Latest Obsession: Listgeeks

Like many desk-bound types, I have a thing for office supplies.

Nothing gets me going like new pens (love the rollerball but do experiment within the fully-inked, non-smear category), graphing notepads, personalized Mokeskins, and of course, Post-Its. Did I mention Post-Its? I’m all for environmental awareness and not wasting paper, but have you ever used a Post-It? The collective voice of 1.9 billion search results for “post-it love” alludes to their divinity.

So naturally, my world was turned upside-down when I came across a site that has the potential to eliminate the need — and desire — for the 3×3 adhesive delights. Everyone sitting down, drumroll please…check out Listgeeks. (Currently invite only, but you might get lucky with a tweet or email plead.)

It is quite refreshing to come across a site, which in its simplest and beta form, strikes the perfect balance of useful and fun. The concept is simple: “Listgeeks is a socially-oriented platform for creating, sharing and comparing lists of things important to you.”

Right now, the site is in beta and the users are of the super creative variety, including artist Christoph Niemann and “futurist” Kevin Kelly. And because it’s in beta, the functionality is pretty straightforward: you can create new lists, follow people, attach links, comment, browse and search. Of course, there are some cool extras like drag and drop, but the site maintains a very clean appearance and is quite easy to use.

The lists range from classic to-do’s, such as the traditional “best of…” or bucket list, to the comical and esoteric. Some of the more popular lists include “Countries I’ve visited,” “10 albums that changed my life,”Β  and two personal favorites, “I love you but I’ve chosen,” and “Superpowers I’d like to have.” Below are some of the staff picks to get a sense of the variety:

I’ve used the site to catalog my favorite books, the acronyms I wish would catch on, and the things I miss about Los Angeles (to serve as ammo against perpetual attacks by NY and SF natives). On a more tangible note, I’ve recently been on an extra-curricular activity binge and made a list titled “Hobbies I would cultivate if I had a clone.” Ideally, this would help me keep track of all those inspired ideas for a quiet Saturday afternoon, if it ever shows up:

The little paper clip icon indicates that there is a link behind the item (in this case, http://www.yesand.thepit-nyc.com/classes

Listgeeks is quite addictive as is. In the future, it has the potential to grow rapidly with an open read/write API and partnerships with content heavy sites, namely those who are in desperate need of bite-sized curation. Imagine a Listgeek widget on Netflix, which never really figured out the social aspect of their service, so you could easily see your friends’ favorites. The mobile applications are also very promising, since lists are an ideal form of communication to facilitate engaging real-time, local interactions. Foursquare banks on this idea with its branded pages and lists of tips. Similarly Listgeeks has the potential to turn Time Out NY’s abundance of useful but spastically organized content into something more palatable.

In an age of incessant information overload, curation remains one of the biggest areas for innovation, both via algorthims (e.g., recommendation engines, “most popular”) and hand selection (e.g., following the online breadcrumbs of individuals). I’m excited to see where Listgeeks goes, and in the meantime am thoroughly enjoying playing around.

Bye bye Post-Its. Hello Listgeeks. (Trees, you can send you thank you letters in list form to info@listgeeks.com).

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