Dinner Circle Network Reaches Over 300 Members in First Few Weeks at Yale

Posted by Soren Sorensen

Zoko, a dinner party website that utilizes the power of social media, is an idea that was long overdue.  Connecting with other people over food has been going on since the first caveman dragged the first animal carcass home to share with other members of his species.

Fast-forward half a million years or so.

Dinner parties have been a fixture of the developed world for as long as any of us can remember.  The Internet and social media are often thought of as tools that bring human beings closer together.  For many, however, they haven’t actually done so.

A person with a few hundred Facebook “friends” doesn’t want to have them all at a dinner party.  That would be awkward, to say the least.  And pricey.  Some of us never get to know our neighbors.  Others eat alone most evenings.

Whether its picnics, potlucks or Passover, Zoko CEO Christopher Kieran thinks that it’s about time for foodies to harness the power of social media for something we can all get behind: food.

According to Mr. Kieran, he and his four cofounders turned down dream jobs to make Zoko happen.  In an economy like this, they must think they’re onto something.

Kieran told New England Post that there are several other sites out there trying to integrate food and social media.  The challenge isn’t new, he said, but Kieran and his cofounders had the advantage of having participated in something similar: Yale Veggie Dinner, a vegetarian supper club.

“It started out as a handful of friends and then friends of friends and so on and so forth,” Kieran told New England Post.  “People took shots at trying to figure out how to organize it and the solutions just kept getting better and that enabled the group to expand.”

“With Zoko, we’ve taken it to the next level,” said Kieran. “It was a really incredible experience for me to be a part of that group when I was in school and it’s really fulfilling to be able to continue improving that experience for friends of mine who are still in school and for future students.”

Kieran told New England Post that this love of food is nothing new.

“I’ve always been really intense about dinner parties,” he said with a laugh.  “Pretty much my whole life. I’ve always been the one who sets the table at holidays and family events and I have a long history of throwing ridiculous dinner parties.”

One of 11 Betaspring graduates this year, Zoko launched at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts on September 26. Kieran and his cofounders are currently eyeing other markets around the United States.

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Short URL: http://www.newenglandpost.com/?p=5223

Posted by Soren Sorensen on Oct 7 2011. Filed under Featured - For home page featured article, Lifestyle. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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