We wish we had a new Mongolian or Chinese hotpot place to tell you about today. Unfortunately we just have Google Hotpot. Are Yelp and Foursquare not sufficiently filling up your Smartphone, time, and tummy? Well, here is yet another way to distract yourself, give you more food for thought, and make you an authority on your neighborhood grub.
Google Hotpot is an addition to Google Places and Google Profiles, where you now have "local recommendations powered by you and your friends" Restaurant recommendations, that is.
If Google owns your phone then it is simple to try out Hotpot on your Droid, you simply download the latest Google Maps App (4.7) and add Rate Places. If you have an iPhone, there's a Places app in the works for you or you can just use the browser.
If you are using the Internet on an actual computer here is what Google Places with Hotpot looks like. The site's appearance reminds us a lot of an unstylized version of the Netflix Rate Movies section. You add the number of stars, and then have the option to write a quick blurb (a Twitteresque review) and click on either a happy or angry face to rate food, service, atmosphere, and value.
This will take a lot less time than an actual Yelp review, you get useful recommendations after your ratings, and it is as easy to do as checking in on Foursquare. We think this new service may be a pretty good way to waste some time but we'd probably only use it for the app side when we need to find something nearby.
What do you think: Will Hotpot replace Yelp and Foursquare? We have a feeling that this may end up as successfully as Google Buzz was in replacing Twitter: #buzzkill