Partnership with Village Voice Media gives social search network instant penetration; Palm® Pre™ application powers LikeMe's mobile connectivity
DENVER (June 29, 2008) — You know the drill: you’re traveling to a new city, and you’re looking for a good place to eat or a hip place to stay. So you call a local friend or perform random web searches. But none of the recommendations you find fit who you are and what you like to do. Where do you turn for suggestions you can rely on? Enter LikeMe.Net, the next generation of lifestyle social recommendation engines, which announced its formal launch today.
As a LikeMe member, you upload the vital stats on yourself and your favorite places and things, which both turbo-charges the website’s collaborative filtering platform and activates your own personalized recommendation engine. When you search, LikeMe accesses a network of people who have the same taste as you and gives you their best recommendations — for the city you’re traveling to, or even in your own hometown. There’s no weeding through a long list of positive and negative reviews wondering whose opinions you can trust, and you won’t get the same recommendations as your parents, your colleagues, or your third grade teacher.
“The concept behind LikeMe is simple — we’re bringing together a community with the common purpose of helping each other get the most out of life,” said Jeff Giarraputo, LikeMe’s Chief Executive Officer. “Everyone exchanges recommendations for where to go and what to do on a daily basis. LikeMe organizes this information in a way that’s uniquely relevant for each user, and provides a fun and social platform for people to share the experiences they’re most passionate about.”
LikeMe provides a number of utilities beyond straight search. The site’s architecture enables a plethora of discovery loops: if you’re interested in The Spotted Pig, you can check out the different people who recommend it, or click through to browse other restaurants, activities or spas that those who like The Spotted Pig also enjoy. And the Facebook Connect feature facilitates sharing recommendations with your extended social network.
The LikeMe Network includes profiles for Guest Recommender celebrities who travel regularly and have extensive lifestyle recommendations, like singer/actress Katharine McPhee, NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne, and New York Mets John Maine, Johan Santana, David Wright, Gary Sheffield and Ryan Church. The site also features local tastemakers, like model/DJ Sky Nellor, who are always in the know about the latest goings on in their areas of expertise. Further, LikeMe.Net will aggregate relevant editorial content from lifestyle publications, which will list their Top 10 or “Best of …” picks in Official Recommender profiles.
LikeMe.Net launches with a key strategic partnership in Village Voice Media (VVM), the nation’s largest publisher of metropolitan digital media. VVM’s websites offer definitive coverage of news, food, music and events and have a combined on-line readership of 8 million per month in fifteen of the country’s premier markets, including the Big Apple’s own Village Voice. “For people like me, VVM’s newsweeklies and websites have been the go-to source for discovering cool places and events, so having access to that content is a dream,” said Giarraputo. “And since our social search technology allows us to monetize in a way that other social platforms can’t, we’re grateful to have VVM’s experience on board.”
The VVM relationship consists of a promotional, content sharing and ad sales partnership. It also powers LikeMe’s one-of-a-kind Live Music and Events category, pulling authoritative entertainment listings from VVM’s 15 markets and matching them with your customized criteria. The live music and event recommendation feature will alert you to timely events that fit your tastes and expose you to new and emerging bands, artists, clubs and concerts that otherwise might have gone undiscovered.
In addition to the new LikeMe.Net service, LikeMe is also launching a mobile application for the new Palm® Pre™ phone (www.likeme.net/places/likeme-mobile-for-palm-pre), providing mobile access to LikeMe’s services. “We specifically chose to go with the Palm® webOS™ platform because of its ability to multitask and unique points of integration. Being able to instantaneously send recommendations straight from the LikeMe app to friends from your Palm Pre phone’s contact list will strengthen LikeMe’s social search capabilities, providing our customers with more immediate connectivity and more accurate search results.” (1)
LikeMe’s webOS application employs the location based services (GPS) of the Palm Pre phone to identify places nearby that have been recommended by people like you and share your current location with your LikeMe friends. The application also enables you to get updates on your friends via notifications and share instant recommendations via the multimedia messaging (MMS) capabilities or email, so you’re never out of touch or out of the loop.
Founded in 2008, LikeMe.Net (www.likeme.net) is a lifestyle recommendation engine that harnesses social networking to power personally relevant search results and discovery. Based in Denver, Colorado, LikeMe.Net is in partnership with the Village Voice Media company. Check out celebrity Guest Recommender videos at www.youtube.com/user/TheLikeMeNetwork.
About the Palm Pre Phone:
Palm® Pre™ is the first phone running the new Palm webOS™ platform, which brings together your important information from where it resides — on your phone, at your work or on the web — into one logical view.(1) Palm Synergy™, a key feature of webOS, pulls your contacts and calendars from places like Outlook, Google and Facebook, so everything is right there for you when you need it. Palm Pre also lets you flip back and forth between all the things you have open at once — instead of opening and closing them — so you can flow easily between activities without losing your place. Pre’s exquisite design includes a touch screen and a physical keyboard that slides out only when needed. The new Palm Pre and webOS are designed to be so in sync with your needs that it feels like Pre is thinking ahead for you. More information about the Palm Pre phone is available at www.palm.com/Pre.
(1) Use of this device requires providing a valid email address, mobile phone number, and related information for account setup and activation. Unlimited usage data plan strongly recommended; additional data charges may apply within wireless coverage area only. Number of applications and actual performance will vary depending on applications used and actions performed.