RatePoint makes recommendations social

New site is like Digg but for product and site ratings.

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.
Caroline McCarthy
2 min read

Visit the just-launched ratings site RatePoint, and I'll bet that you'll think exactly what I thought: "Hey, this reminds me of Digg." Indeed, the two have similar site designs and similar philosophies: rank the importance or effectiveness of something through sheer people power. In the case of Digg, it's news stories. With RatePoint, it's everything else--Web sites, services, products, and pretty much anything else that's available online.

But there are a few differences between Digg and RatePoint. Instead of the simple thumbs up/thumbs down protocol that Digg is modeled off, RatePoint offers a numerical rating on a scale of 1 to 5 as well as (like Digg) an easy-to-view count of exactly how many people have rated it. RatePoint calls these graphical ratings "Gablets," and I speculate that some day you'll be able to stick them on your Web site or blog in the form of widgets. There are also "Gabs," or comments, and--of course--categorical tags.


The more you rate on RatePoint, the site will provide you with targeted recommendations based on what you've liked and disliked--kind of like the way Netflix will recommend movies to you. Additionally, RatePoint has some social networking functions. You can amass a friends list, and the site will also recommend "clones," or people who have similar interests to yours.

RatePoint's similarities to Digg might be good news or bad news. On the good side, Digg is well-respected as a simple and innovative structure for a news source; on the other hand, it's also been widely criticized. But if RatePoint can manage to deal with the "Digg-ish" problems (control by a small percentage of the user base, "rigged" ratings) that may come along, I think it's got a bright future. The Internet might not really need another ratings site, but RatePoint is fresh and different enough that it could potentially succeed.