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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

January 13, 2009 at 12:00 AM

Zoodango relaunches with “intelligent location system”

Seattle Web startup Zoodango is relaunching itself today as a “hyperlocal” search service aimed at helping consumers find local venues, businesses and deals.

Zoodango started as a social network for professionals and drew fame largely from founder James Sun’s appearance on Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice” show.

On Dec. 29 Sun announced that the company was shifting to a “new social media platform that provides innovative geo-search tools and local content for people to interact efficiently and deeper with their local community.”

“Local content is out there, but the future is providing intelligent and integrated tools to help people make real-time decisions,” he said in that release.

Zoodango’s new service lets people search within geographic areas but its biggest trick is a “comparative scoring engine” that rates the popularity of venues, on a zero to 10 scale, compared to similar venues in the same city. Users who register can also receiver personalized scores, with Zoodango predicting how much they may like a particular venue.

The service is launching today in Seattle, Spokane, Portland, San Francisco and San Jose.

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