THE FIVE-SCOOP: Caterina Fake and Pinwheel

You may know Caterina Fake for creating photo-sharing site Flickr, and the “taste graph” Hunch. The former sold to Yahoo! the latter to eBay. She truly has proven herself as a web-entrepreneur who leads the market.

This morning, at Federated Media’s Signal SF conference, Fake previewed her latest passion, called Pinwheel. She’s taking the growing social habit of “finding and leaving notes around the world” and developing a new business.

Think of how you can annotate an image on Flickr, or leave a note at a location check-in on Foursquare, or how you treasure hunt using geo-cashing. That’s what Pinwheel does.

With Pinwheel, you can leave notes in “places” and follow people, places, and brands. You can leave notes that say “do not recommend” this restaurant, or that public bathroom, park or parking garage. You can leave a digital note at a location like “this is where I was born,” or “this is where Ashton cheated on Demi.” There are also sets, which are collections of notes created by you, or other users–”Art, Love and Literature,” “Hotels,” “Shopping,” etc.

And, Pinwheel has a revenue plan—they plan to have “sponsored notes” down the road. “What we’re looking for right now are interesting products and promotions that we can pilot with.” Says Caterina.

Pinwheel is still in private beta, and has only been around for a month, so it only has a few thousand users. But that’s sure to change.

So sign up when you can, and drop a note that says THE FIVE sent me.

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