I'm a partner in the advanced analytics group at Bain & Company, the global management consulting firm. My primary focus is on marketing analytics (bio). I've been writing here (views my own) about marketing, technology, e-business, and analytics since 2003 (blog name explained).

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April 03, 2007

Kaboodle's "Help Me Choose": Another Clever Structured Collaboration Example

The social shopping service Kaboodle recently announced the availability of its "Help Me Choose" Widget.  Essentially, this allows Kaboodle users like me (my wife and I use it to maintain a shopping wish list for home and kids) to publish a poll on external properties like this blog, so friends can offer input into certain purchase decisions.   

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This feature is a good example of how to to creatively re-interpret a generic feature like a poll, by asking what existing human interactions it might be useful to.  In this case, friends often ask several other friends for advice, and the poll, renamed to highlight its intended purpose, is the vehicle for translating  naturally-occurring human behavior online.  The experience of asking and giving advice is further enhanced:  Kaboodle both presents all necessary information, and keeps score for you.  A good example of "Web 1.5/2.5 principles" at work:  something of value (advice), exchanged in a high-affinity context (among friends), with great simplicity (via the poll) for both the publisher and the readers.

I had the pleasure of visiting Kaboodle's HQ last year to introduce a client to them, and while I was impressed by their technical achievements then, I've continued to be impressed equally by their attention to their community and their creativity in supporting it with capabilities like this.


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