Kevin Rose Explains Oink: “A Platform To Rank Things”

Kevin Rose took the stage today at the Web 2.0 Summit to give a demo of Oink, the first product from his mobile lab, Milk. He’s talked a bit about it before, but went into more details today. “With Oink, we wanted to build a platform to rank things,” he explains.

Oink is a mobile app that lets you rank things in different places. So instead of ranking a restaurant or point of interest, you can rank specific things at those places. Rose showed an example of one of his favorite places, The Samovar Tea Lounge. On Oink, you can rank the different teas at the lounge, and see how they rank against the other teas there and teas you can get nearby. Everything is based on hashtags like #tea, and each type of #tea is ranked by place or within a geographic radius. You can chose to find the best #teas within 1 mile, 5 miles, 25 miles, etc. And they all show up on a map.

“You can rank an item like Matcha tea,” explains Rose, “or add it to to-do list.” You can see if your friends have voted it up, rank it by tag, or by best #teas within a 5-mile radius. You can rank anything, best #chocolates, #rollercoasters, #massages.

The more your friends vote up the things you rank, the more cred you get. So people can see where you rank among your friends for #teas, or #chocolates, or #rollercoasters. In that way, they can get a sense of whether you have any taste in those areas.

Once Oink gathers enough rankings for enough things, it can start recommending things to you based on your location (kind of like Foursquare is doing with Radar).