I have cruelly mocked the restroom rating and locating service MizPee in the past. But I'm here now to atone for my meanness, lock my inner 12-year-old in his room, and give this service, which was recently updated, a fair shake.
Not that kind of shake.
Seriously: this is a service that helps you find a clean restroom when you need it. There's a mobile version of the site, which has more cities than it used to (16 total), as well as a new full-screen version, where users can more easily type in reviews of the restrooms they've used.
The site, unlike other restroom locators (yes, there are others), is time-sensitive. It won't direct you to a bar or business that it knows is closed. Users enter the open hours for establishments when they create new restroom records.
The site now also lists of best and worst bathrooms by city, as well as a trivia game. There will soon be a MizPee widget you can embed on your site or profile. Frankly, if I was running this company, I'd put resources into adding more cities rather than bathroom widgets or trivia.
On the other hand, an SMS-based version of MizPee is coming, and that will be useful for users who don't have good mobile Web browsers on their phones.
There's a solid business behind it MizPee. Peter Olfe, CEO of Yojo Mobile, which runs MizPee, says that while his company created the service for young women (young because young people use mobile online services, and women because he thought they'd care more about finding clean restrooms than men), in fact there are surprising demographics using it, in particular senior citizens and--I love this--Harley-Davidson riders, which makes perfect sense.
The company makes money by selling geotargeted ads. If you're using the mobile service and you locate a restroom, you might get a small ad from a nearby business. Yojo is selling its own ads at the moment, but Olfe hopes someday to hook up with a mobile advertising network.
He also hopes that he'll be able to tap into Google's new mobile-based geolocation service, so users don't have to manually enter their location to find a loo. The alternative, he said, was to work with each of the carriers to get access to phones' geolocation data, which he said would be a tedious negotiation.
Olfe feels that women are underserved by the mobile Web and is creating other services, like YojoMama, which will find kid-friendly restaurants and playgrounds (as a dada I'd like to see the name changed); and YojoGirl, a local clothing and accessories deal finder.