If you like lists, you'll love Likelist

Summer is here, and it's one of those years when we've got nothing planned. The kids' camps don't start till mid-July, so until then they're staying at home with me, and unless I want their eyes to melt from too much tv and videogames, I'm going to have to help them entertain themselves with activities and outings.

For that, I'm going to need the help of my Bay Area friends. Sometimes I feel like we've pretty much done all the cool museums and eaten at all the best ice cream parlors -- but the Bay Area is a big place, and there's always something new popping up, and I just know there are some gems out there waiting for me and my kids to enjoy this summer!

That's where Likelist comes in. It's the new tool in town that makes it easy to jot down the places you like and share them with the people you love. It's a great way to "discover" local gems because you're getting the scoop from people you know and trust -- your friends.

Getting started on Likelist is easy. Just create an account, search for a business, and add it to your Likelist. You can create mulitple Likelists. You can even create a Likelist from the businesses you've "liked" on Facebook. Then you can share your Likelist via Facebook, Twitter and email.

Bloggers will love the "Embed" function, which lets you share your Likelist on your blog. All you have to do is click on the "Embed" link at the top left-hand corner of the list, and a menu of display options will show up on the right-hand side of the screen. Configure how you want the list to appear on your blog, then click "Get Code", and you'll get a bunch of HTML code to paste into your blog.

It's that easy! So, instead of listing down my kids' favorite frozen yogurt places:

* Red Mango
* Yogurtland
* Fraiche
* Tutti Melon

And hoping that my friends and readers read this post, I can create a Likelist with those places and embed the list on my blog. Instead of just reading the names of the places and having to Google each one of them, you've got an address, a phone, and a link to their website. You can read my specific comments on each place and add your own comments after you've tried the place (but if you disagree with me that Tutti Melon's Dulce de Leche yogurt is the best, I'm not sure I trust your taste). You can share my list with your cousin who lives in Reykjavik and happens to be visiting Palo Alto next week. If you and your cousin think our taste in froyo is impeccable, you can both "follow" my Likelist account and get notified whenever I update my Likelist.

LikeList is still in Beta, so there are a couple of areas for improvement. First, I can't search for businesses by category (i.e. vegan), and the process of adding new business needs streamlining. But I can't fault the main concept, which is making it easy to find and share lists for things to do and places to see. With so many new businesses popping up, it makes sense to share the knowledge and spread the love.

Okay, now where's the Likelist for Best Playgrounds in San Jose?

Disclosure: Thanks to LikeList for sponsoring this post. I was selected for this sponsorship by Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do. The opinions I've expressed here are solely my own and represent my honest viewpoint.

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