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Kevin Rose demos Oink: Check-ins for things, not places

Tired of checking into your restaurant? Check into your hamburger instead. Then rate it!

Rafe Needleman Former Editor at Large
Rafe Needleman reviews mobile apps and products for fun, and picks startups apart when he gets bored. He has evaluated thousands of new companies, most of which have since gone out of business.
Rafe Needleman
Kevin Rose at Web 2.0 Summit James Martin/CNET

SAN FRANCISCO--At the Web 2.0 Summit, Kevin Rose of Digg fame showed off Oink--a service for checking into and rating "things," as opposed to places. Oink is the first product from Rose's new company, Milk.

In Oink, your can rate individual items at the venues you visit, and compare similar items across venues. James Martin/CNET

You can rate, for example, the best teas at a specific location (Example: Samovar Tea Lounge) or all the teas within walking distance. Rose says early Oink users are mostly rating food and drink. But also seats at venues, attractions at theme parks, and so on.

There's a gamification element to Oink that will pay users back. "I'm a Level 4 in sushi," Rose says. Similar to becoming a "mayor" for checking into a location, Rose says that merchants will be able to find the most important social experts in a category and send them offers or deals in it.

The product will also have a feature similar to Foursquare's Radar. As Rose describes it, if it knows you're an expert in pizza, and you're in New York, "your phone will buzz and tell you" when you can walk two blocks for an awesome slice, as rated by other users.

The site is in closed beta now and is launching "in a few weeks," Rose said.