Gift Giving Gets Social

I was going to write “Gift Giving 2.0,” but saying anything is “2.0” feels very 1.0. Anyway.

Just in time for the holidays, several new methods of holiday shopping have arrived. At best these marry the curatorial strengths of the best websites with the ease of online shopping. And at worse they’re still better than braving the lines at the big box stores.

Wantful – It’s simple: fill out their form about the gift recipient’s tastes and habits, and Wantful will mail them Apple-worthy packaging around a nifty, highly personalized gift catalog. The recipient picks the gift she wants, and Wantful charges your card. Everyone’s happy.

I’m trying this out with my friend Chad. I assume my options will be primarily champagne and cashmere underwear.

Quarterly Co – This comes from the “Bacon of the Month Club” territory. But replace bacon with a unique gift/invention/doodad delivered quarterly to your door from some of the best creatives on the internet. You might not be able to time the delivery for Christmas, but it’s a great way to avoid duplicate gifts. Me? I’m signing up for Alexis Madrigal‘s and Bobby Solomon‘s mailings. (A preview of Madrigal’s recent send.)

GiveEmThis – This one I’m not so sure about. It’s a service that trawls your loved one’s Facebook and Twitter pages and spits out gift suggestions. Wired tried it with a few celebrities, to mixed results.

If you know of any other services or similar startups, let me know in the comments!

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