betaworking

Betaworks and Fictive Kin Team Up To Help with the Fun Part of Your To-Do List

"Nobody's favorite memories are, 'Oh remember that time we were tweeting at each other?'"
Diversity of opinion! (Photo: screencap)

Diversity of opinion! (Photo: screencap)

Do you have a Google Doc or an iPhone note where you keep a running list of books, movies and other things you’ve been meaning to check out? Well, today partners Betaworks and Fictive Kin announced a new service meant to help out. Done Not Done, at its simplest level, is a new and improved kind of to-do list–one that’ll (so the idea goes) evolve into an increasingly useful recommendation engine as more users sign on.

The goal was to build “an app to try to use the web to get people off the web,” Fictive Kin’s Cameron Koczon told Betabeat. The idea is users will quickly open the app and either add something new to try or quickly pick something off their list and be on their way.

“Nobody’s favorite memories are, ‘Oh remember that time we were tweeting at each other?'” he added.

“Some of the stuff that’s on there right now is more media centric, but more and more we want it to be not just off the web, but get out and spend more time with your friends, stuff like that,” Mr. Koczon. (Those of you without IRL friends are in trouble.)

To get started, you sign up, add a few friends and start telling the app what you’ve done (seen Casablanca) and not done (read War and Peace). Of course–and this is where Done Not Done starts to sound like a social-web-loving Betaworks production–once the service has all that data about you, it can start making suggestions to your friends. The Ideas tab tells us to read the novel Cryptonomicon, since we follow Union Square Ventures’ Andy Weissman on Twitter. 

“I think [the social web] is now evolving where you take those connections and you do things with them,” Betaworks entrepreneur-in-residence Paul Murphy told us.

Of course, the problem is that if you’re just signing on today, you’ll find the service not quite a social desert, but at least a bit arid. Mr. Koczon insisted it’s still meant to be useful to you early adopters, though: “People keep these lists on their own everywhere,  often just in iPad or iPhone notes, maybe a piece of paper, Google Docs, excel spreadsheets,” he said. Sewing everything up into a purpose-built app is meant to make it all cleaner, simpler, and better organized.

“It is more like a personal ultility that does become a recommendations thing with social,” he explained.

Eventually, the team will add new options like travel destinations and places to eat. As for now, maybe you’ll finally remember to start watching Breaking Bad

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com