RecommendBox relaunches as njoyed. It's better. Is that enough?

njoyed, a new site where friends can share recommendations, launches today. The site allows friends to make recommendations and request recommendations in categories like books, movies, places, clothing, music, restaurants and services.

Except it hasn’t. Quite. That was the opening paragraph of the review I wrote about RecommendBox back in March, the site which today relaunches as njoyed. (I just replaced the site name). The question is, is there much difference?

Here’s the old site:

And here’s the new:

Don’t get me wrong. I respect the guys involved. Robert Loch and Scott Rutherford are part of a particularly hard-core set of guys in the London startup scene. They are have the confidence of their backers, securing funding this year.

The issue is, is njoyed different enough from RecommendBox?

Because right now all I can see that’s different is a much better design, and a new Twitter like model of “Follow” instead of “Friend.”

That, of course, might be actually be enough. By switching to a more passive, Web 2.0 model of following rather than friending people (so 2004!), this may be enough for them to create scale inside the service. You no longer need to “request recommendations”. You just follow the people whose recommendations you like. You can also use a Digg-like system to vote items up, and direct message people, as on Twitter. Think Twitter for recommendations, in fact.

But there may need to be greater filtering. Hopefully that will come as more data is added.

And I daresay they’ve thought of adding it – though it doesn’t appear to be there yet – but I’d like to be able to tag something in Twitter (maybe pull my list of favourite tweets?) – and send it to njoyed…

Feel free to try it out and leave your comments below.