I’ve been contemplating writing a wishlist app off and on for a few months now but have never gotten around to doing so. While I have an Amazon wishlist, there’s a lot of stuff that I’d love to have that Amazon doesn’t sell. After finding myself keeping a seperate list and periodically e-mailing it to my wife, I though tit would be cool to be able to put together a wishlist using any item that has a URL.
I waited too long and it looks like gifttagging has done at least 80% of what I was hoping to do. It has the web 2.0 look and feel and a tag cloud on the front page and everything. I have a feeling that I won’t actually use the service but it definitely does almost all of what I was planning to do, so if I tried to pull it off it’d be something of an also-ran.
A couple of weeks ago I brainstormed the concept (in a rather conversational tone) with the hope of motivating myself to get started on it. That obviously didn’t happen so I thought perhaps I’d share the brainstorming session in case it’s useful to someone.
So you have an amazon wishlist, and a wishlist with this other site, and you want some stuff that you can’t put on a wishlist. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could put all of this wishlist stuff in one spot? Cue wishlist 2.0 (or whatever it’s called). It gives you one URL you can send to your friends who want to know what you want. Of course it does stuff like pull in (and keep in synch) your Amazon wishlist, but it also works for so much more, like that doodad you want from whatsit.com. It lets you set priorities, keep notes about particular items, and it’s really easy to share with your friends. They can subscribe to an RSS/Atom feed of the stuff you want, you can send them an email linking to your wishlist, they can leave comments and OMG you can tag stuff too.
So lets get down to some details. You sign up. Confirm your email address, cause you have to have a valid email address (even if it’s mailinator.com). After you confirm you’re sent to your “dashboard” screen. You know, the one you get every time you log in. It lists your wishlist items in whatever order you prefer (but you can reorder them). Since it’s your first time there’s a little bit at the top asking if you’d like a tour of the place, or if you’d rather, just import your shit from amazon.
The import process is pretty painless. We’re up front about needing some information about you in order to get your wishlist from Amazon. So we get that info from you say “hang on a sec” and go grab your info using Amazon’s APIs. We come back with “Hey, so you’re John Whatshisname from Austin, TX, right? You want this, that, and the other thing. That’s you, right?”
After we confirm that we’re not pulling in some other dude’s wishlist, we prepopulate your wishlist with the stuff from Amazon. Your quantities and ranking come over, plus everything gets tagged with “amazon”.
If you don’t have anything to import from amazon, we take you in the other way and show you how easy it is to add items to your wishlist. All stuff needs is a URL in order for you to add it. We’ll do our best to guess what it is, but you can always override that. It gets your default “want it” value unless you override that, plus you can tag it with whatever you want “del.icio.us-style”.
From there we can point out that “hey, your wishlist has an RSS feed. Or an Atom feed, if that’s how you roll.” You can also do other stuff like tell your friends, browse stuff from other peoples’ wishlists, or access your wishlist from a mobile phone.
I guess the browsing and social aspect could be fleshed out a bit. Each wishlist item could be able to tell you what other people that want this want. You know, if you want a pink RAZR you might also want a fashionable bluetooth headset. Stuff like that. You can also look at the latest stuff that everyone is wishing for. If you’re on somebody elses wishlist page and you see something that they want that you also want, you can just click “I want this too” and you can add it to your wishlist.