Food Network goes local, builds its own meal finder app

Food Network is continuing its push into mobile media, this time with a new restaurant finder app called On the Road. The app isn’t Yelp or Urbanspoon. It draws its content and recommendation solely from FN’s TV programming, and that’s the way Food Network likes it.

Foursquare goes into monetization mode with promoted updates

Location-based social network Foursquare is rolling out its long awaited promoted updates, an advertising product that allows local and national businesses to push out specials, news and pictures to Foursquare’s more than 20 million users. It’s the start of Foursquare’s big monetization push.

Why eBay is buying recommendation engine Hunch

EBay has announced it’s buying New York startup Hunch, the recommendation engine, to help improve its recommendation services. The purchase helps eBay improve its technology base, compete better with Amazon and it might also be another asset in eBay’s X.commerce platform.

First look at Oink, Kevin Rose’s app for rating stuff

Oink, Kevin Rose’s much-discussed app about rating not places, but things within places, is now in the App Store. It’s a little like Yelp, and a little like Foursquare, and a little like Foodspotting. But will this pig fly? I kicked the tires to find out.

Google buys Zagat to add people power to its algorithms

Google has bought restaurant ratings publisher Zagat, in a deal whose value hasn’t been disclosed. The deal helps Google bring in a source of recommendations and user generated content that meshes well with its engineering-centric culture and could boost Zagat’s profile among the digerati.

Is it time to retire the 5-star rating system?

Thanks to the rating systems in place on such popular websites as Yelp, Amazon and eBay, many people are comfortable evaluating things in absolute terms: a two-star restaurant, a B movie and so on. But new MIT research says this approach is fundamentally flawed.

Isn’t it about time we did content discovery differently?

Is anyone else a little tired of being pushed towards certain content because of mined personal information? It’s kind of like having that friend who resembles you a little too closely; eventually they become tiresome. Here’s how we might try doing recommendations differently.

Share and Share Alike: BBC iPlayer Gets More Social

The BBC is adding new ways for iPlayer viewers to share what they’re watching with their friends and social networks, with a new share button. In addition to standard networks like Facebook and Twitter, iPlayer users can now send videos to Delicious, Digg, Reddit and StumbleUpon.