March 12, 2010 06:00 ET

Debut of 'Communities' on Delivers First-of-Its-Kind Offering to Create Custom Review Websites for Any Personal Passion

Breaking New Ground, Lunch Platform Allows People to Create Their Own Version of Sites Like Yelp and Trip Advisor

LOS ANGELES, CA and AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwire - March 12, 2010) -  Lunch (, a social media website that connects people to their common ground with others, today announced the release of 'Communities on Lunch,' its most significant expansion to date. The feature allows people to create and curate their own personalized review websites on the Lunch platform. Communities on Lunch uniquely provide the 'review' context, an unprecedented format for connecting around shared interests online. This environment draws out more useful content around niche topics, encouraging substantially more people to feel comfortable contributing quality content that can genuinely benefit others.

The release of Communities on Lunch represents the next evolution of user generated content, culminating the brand's overall strategy to elicit the most thoughtful, relevant, and compelling content online.

What are Communities on Lunch?

Communities on Lunch empower people to create custom review sites for their own unique interests, from strollers to green living to foreign films. For the first time, people can do for their personal passions what Yelp has done for restaurants, TripAdvisor has done for hotels, and Rotten Tomatoes has done for movies. Community founders control the nature of the conversation, and curate the community by choosing the topics, members, and specific pieces of content, as well as creating review templates to guide contributions.

This expansion to Lunch's main platform solves the need to generate more relevant and better-structured content. All topics are organized at a global level on the site; preventing great opinions and information from being lost in a disorganized message board thread, or trapped in an isolated social network or group.

"Niche communities were my vision for Lunch from the start, because the best content is shared when you're surrounded by people who get you," said J.R. Johnson, founder and chief executive officer. "The first step was creating this powerful platform to tackle the organization issues, and develop enough integrity to get people thinking more critically. From there we moved toward smarter content -- beyond just 'that rocks' or 'this sucks' -- and now bring in this key catalyst of centering it all around specific areas of interest. It's going to create an entirely new type of content."

Raising the Bar

Creating a dynamic where discussion and commentary with fellow enthusiasts is focused around a detailed subject brings both the participants and their contributions to a higher level. Communities on Lunch is a venue that completely caters to that style of interaction. In addition, the site's organized master platform and integrity of its overall community play a key role in ensuring that members create the most valuable content possible. Layered on top of that is the added perspective of Lunch's Similarity Network, which calculates commonalities in taste and opinions among the site's members. Together, this all adds up to produce a caliber of content not yet seen in social media as we know it today.

Community founders on Lunch moderate, shape and characterize what content is valuable within their community. Through a set of best practices implemented into this process, founders have a greater ability to engage members and ensure the quality of the contribution is consistent. In addition, they have access to Lunch's comprehensive collection of the most popular ways to share online -- ranging from ratings, reviews, and wikis, to lists, and Twitter-length micro reviews. Whether coming from a phenomenon like the Secret Cities fan pages on Facebook, a personal blog, or a message board, founders of Communities on Lunch will encounter a far superior experience.

"For a blogger like me, who's just really passionate about living gluten-free, this is a perfect fit," said Alison St. Sure, founder of the Gluten Free Groupies Community on Lunch. "Lunch has handled the hard parts -- getting people to engage and contribute, getting that content out there and searchable, and making a place for honest, nice people. They handle the tech and business side, and I get to stay focused on the fun part -- sharing about gluten-free foods and opening up the conversation to be more interactive than my blog."

"We have nearly 11,000 stroller trendsetters in our Yahoo! Group 'Strollerswap,'" said Janet McLaughlin (Strollerqueen), founder of the Strollerland Community on Lunch. "We've had a blast 'going to Lunch' to create, store, and search our honest and experienced stroller reviews. This is the next generation of message boards and blogs!"

Humanitarian motivator

Lunch was founded on the principle that the humanitarian motive to share something helpful and meaningful with other people is the most genuine and productive driver to foster the best content. When people share their knowledge, it can make a world of difference to someone else. They can then experience the mutual benefit to giving as good as they get. Opening up this cycle to more people through Communities on Lunch has the potential to grow into an incredibly positive influence on the user generated content space. These ideals reflect Lunch's conviction that the best social media flourishes organically, and simply cannot be contrived or manufactured.

How to get started

A small set of Communities were just launched, and range from Disney World fans and college fashion, to broadway musicals and vegan living. To become a Community Founder, enter the private BETA code CURIOUS at In order to maintain the integrity of the Lunch community, people interested in creating a community will be asked to fill out a brief application form. This benefits fellow founders and members overall, by ensuring they're surrounded by people who share Lunch's brand values and vision for high quality content and responsible participation.

For general information about Lunch, please visit, Also, follow us on Twitter: @Lunch_com. For press inquiries, please contact

About Lunch
Lunch ( is a social media website where people share and discover genuinely useful information, connecting to others with common interests while uncovering common ground with those who may appear to be their total opposites. Fueled by curiosity, Lunch features reviews, lists and ratings created by members of the community, on almost any imaginable topic. From the latest TV show, to a politician, a charity, a baby stroller, or universal healthcare, it's a place for all interests. Launched in April 2009 by J.R. Johnson (former founder and CEO of, which was acquired by Expedia in July 2008), Lunch's proprietary Similarity Network engine calculates commonalities in taste and opinions among the site's members. In 2009, Lunch began hosting 'Lunch for Good,' an event series bringing together innovators and thought-leaders in the tech and Internet space to discuss how to evolve the way people participate and interact online. Most recently, in March of 2010, Lunch released its biggest product expansion to date, Communities on Lunch; a platform that gives people the ability to create their own personal review websites for their personal passions. For more information, please visit or send an email to

Feed your curiosity. Lunch.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Aunny De La Rosa
    Twitter: @AunnyD