friendsEAT.com, a food social network

March 1st, 2007 at 12:00 am
 


It's all about food. friendsEAT.com is a social website where people can get to rate, comment and review food that are served by various restaurants across the country. The great thing about being part of the friendsEAT community is the fact that you can create blogs, arrange events, post your thoughts in the site's forum and even get to view menus of popular restaurants aside from being critical of the food being served.

When I looked at the user generated ratings, it seems the reviews are honest and straightforward enough. User reviews vary from single word comments to long posts containing either rants or praises to a particular restaurant. User interface in not bad. It capitalizes on the social networking aspect by providing links on the home page to the friends list, recently reviewed restaurants, recent blog and comment entries.

FriendsEAT's uses interesting mashups in its restaurant review pages. It combines reviews and ratings with Google maps, plotting the geographical locations of restaurant being reviewed.

FriendsEAT has already a decent following. At present there are a number of ways to search for restaurant reviews. You can search geographically or by neighborhood, search by cuisine, or by features. Tags are also available which adds support to search and site navigation.

I find the homepage design too cluttered and disorganized. I can't seem to pinpoint the exact problem, maybe its the round cornered boxes, or how the ″recently rated”, ″recently reviewed”, ″recent bloggers” list are separated from the ″recent comments” section. I really think the site could do better both in the creative and functional aspect of the hompage's design. Try dropping the round-cornered boxes. You don't need to follow all the guidelines of the Web 2.0 websites.

The website directly competes with Yelp.com , a popular social networking website which also has a Restaurant category where members are also free to comment or suggest a place where the food and service are great. And just like friendsEAT, Yelp also uses Google map to provide geographical locations of restaurants. However, in terms of following, it seems Yelp has more members which is actually understandable since the website does not focus on restaurants alone.