by Joe C
Oink is a new app released on iTunes by the startup called Milk. The creator of this startup is Kevin Rose, the founder of a social site called Digg. Oink is an app very similar to previous locational rating tools such as Yelp or Google Places, but this time focuses in more on a deeper level, namely on specific items at each location. For example, with Yelp you can find out which burger joint is rated the highest in a nearby location. With Oink, you can see how individual users rate the entrees they serve at that specific burger joint, such as their cheeseburger or guacamole bacon burger. This way you can not only choose which place to go to, but you will also be able to make a better judgement as to what to order once you’ve arrived at the place. Additional features include being able to find the best type of food within a certain geographic radius. For example, you can search the hashtag #tea and find the best rated tea within 1 mile, 5 miles, 25 miles, etc. There is also a gamification element in which users gain experience points and are matched up with your friends on a leaderboard depending on how many items you rate.
I really like this concept. It is simple, clean, yet they seem to be the first one to implement it correctly and market it effeciently (probably due to Kevin Rose and TechCrunch). I really like how people take simple things like “what should I eat” and actually think of a solution to it rather than just end up picking the same choices over and over again. People have been yelping places all the time and come up with the problem: What should I eat when I get there? They look through reviews and sometimes find some recommendations but that’s as far as they go. Just by putting a bit more effort and following through, Milk has created the next step of social exploring. I really love the individual tweaks this app provides and I will surely use it to help me next time in making my decisions on orders, and hopefully they will come out quite delicious.
Oink utilizes a social platform that allows users to tag items for them. By building the basic infrastructure/layout, users need only to rate items once they are at the place, making it very simple for users to provide input, and at the same time reducing the amount of initial work needed to get the system working. From the introduction video you can see that the whole concept is built on a very big database. Within it are individual restaurants that can be rated as a whole, but also split into various subentities, being the food and drinks the restaurant provides. Then these items are given an extra tag in which users rate with love, thumbs up, neutral, and thumbs down, which is an attribute given to every single item/entity. With this universal unit of measurement, items can then be sorted by hashtags and ranked up against each other.
Schonfeld, E. (2011, Nove 06). Kevin rose’s oink hits the app store. Retrieved from http://techcrunch.com/2011/11/03/kevin-rose-oink-app-store/