendations on activities). All the information posted to WhereBerry is public, but much like Twitter's model, you can choose to follow different people.
This publicness may seem different than a number of new startups like Path that are emphasizing smaller, more private social networks. But according to WhereBerry co-founder Nick Baum, the sorts of data that people will share via the site isn't really that private. Moreover, by opening up this information and by revealing potential future plans with their friends, people might find others who are interested in coming along.
Baum told me of an elaborate Google Doc that he'd created and shared with friends - a spreadsheet tracking concerts he was interested in attending, with columns for dates, friends with tickets, and friends interested in going. Although the shared spreadsheet was a success - Baum attended more concerts than he would have otherwise - he thought there must be an easier way of repeating this sort of planning. Hence the idea for Whereberry.
Baum is joined by co-founder Bill Ferrell. Both are ex-Googlers, opting to leave the search engine giant to start their own company instead.