This post was sponsored by GemShare, but I’m sharing my own opinions and experiences with their product.
GemShare is an app for iPhone and iPad that allows you to share local recommendations with your friends and friends of friends — basically people who’s opinions you trust. You can submit quick endorsements of businesses or services that you like and trust along with a really brief description of what’s good about it.
I’ve been playing with it for a few months now and in addition to the usual local recommendations (our favorite burrito and brunch places, the gym where my kids take parkour classes), I’ve started curating a list of SF Bay area stores that sell bento boxes and other supplies you can use to make cute lunches.
When you find a gem you want to share, you can do a quick search to see if it’s already in the system. If it is, it will pop up in a list as you type and you can just select it and add a quick note about why you like it. If the service you are recommending is not in the system yet, you can fill out a brief form to add it. I LOVE that the app searches Google for the business name for me so I don’t have to go back and forth to my browser. Honestly, I would rather not enter a gem at all if I have to do that (LAZY!) so this makes the app infinitely more appealing to me.
You can join and add groups to find like-minded people in your area — school groups, parent groups, neighborhood groups — and this will give you access to more gems. I joined a local parents’ group and I also created my own group for people who want leads on awesome lunch supplies.
And you can also submit questions to your network to find a recommendation when you need one. For example, when our family’s primary care physician moved her practice to another town, my husband asked for (and received) recommendations for doctors in our area.
Here are the basics to get started with GemShare:
- Visit the iTunes App Store and download GemShare.
- Create an account â€” itâ€™s free and only takes a minute
- Click on Network, then Groups, and search for Wendolonia bento box resources (you may need to search for the group with my zip code: 94530)
- Join my group and see what I recommend.
(Currently GemShare is available on the iOS platform. The Android version is coming soon!)