Poke Staffer Creates Pinterest for Foodies

This is the first post in “On the Side,” our new series in which we will spotlight agency folks doing fun things on the side. If you (or someone you know) are an agency person cooking up a cool new blog, app, video, whatever it is, and want to be featured, contact me at the email address below.

Danny Nathan is a creative director at digital agency Poke, but in his spare time he has created a new social Web destination for foodies called I Wanna Nom. While Nathan doesn’t consider himself a foodie, he does really enjoy the social aspect of cooking.

“I enjoy cooking, and I appreciate the community and camaraderie that tends to come about in the kitchen,” said Nathan. “There’s a reason that it’s the most crowded room at the party!”

The idea for IWN came from the realization that there wasn’t already a recipe bookmarking tool. There are a lot of great recipes on the Web, but short of adding them to your bookmark bar — “too much of a commitment,” per Nathan — there isn’t a way to gather all of these recipes in once place. So Nathan and his Poke colleague Chuck Masucci (who is also the CTO of Ske.dj, an upcoming mobile/Web startup) decided to start IWN.

“I Wanna Nom is a reinvention of the cookbook for the digital world,” explained Nathan.” IWN is essentially a social recipe-discovery and bookmarking tool that lets users collect, keep track of, rate, comment and share recipes that they find on the Web. “The phrase ‘Pinterest for foodies’ has been thrown around quite a bit over the last couple of days.”

IWN isn’t just for serious foodies. Nathan sees it as a place for anyone with any level of interest in food, food photography, recipes, cooking tips and being part of an online community.

“These home cooks, aspiring chefs, food-porn lovers, etc. can all find something worthwhile in the I Wanna Nom experience,” said Nathan.

According to Nathan the key to starting IWN has been patience. “It has taken longer than we would have liked to bring IWN to life, but balancing full-time (and then some) jobs with a startup isn’t the easiest thing in the world,” explained Nathan.

“We’re both ardent believers in the ideas/approach that set Poke apart from other innovation companies and that have helped make it what it is today,” explained Nathan. “That thinking is certainly pervasive throughout the I Wanna Nom experience and has shaped our plans for the future of the product.”