Use Hoppit to Find Local Places Based on Your Tastes

September 17, 2011

2:00 pm

If you’re looking for something new to do, Hoppit can help. Hoppit is a social place recommendation engine and local reviews service that recommends restaurants, bars and shops based on consumer taste mapping. With a mission to revolutionize the way folks discover new places of interest, Hoppit sounded pretty intriguing to me, so I decided to test it out.

To get started on Hoppit, I began filling out a Taste Profile. The first selections were based on my food tastes, choosing from descriptions like “Foodie,”  “Organic,” and “Atmosphere Snob.” I’m pretty much a form-and-function gal when it comes to finding something to eat, so I selected “On-the-go” and “Healthy Foods.” Next, I was prompted to choose my drink preferences, from descriptions like “Beer Fan,” “Tea Aficionado,” and “Health Drinks.” I admit I consumed my fair share of alcohol back in my sorority days, but these days I don’t partake too often, yet I do enjoy a nice glass of wine. So, I selected both “Fun w/o Suds” and “Wine Fan.” See, Hoppit – I’m complex.

The next step involved choosing my tastes in fashion and style. Am I a “Hipster?” Maybe a few years ago. What about “High Fashion?” Only when the occasion calls for it. Just to be safe, I selected “Prepster” and “Beach Bum” due to the amount of both sweater cardigans and sandals in my closet. Let’s see what Hoppit can do with that!

On to activities. I could have selected almost all of the descriptions, except for “1337 Gamer” and “Thrill Seeker.” Instead, I chose my top three, “Outdoorsy,” “Live Music,” and “The Arts.” The next step brought more selections from choices such as “Jetsetter” and “Geeky.” At this point in the process, I began to get restless, so I think I just clicked “Save the World” and “Tech Maven” and moved on.

I was happy to see that I had completed all the steps and was asked to log in with Facebook Connect. Hoppit consists of three sections: things Hoppit thinks you’ll already like, which includes recommendations from people like you; a list of categories to go directly to the type of place you’re looking for; and a search field.

Since Hoppit hasn’t come to DC yet, I decided to see what’s happening in SoHo, since my husband and I like to go to New York about once a year just to play. After searching for restaurants, I was presented with a list of them, sorted by how well they match with my tastes. I could filter them further by choosing my preferred level of noise (for example, which restaurants are good places to have conversations), type of cuisine and distance.

Hoppit lets you hop around from category to category, so you can plan your entire evening out with a few clicks. So, for a date, you could select “Romantic Spots” to find a cozy restaurant, then “Activities” to find something fun to do after dinner. All the options are tailored to the tastes you defined in the set-up process.

Hoppit seems like an incredibly useful and intuitive tool to help plan your social life. I wish it were in DC, because sometimes I feel like I’m in a rut with the places I go. It would be nice to find new hang-outs that are similar enough to what I like, yet a whole new experience.

Check out Hoppit, and see where your tastes may take you this weekend.

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Meg Rayford is a communications consultant based in Northern Virginia. She previously spent two years as the Director of Public Relations for a nonprofit startup, where she learned a lot about providing clean water for impoverished countries, even within the confines of a bootstrapped startup.

She is the editor of Tech Cocktail, and she develops media strategies for companies in Washington, DC and Virginia. You can read her most recent work in the marketing chapter of the upcoming book, “Social Innovation and Impact in Nonprofit Leadership,” which will be published in Spring 2014 by Springer Publishing. Follow her @megkrayford.

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