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Oh The Potential

  • Jul 5, 2009
  • by
EDITOR'S NOTE: This was written for the bi-weekly newspaper the ARC Current.  As such it was limited in space, what could be said, and how it could be said.  Writing for a newspaper is very different then writing for a blog or personal website.  Though this is not my best article by far, I figured it might be nice to share it with all you guys.  Enjoy.

The old saying goes, everyone's a critic. Thanks to a new Web site you can be one too. The Web site is called - a review site, social network, and wiki page all in one. Users sign up for an account and provide some personal information, (whether this information is private or public is entirely up to you).

Once an account is created, the user can begin writing reviews, opinion pieces, and editorials on a number of products. If a product page does not exist the user can simply create one. Finally, based on your reviews and grading the system will find other users with similar tastes and give you the opportunity to become friends with them.

This is all in the beta stage. Of course, because it's in the beta stage, there are some problems. While the user-controlled freedom is nice, it can be a bit confusing for a new user. Sometimes searching for a movie yields more than one result. A search for Martin Scorsese's "The Aviator" revealed a product page for the theatrical release and a separate result for the DVD release.

If one wants to simply review the movie, it's difficult to figure out which one to contribute to. Also, when creating a new page the cross-reference information for directors, actors, and singers is not always solid. When I created a movie page with singer Billy Joel in the film, there were two listings for him - one for actor and one for singer.

The spelling of his name was different in both categories, and the category with the misspelled name actually had more contributions by the users. The site is going to have to figure out a way to properly monitor and clean up excess pages. Also, signing up to be part of the community can be a chore. The signup is not user friendly for people who aren't tech savvy.

With all of that in mind, for a beta site, it's remarkable how well the whole thing works. Once the site gets past it's indent crisis, I think it has the potential to be big. I hope the makers of the site realize they can't compete with Facebook and Wikipedia, and instead, focus on the opinion features. They are easily the best aspect of the site. Chances are, if they focus on these features and fix the bugs, then can be the next big thing on the internet.

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October 08, 2009
July 07, 2009
good stuff Kevin. Thanks for the article! Great feedback on the duplicate issue... we're working on it... and we'll shortly be asking for help from the members to identify the duplicate data points so we can merge them. Unfortunately, there will always be more created, but we're working ways to discourage members from doing that. Also, i hear you on the advice to focus on reviews... great call. I agree. We have talked about increasing the rating system to rate people's comments, or wiki contributions, or other things, but we really do want to keep the attention on reviews like you suggest so you can only rate another member's reviews right now. If you have some other ideas on how to increase the focus on reviews and encourage others to write more reviews... i'm all ears. We'd love to hear it. Thanks again.
July 05, 2009
Thanks so much for your insightful review of Lunch! We are definitely working on all the things you noted here (I'm currently going through all the info and making sure that they are spelled correctly and are more streamlined). It's just going to take some time and we appreciate it when you guys can let us know what you think. Please feel free to always drop me a line with your thoughts/suggestions anytime!
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About the reviewer
Kevin T. Rodriguez ()
Ranked #57
Kevin T. Rodriguez is an aspiring film journalist. He's more comfortable typing a review then doing an on-camera appearance, but he loves doing the occasional rant. Whether it be on movies, eBay, or comics, … more
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Lunch is a social sharing network fueled by your curiosity. It's a community where you create and discover genuinely useful information with people who share your interests. Lunch is based on the idea that you'll have the most meaningful exchanges with people who get your sense of humor, taste in books, love of snowboarding or penchant for Pac-Man.

At Lunch, you can contribute facts and opinions about almost everything. Based on your contributions, Lunch connects you to a similarity network of people who share your opinions and ideas. Through them, you can discover a mystery novel you've never heard of, a great local animal hospital, or the best place to buy folding bikes. You get personalized content in the best way -- through the right people.

Your opinion is everything -- you rate the helpfulness of what you find at Lunch. With your valuable reviews and ratings, Lunch filters out the noise to give you what's most relevant to you and most useful to others. In turn, your feedback encourages other members to create better, more thoughtful content.

Lunch is a community of people who appreciate good conversation and respect. It's a network that connects you to those who share your passion for understanding more in life.

Feed your curiosity. Lunch.


All great things start with a curious spark. Lunch is about fanning that spark and the brilliant ideas that come from it. By exploring our curiosities, we'll reach a better understanding of...

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