Diddit, a site where people can discover new experiences, launched late Wednesday. After being in private beta for about six months, the site is opening up with 10,000 registered users who've shared their life experiences on a broad range of activities from skiing in Vail, to dining at McDonalds, to idioms they've expressed, such as "knock on wood."
The San Mateo, Calif-based Diddit, is a property of Ludic Labs, which raised $5 million in November 2007, from Accel Partners, KPG Ventures, the company's founders and private individuals.
But it's only now that it is opening up - Diddit - to the public.
"We’ve got a broad selection of things to do on Diddit," said Paul Gauthier, co-founder of Diddit and a co-founder of Inktomi, a pioneering search engine that went public in the late '90s, and was acquired by Yahoo in 2002. "We’ve assembled a giant assembly base. You can then share with the community what you’ve done."
On Diddit, a person can look up their interests from a broad base of topics, ranging from spas, film & TV, travel and sightseeing to weird and upbeat.
If you're interested in finding a ski resort in Vail, you can find information pertaining to different resorts, locations on Google maps, information and facts, testimonials, to the number of people who've gone to certain resorts or those who want to do so in the future. This is where Diddit does a nice job of engaging with the user.
One of the nice features that Diddit implemented was a "wanna" and "diddit" button on each topic.
To this end, a person can quickly participate on the site by simply clicking on one of these buttons to share their experience or their intent.
You can see from this page, found on "The Great Outdoors " topic, that of the most scenic drives in the U.S., 105 people said they "diddit" or experienced the California State Route 1 drive, suggesting to others that this drive may actually be worth putting on someone's to-do list.
Note that no one clicked on the "wanna" button, suggesting that this drive may not be high on the list of intentions.
But that's only because the site is just getting started. In time, you can imagine seeing the intentions of a number of people. And, that intent could become a leading indicator of sorts, giving Diddit an opportunity to make recommendations based on those intentions. In fact, Diddit plans to implement a bit of collaborative filtering, in the way that Amazon and Netflix utilizes it to make book and movie recommendations. Diddit plans to recommend experiences. For instance, if you enjoyed climbing K2, you may want to consider Makalu. Or if you enjoyed French Laundry, you may want to try Chez Panisse.
In time, Diddit can make "personalized experience recommendations for your life," said Gauthier.
A broader Yelp
Diddit wants to bring the content that mostly resides in enthusiast magazines and bring it into one repository on the Web, and make it social. In many ways, the site is a lot like Yelp, just for a broader set of topics beyond local restaurant reviews.
"Yelp is good about getting people to write reviews about restaurants," said Gauthier. Diddit is much broader.
Indeed, Diddit is, which may or may not be an advantage going forward. Sometimes it's best to focus on a core group of users interested in a particular category or located in a particular area and then own those set of users before expanding out. But Diddit wants to be broader.
Beyond just going broad to quickly, the other challenge will be getting people to join and interact with the site to build up the content Diddit needs. After all, Diddit's mission is to help people discover new life experiences, through the activities of others. And, there are many ways to do this already, particularly through Facebook, where you can already see the interests of and recommendations by your friends.
The question is can Diddit bring people in by not asking too much of them? Looks like they're thinking of that already. Diddit was smart in creating a way to get users engaged without having them to do more than click. Those "wanna" and "diddit" buttons are an example.
Since it launched in beta, about 750,000 actions, including the clicking on the "wanna" and "diddit" buttons, have been taken on the site. (Well, make it 750,004 - since I just hit a few buttons to share my activity.)
This is what makes Diddit's proposition kind of unique. As Gauthier said, "You are what you do."
In many ways, a profile with a collection of a persons' interest and intent is a nice one to have. Now if it does really help a user discover new life experiences, all the better.