The inspiration was people coming in from out of town and asking myself or friends for recommendations of places to go. Most people I knew were sending emails and SMS and I was constantly hearing them say "I wish there was an easier way to share lists". At the same time I wanted to teach myself MeteorJS so it seemed like the perfect storm - and was something I could build.
Placelist is really more of a side project and something that allows me to learn various aspects of how to build and code. But it also allows me to experiment and validate ideas through social (http://instagram.com/myplacelist/).
How it works
Placelist is a crowd sourced peer to peer service. It works by allowing people to create lists of places using googles api, for example "my fav bars in williamsburg" or "fav places to shop in greenpoint".
Each Placelister gets their own URL that allows other to filter through their various lists to find places they like. It's that simple. Here are some examples:
The idea is to give people an easy way to create and share lists with others and contribute to a recommendation service "by the people for the people".
Challenges I ran into
The biggest challenges (besides learning Meteor while creating this) was have been to keep it simple, and how to make it easy for people to add places and upload images. Right now the app is still more of a prototype so there's lots of improvements to still make.
In fact if anyone is interested, Placelist is becoming popular as a service on Instagram.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I'm happy to have committed to actually building this. Who knows what will happen to it but it's been a great learning process and has helped me with other projects.
What I learned
MeteorJS! It's awesome. It took me (a non programmer) about 6-7 weeks to get the initial prototype up and running. I think that's pretty amazing. It also allows me to concentrate also more on the idea rather than the code.
What's next for Placelist
Next for placelist is building a community feed and then turning it into a native app. I also eventually might allow for "sponsored places" - essentially similar to what Twitter does but uses key words from people's individual lists (for example fav BARS and WILLIAMSBURG) to find the most relevant match for a place to show up on that list.
So for example a bar in williamsburg could show up as a sponsored post on any persons list that contained "BARS, WILLIAMSBURG"
Lots more to do - wish I had more time in the day. But love doing these types of side projects.