As with Zebo, ThisNext relies on members to create its content—namely, lists of their favorite products. Also, like Zebo, ThisNext provides links to stores.
When you enter the name of an item in the search bar, you end up on pages with a variety of nominations and links to the nominators. We typed in "surfboard," for example, and discovered 22 options, from miniature surfboard towel hooks ("They brighten up a kid's bathroom," wrote Jody) to a Rusty shortboard ("Thin as a chip, turny but definitely not a flip flopper," according to Allyson). In each case, we were informed how many members recommended an item and what tags were applicable to the choice ("waves," "Venice"). We were also told where the item could be purchased.
ThisNext, once again like Zebo, is known as a social shopping site. It enables its members to create their own pages with a photo, a profile, and answers to a long series of questions, such as "What is the next big step you'd like to make?" It also allows them to go to other members' blogs to find more examples of their product tastes or simply to establish contact. And although the member lists on ThisNext are weighted toward products, they can range far and wide, from activities (cooking and climbing, for example) to entertainment (movie reviews), to lifestyles (living green).
In theory, everyone posting products is a private citizen, but it's easy for a company's employees to sign up as individuals and promote the company's product. Some consultants actually advise clients to do so as a means of "building buzz" around a product. Still, such recommendations are in the minority. As a member told the New York Times, "I like the concept of peers, people like me, referring each other to interesting things. It's more trustworthy."