As the holidays are fast approaching, I would be remiss if I didn’t find a holiday theme that ties in with technology. There are a gazillion articles out there that talk about retail and the various online offers, coupons, price reductions, free shipping, “tell a friend and receive” programs and the list goes on.
There is cyber Monday, Black Friday—I think I recall seeing that companies like Walmart (surprise surprise) have made a point of carrying the products that nobody else ever seems to have enough of, such as the Nintendo Wii. And yes, Walmart will also be stocking up on a huge quantity of the new gadget de jour, the iphone, for a fabulously low $99.00 no less (Yes, Virginia_239, there is a Santa Claus)! This deal will probably be available in the US only, of course…
In an article from the New York Times dated Dec. 9, Richard Macmanus from Read Write Web writes about sites that allow you to create wish lists that your friends and family can view. The idea came as a result of the fact that not everyone has an online shopping wish list to forward to their family and friends—what better way to ensure you don’t wind up with a 6 pack of those grey wool socks with the 2 red stripes at the top…again (unless they’re on your list, of course)! I still remember pouring over the Sears Christmas catalog as a child and spending hours looking at absolutely everything—dreaming about all the things that I wish I could have. Decades later here’s a list of companies that are providing the 21st century version of that wondrous wish book!
Read Write Web decided to ask their twitter friends for suggestions. What Richard Macmanus did “was using himself as a case, ideally I want somewhere to add stuff I want to buy—whether that’s in the short or long term. I’d also like to see what others want to buy too, which could be my friends or simply people I don’t know who also want to buy the same things as me.”
Here are some of the places that you can start off with!
1. Amazon Wish Lists
A few people mentioned Amazon Wish Lists, in many ways the benchmark for shopping wishlists. Joshua Porter, Interface designer and strategy consultant for social web apps, tweeted that Amazon Wish Lists let users add stuff and see what others added; however, “they don’t do much around exposing/aggregating wish lists publicly.”
Amazon is pretty good at promoting this feature—currently they have a page describing how users can get their Wish List holiday-ready. They also recently released something called Universal Wish List, which allows users to add products from any website to their Amazon Wish List with one click.
In September, we blogged about Giftag, a social shopping service that uses open standards. Created by leading retailer Best Buy, Giftag is a browser plugin that lets you make online wishlists and share them with your friends. The technology will be integrated into Best Buy’s web site in the coming months. Specifically, Giftag uses the microformat hProduct—an emerging data standard that is embedded in (X)HTML, Atom, RSS, and arbitrary XML. It’s similar to the microformats hListing and hReview. There’s also a Facebook app. A word of warning though: one of our commenters noted some privacy issues with Giftag.
Phil Bradley suggested Wists, a site that has been around for some time now. It aims to “make publishing or sharing lists of recommendations and wishlists easier and more appealing than maintaining a weblog and not tied to one particular store.” Wists was founded by David Galbraith, a long-standing member of the blogging and RSS community.
Chris Osborne suggested the startup he co-founded, boxedup (also noted by @itamarw). It’s a well-designed social wishlist site, where you can import your Amazon Wish List and then use a browser plug-in to add new items. There’s also a Facebook app.
I found it easy to add things into my Boxedup list; I was impressed enough that I will probably continue to use this one.
Cwellhouser suggested ThisNext, a social shopping site where “where “trendsters” recommend cool products online”. It’s a colorful site and obviously aimed at the young and hip demographic. It’s described as “a shopcasting network where you can discover great products based on our members’ recommendations.” It looks like a great site to find a cool present for your younger sister or brother perhaps—a Juicy Couture Charm Bracelet is currently the rave.
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