Sponsored post – Lunchster helps you organize your lunch dates

The following is a sponsored post, commissioned by Lunchster, via Izea. Though this is a paid post, the words and ideas below are mine.

Hooking up with friends for lunch has always been a bit of a challenge for me, and I’ve always been looking for a way to make it easier. I don’t often write sponsored posts on my blog, but this opportunity came up and it looks like an application I’ll use, so of course I wanted to share 😉

Lunchster launched (sorry) in beta today at DEMO fall ’09, a conference / tradeshow where, in the words of the conference organizers:

Each company is given just six minutes on the DEMO stage to truly demonstrate how their product will change the world. No PowerPoint or flashy corporate presentations allowed. Just the founders and the technologies many are staking their careers on… it doesn’t get any more straightforward and fast paced than that.

Time for Lunchster
Basically, Lunchster acts as virtual assistant that coordinates lunch dates between me and my friends using email, online calendaring programs (Google Calendar, etc) and even Facebook.

The process works like this:

  1. Sign up and log into Lunchster
  2. Either let Lunchster import your contact list, or manually enter email addresses of your lunch-mates
  3. Select a time, date and place for your lunch
  4. Confirm and send out the invitations

Lunchster does the rest. All your contacts will receive email invitations to your lunch, and can reply accordingly. If a date doesn’t work out, all contacts can tweak the lunch date or decline. Lunchster does all the work and you don’t have to coordinate email, IM, tweets, etc. It’s all in Lunchster.

My Take-away
Lunchster is cool. The interface is a little rough around the edges, but I really liked the way I could set up a lunch appointment — the application uses Yelp! to aid with restaurant choice, and works with my existing calendaring tools (Google Calendar and Outlook).

I’m not a big fan of allowing applications free access to my contact list (though Lunchster does say in multiple places that they don’t save my password, etc). Big points to Lunchster for allowing me to manually enter my lunch-buddies email addresses.

I guess the hard part for me is to get into the habit of using another application. As long as I remember to use it, I’ll use Lunchster the next time I need to coordinate a lunch.

You can join the Lunchster beta (it seems open) or follow @lunchster on Twitter, to keep up to date.

The preceding was a sponsored post for Lunchster.
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