Digg Founder Kevin Rose today unveiled Oink, a review engine “for things” that is the first project to come out of his mobile app development lab Milk.
Oink is an iPhone application where users can rate the beer at a bar, the tea at a tea lounge or a specific dish at a restaurant. Oink then ranks those “things,” and users can view the top “things” within a certain distance nearby.
“Those other sites like Google Maps and Yelp, they don’t tell you a whole lot about what’s inside of that place,” Rose said. “You have to read pages of reviews to get at what it’s really known for, we’re gonna skip all that.”
Oink connects with Twitter and Facebook and automatically shows reviews written by a user’s Twitter followers or Facebook friends. As Oink users write more reviews, they get points and “level up” over time. Businesses can then target Oink users that use the application a lot with special offers.
Milk is designed to rapidly develop and deploy new mobile applications. If the app isn’t successful, Milk will abandon it quickly, and if the app is popular the company will throw more resources behind it.
Rose left Digg in March earlier this year after he had ceased being a direct leader of the company and served as more of an adviser. He started Milk in April. Rose is also an active angel investor and a partner of the CrunchFund, a $20 million early-stage investment fund founded by former TechCrunch editor in chief Michael Arrington.