Remember The Big Lebowski? No? Well, the main character, played perfectly by Jeff Bridges, was named “The Dude.” He lived, loafed and bowled in LA, circa the late 90s. I’m not sure if the movie inspired “Dude, Check This Out!”, a new web-based application I found via Boing Boing, but it certainly seems so. While they have picked Charles Atlas as their icon, I think they’d do better with Bridges’ character. In any case, the Dude (that’s what they call themselves) is a recommendation engine of sorts. How it works:
“You can use the Dude to store cool links that you find. Once you store something, you can send it to others, both inside and outside the Dude universe….
Your collection of cool links is anonymously related to other link collections in the Dude database, and the Dude then suggests other links to you. It’s sort of like the Amazon suggestion engine for books based on “people who bought this book also bought…”, but for links instead. Cool, eh?….
Item suggestions are connected to a profile, so as you discover new information, you’ll also connect with new people. It’s social networking with a purpose: You connect with others because you share interests.”
I continue to believe, until someone convincingly argues otherwise, that RSS-cum-Feedsharing-cum-personal newsreading will ultimately take off when a great recommendation engine is grafted onto a great feed aggregator, then married to some third cousin of social networking. Amazon+Feedster+NetNewsWireLite+Friendster. Or something. The Dude points in that direction.