Vincent Cheung

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Christmas lists in the Internet age

My Christmas List 2006 Edition

I never know what to put on my "wish" list. I don't usually wish for much. If you have any suggestions for my list, let me know...

My family always asks me and my sisters to make Christmas/Birthday lists to make gift shopping easier. Traditionally, we write on pieces of paper, maybe taping on clippings from flyers, and then put it on the fridge. Additions and modifications would be made as necessary. Sometimes the list would go missing when it was taken to go shopping and never returned to the fridge for the benefit of others and rarely returned to the owner for his/her record.

This year, I've moved my list onto the digital domain of the Internet! Flyer clippings have now been replaced by hyperlinks (I'm too lazy to get images). I can modify it and it is instantly reflected on the list for my family a couple thousand kilometres away.

You are probably asking yourself why I don't use a more web 2.0 thing like ThisNext. I think that's a great idea, but it has two problems for wish lists. First, somethings I don't know what exact product I want. For example, maybe I want a new pair of sunglasses, but I don't know exactly which pair, but ThisNext requires an exact product, or at least an example. Second, I would want to use ThisNext for all my shopping stuff, not just a seasonal thing. Plus, it would be a mix of things that could be gifts and things that I would want to get myself (so I get the right one). I would also have to remove things once I get them (like if I buy it myself), otherwise I could end up with duplicates. ThisNext is more of something that I would have for myself and I would know what I have and don't have and also what I don't like/want anymore.


Ola said...

You just beat me to this. :( I have been planning on putting my list out there. But with a different spin.

Vince said...

My Mom asked me for my list a few weeks ago, and sent out another reminder the other day, so I figured I should give it to her.

Anonymous said...

does your mom read your blog? *waves to mrs. cheung*

Vince said...

My family doesn't know about my blog by design. Or at least I have never told them and I have no proof that they read.

Anonymous said...

Have you tried Stylehive,, I think their implementation solves most of your issues.

Vince said...

I don't see how Stylehive is any different from ThisNext and I think it solves zero of my implementation issues. Please bring your advertisement elsewhere.

Unknown said...

Hi Vince

I am the CEO of ThisNext and we really appreciate the feedback about how to improve list-making. We are working hard to make the wish-list and general list-making more flexible so you can easily create the sorts of list you mentioned.

WRT the specificity of items in a list, it is true it is better if you know what you want. One way to help you find examples of things you like is to search by tag on the site. That way you can find all the stuff that has been picked by all users. For eaxample, sunglasses:

You also can look at the related items section at the bottom of all item pages where you can see other stuff that might be of interest. Please let us know if you have any further suggestions or feedback

happy shopcasting


Vince said...

Sure, ThisNext lets you search tags and stuff, but sometimes I just don't care what exact product/model I get, but that I get it. Or, that I just trust the judgment of say, my sisters and Mom to make a good decision based on what is available and well-priced, because after all, the only sunglasses shown on the web are expensive designer ones. They don't show the sunglasses in those spinning racks in department stores selling for $20 online.

Another thing is that maybe you want to add something to your wishlist that simply is not sold on the Internet or that there is no picture or link to it online. For example, I saw product X in a store and want it, but that store is really small and doesn't have a website.

Unknown said...

hmmm, interesting. so you would like to be able to tell people "get me stuff that looks like this but does not necessarily cost a fortune". OK, lets think about how we could handle that: maybe comments or notes or in the body of the recommendation itself (ie "I like the way this frame looks, but there are less expensive versions available from other smaller designers.")

WRT to the local recommendations about where to get something in a small offline store, that is not an area where we can really help you too much. Sites like yelp are more likely to be able to direct you to stuff in your neighborhood.

From a product development POV, solving local search is a very different problem than solving product discovery. We are focused on the latter.

that said, I do think getting a list of stuff together to share w/people (whether they buy it online or not) is useful for people since it gives them an idea of what sorts of things you like. our goal is to let users create and share lists of stuff they want or stuff they recommend to their friends/family and the larger ThisNext community.

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