In the December issue of Wired magazine, the editors test-drove a new gift recommendation service, GiveEmThis.com, that uses your Facebook account to find the perfect gifts for your friends. They got gift recommendations for celebrity "friends", but I decided to test it using myself. After all, I'm the best judge of what I'd like to get, right? Now, since I've only been on Facebook a year, and primarily use it to 1. Show off pictures of cakes I've made, and 2. Tell other people I like the cakes they've made, I wasn't sure how successful GiveEmThis.com would be at seeing into my covetous soul. Not half-bad, it turns out! Or rather, only half-bad...
Dead-On I would love to own all of these: Silpat Silicone Baking Liner, Nigella Express (though I'd rather have Feast or Kitchen, Norpro 3168 Donut Maker, Swimming: Steps To Success, Donvier 837409W 1-Quart Ice Cream Maker, and the Quakehold 3000 Survival Kit (to make my dad rest easier).
Way-Off Please do not send me any of the following items, care-of Apartment Therapy: Football Positions from Hephaestus Books, Judaism for Dummies, a sterling silver "Lotus Bead Yoga Charm", a novelty apron with a picture of a donkey that says "Ass-Kickin' Chef", $20 "peach and light green" earrings, The Complete Bar/Bat Mitzvah Planner, Mitzvah And Mourning, tequila and margarita salt & pepper shakers, and a Quiet Air Hockey set that promises it "muffles the normal clacking noise of air hockey pucks". But then how do you know how hard you're winning?!
Overall, this service seems pretty unnecessary. Anyone who's spent five minutes with me in real-life or on Facebook knows I like swimming, donuts, Nigella, and yoga, and the suggested gifts in those categories weren't too creative. I also have no idea why GiveEmThis thinks I'm Jewish. My favorite suggestion was probably the Silpats: a practical luxury.
Have you ever used a gift recommendation service? How well did it work for you? I think the best way to use one would be to print out your friends' recommendations- the hilariously off-base ones- and give them in lieu of cards. (Just a note: I disconnected GiveEmThis from my Facebook account immediately after this experiment, because I'm cautious that way. You may want to do the same.)