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A mobile app smarter than Google and Yelp? That was the headline that Inc Magazine published this past Friday about Ness, a new dining recommendations mobile app. What caught my eye about the piece is that the CEO believes that dining recommendations are only the start.


Right now it’s only for restaurants, but Ness cofounder and CEO Corey Reese says he plans to expand the service to other verticalssuch as concerts and venues, music, and shopping.

His goal is lofty. Just as Google has indexed all the objective information in the world and put it at people’s fingertips, Reese plans to give people answers to all of their subjective questions: What should I watch on TV tonight? What Tom Cruise movie should I see this weekend? What restaurant should I eat at for lunch today with the guys at work? What shoes should I buy here at Nordstrom? Where should I travel?


My first thought was, isn't that why Bing was founded? Or Ask Jeeves? Or Quora? But this is different because it pulls in reviews from FourSquare and Facebook. It isn't it's own social network, it isn't masking itself as a search engine. Instead, it is a simple app that is meant to give you better results than Google Places or Yelp would do. 


Which only leads to my question...when was the last time you looked at your FourSquare reviews? First, let's see from the user's perspective how this works and you'll see why FourSquare just got a huge bump in importance from Ness.


You'll see how Ness is focusing on personalizing its results for each user. The second screen I was brought to was to immediately connect Facebook and FourSquare. Then Ness reminds me that the more I rate, the better my results. 


Sound familiar? Sound a little like Netflix? Hey, didn't Netflix put Blockbuster out of business?


Moving back to Ness, now I decided to do a quick search to see how FourSquare and Facebook are actually pulled into the app.


At the Welcome screen, I can see what my friends are doing based on their FourSquare or Facebook updates, or do a quick search. I did a search for Italian restaurants and it shows me that the Olive Garden has had 40 mentions from my network, while Sirena has surpassed that. 


So I decided to check out Sirena, Based on a few ratings I gave during set-up, Ness has decided that I'll be OK with the food at Sirena. Or maybe Ness is smart enough to know that my stomach would love it and my wallet wouldn't.


Clicking on the reviews, it shows me that Tom B. left a tip on FourSquare for Ness along with other star ratings. It shows that Tom B.'s review was pulled specifically from FourSquare.


Who knows how popular Ness will be, especially as they expand into other industries. But with the changes in Google reviews, Siri pulling in Yelp reviews, you should add FourSquare to your list of review sites you check OFTEN.

Claim your FourSquare listing and see what customers are saying about your business.


Have you used Ness? What are your thoughts?


Christine Rochelle

Views: 685

Tags: foursquare, management, ness, online, reputation, reviews


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Comment by Kim Clouse on December 13, 2011 at 5:20am
For automotive reviews shared by people who spent money at dealerships and are internet customers, Dealer Report Cards has the right model.
Comment by Samuel Clifton Quina on December 12, 2011 at 9:38pm

FOURSquare has gone huge in Arizona and living social has dialed in some impressive strategies to drive traffic to locations through Pandora.  The mix of the two is really moving and now POS ads are starting to show up Valley wide, most of these tailor to Android users.  Siri Yelp Etc are however running amck with iPhone users


Comment by Christine Rochelle on December 12, 2011 at 11:18am

Richard - I have that same problem here. I love FourSquare when I'm traveling in NYC or Philly, but sometimes it falls flat in NJ. It has definitely picked up over the last year and dealers should be aware if there's anything negative on these sites because you never know where that information can end up once it is posted. On the positive side of things, seeing the "tips" put in for your business can show you what you're doing right! I know that many FourSquare users are connected through their Facebook pages so that has given them credibility in the past.

Comment by Richard Roy on December 12, 2011 at 11:13am

I had almost given up on FourSquare until traveling to LA in August. Coupons show up, reviews, etc. while here in Dallas FourSquare usability seems vague. I think FourSquare needs to become more popular still and deliver some value to make checking in worth the effort.

Just as web searchers have become blind to ads, I think folks will get bored with social media apps that don't deliver real value. On the same token, we all know that reviews can be faked so their has to be some reliability from review sites or they will loose credibility.

Comment by Outsourced Bdc on December 12, 2011 at 11:12am

nice piece I like it!

Comment by Christine Rochelle on December 12, 2011 at 11:10am

Ray - A bit scary, isn't it? I wonder how the FTC will continue to monitor and crack down on businesses that go too far >

Comment by Ray Fenster on December 12, 2011 at 10:44am

Watch for the technology called DOTTING - Digital Optimization threading technology integrating noncomforming groups.  In The Que has developed this system to capitalize on the rich content avalible on the cloud, whether it be on social networks, government data bases, or in transit, even unstructured data.  The key is if you give the answer to a request you already know the next question before it is asked. Sound to far out there, well it is.

Comment by Christine Rochelle on December 12, 2011 at 10:44am

Ralph - I think that it shows that instead of targeting just "review sites," social media should be included. Google+, Facebook, Twitter and FourSquare are social media portals...but what a consumer says on these is just as, if not more, important than what they say on Google reviews. I check into FourSquare all the time but haven't paid much attention to some of ratings on it. This opened my eyes that every site should be monitored as part of the process. 

Cole - Exactly! Maybe not look at Ness, but who's to say if Facebook and FourSquare are pulled into another site, app, or even Google reviews? You never know what will get pulled into what.

Comment by Cole Matthew Mitguard on December 12, 2011 at 10:29am

The important takeaway from this article is that Facebook reviews (and other social media based reviews, such as foursquare) are prime to become the reputation management platform of choice. This is still just the beginning, as Facebook makes its review platform more robust and makes the data available to app and website developers via an API this trend will only continue. 

I think that its too soon for incorporating a service like Ness into the reputation management strategy, but it is NOT to soon to start paying attention to Facebook and their upcoming review platform shifts. 

Comment by Ralph Paglia on December 12, 2011 at 10:19am

Ness Computing has assembled a world-class team with backgrounds in information retrieval, applied machine learning, natural language processing, collaborative filtering, and user interface engineering. Its team members have built successful products and technologies at Apple, Google, Ning, Oracle, Palantir and Yahoo!. The company is venture-backed by Khosla Ventures, Alsop Louie Partners, TomorrowVentures, Bullpen Capital, and a co-founder of Palantir. Advisors include the creators of Farmville and Mint. The company is based in Los Altos, California and is hiring. For more information, please visit

External Agency Contact
Name: Marcy Simon
Phone: (917) 399-8031
Email: press(at)likeness(dot)com

Ness Computing Contact
Name: Marissa Louie
Phone: (408) 718-1396
Email: press(at)likeness(dot)com

SOURCE Ness Computing

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