Add an ingredient with a decidedly local flavor to an icon of the Internet world and what do you get? Google Hotpot, a new dish that is seemingly a combination of Places and Profiles. What does this new menu item do for us, the user?
It helps us find local destinations, like businesses and restaurants.
As we travel through a new type of landscape we are guided by signs, as always. But the source of the signs and information is much different now. Travelers are creating the guidelines and providing directions for the inquiring traveler. This is what happens with Google Profile. Users rate/review businesses, restaurants and service providers based on their experience.
This creates a large database of information in Places, of course. But it also helps the Internet behemoth with another task – making suggestions to users in the future. Add the “friend” touch and you have a referral and suggested destination business model called Hotpot that guides you to physical locations in your area.
If you are in a neighborhood that is popular with you and your circle of friends you can use Hotpot to find restaurants, bookstores, business offices etc. that will include the locations popular with your friends.