services 01.8.08


We're using the term 'detailers' to describe the following services, all of which, in one way or another, concentrate on the details on your behalf.

When you're trying to decide on a restaurant, Urban Spoon can make the choice easier. They consolidate reviews from newspapers, magazines, and blogs, giving you a range of opinion on any given eatery.

Fabsearch does the same thing as Urban Spoon, only for travel. So far, the range is greater than the depth, but that's bound to even out in time. Big plus: everything's carefully dated, so you know how fresh the info is. And if you get even one tip on a hotel, restaurant, or spa, you come out ahead.

Ask Sunday works on a different model. You pay $29 a month and get 30 requests for help. The company can book travel for you, make restaurant reservations, arrange for errand service, do online research, even schedule wakeup calls.

It's a much more targeted approach for Lifebooker. They have a system to connect with spa and beauty services (health and fitness coming soon) to book your next appointment. You can compare descriptions, prices, ratings, and availabilities. If you rate a service you use, you earn points redeemable toward an appointment.

Momcierge is run by two moms who've "been there, done a lot." They offer concierge services for house and home, travel, shopping, and, naturally, those that are kid-oriented.

We were delighted to make New York Magazine's Approval Matrix this week, though, as you know, it's not accurate to say MUG is 'usually dedicated to sample sales.'

And the piece (The Times Rubs Its Eyes) wasn't that far out of left field—we've done a number along these lines, including editorials on the idiocy of the subway searches, Nannyhattan, and—one of our favorites—on Medical Privacy, when the Justice Department was arguing that "Individuals no longer possess a reasonable expectation that their histories will remain completely confidential."

As far as we know, we're the only publication that, when John Ashcroft was hospitalized, called his office (repeatedly) requesting his medical records, based on the theory argued by his Department. Of course we didn't get them, but it was fun trying.

the today show

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