Thursday, December 13, 2007

Using Web 2.0 to find the nearest toilet

I was excited to see the recent launch of MizPee, a website with SMS support that can help you find the nearest toilet in your hour of greatest need.

MizPee serves up a list of nearby toilets, how far away the toilet is, a rating and whether or not there is a charge. Other details may include disabled access, whether the restroom includes a diaper-changing station. Users can also leave comments.

There were many critical comments about the site, but having been a tourist I can say that not every city has a Starbucks or McDonalds on every block and not every restaurant is happy to let people walk in off the street and use their loos. While one comment said "web 2.0 just jumped the shark" I've got to say that it is a good thing the barrier to entry for a webapp is now so low that a niche application like this can exist.

A niche idea I've had for a while: In the part of Brooklyn I live there is the joy of alternate side street parking, which means I have to move my car at least once a week. I'de love to put together a webapp that could help me locate the nearest parking spot. Big challenges in keeping that info up to date since spots come and go very quickly.

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