Monday, September 8, 2008

I Want What She Bought: TurnTo Debuts Shopping Widget

by Gavin O'Malley: On the hunt for venture capital, word-of-mouth technology startup TurnTo Networks is slated to debut the beta version of its e-commerce widget today at DEMOfall 08 in San Diego."We want to be the AdSense of social shopping," said Gadi BenMark, TurnTo's chief revenue officer.

Hang on...Let's come back to reality
Yes technology is great. But look at the segue. That was a *great* idea. The only 2 people who appear to use it are Steve Wozniak and some dufus in my building who parks it out the front with a lock and chain. Hey Marty, NO ONE is taking your segue.

The point is that not all technology is ideal for the human/socially salient population. So my problems with the widget lie in:

a) tells visitors to e-commerce sites exactly what purchases their friends and family made on that particular site.
Sounds a little like Facebook Beacon.....another idea that went down well.
I'm starting to think if a family and friend recommended a product that they bought, that would sit so much better with people. It is an active effort by a consumer to give a shout out/reference to a product they use. Same thing, just a little refined.

b) The company also is in active discussions with a number of travel, tickets, and events sites, BenMark said. "We think the service is particularly well-suited to ticket and events ecommerce," BenMark said. "That way, someone can go online and see what concert their friend is going to, and then buy tickets to that same show."
Mmm, thinking logically about travel and concert/event arrangements
  • Travel - involves planning. Seats on flights, accommodations are usually arranged together prior to booking a destination. Tag ons on holidays are difficult and would involve some kind of human etiquette to ask if the tag on is appropriate. This is opposed to someone finding out about a holiday their friends are taking and turning up on a honeymoon, uninvited!

  • Concerts - Arrangements usually involve a telephone or email:
    "I saw that Liberace is playing, do you want to go?"
    "Yeah I'd love to, I'll book for us"
    This is typical to allow for seats that are together. As opposed to a thought process going on in someone's head:
    "Oh look, Jean booked a ticket to Barry Manilow, I'll book too. Then I'll call her, tell her I'm coming and we can make plans to go together, sit separately and then try and find eachother after the show and go home together"
    Not exactly logical.
It's got potential, just a few kinks.

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