PALO ALTO, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- With America splintering into homogenous localities of like-minded individuals, would a Web site directing those people toward one another really serve the greater interest? No, and that's exactly why consumer site LikeMinds exists.Launched last August by Georgia Tech and Stanford University computer science alum Alan ElSheshai last August, LikeMinds allows users to copy their product ratings to different services and generates product recommendations based on those ratings. Once the ratings are compiled from Amazon ( NASDAQ), Apple's ( AAPL) iTunes, Netflix ( NFLX), Blockbuster ( BBI) and other sites and transferred, they can be analyzed against those of other users, geographically mapped and placed into bar charts and Venn diagrams showing consumers what they normally buy and what they'll likely purchase in the future based on the tastes of folks just like them. "It takes a lot of time to catalog your preferences; both to find items and recording your opinion of them," ElSheshai says. "After a user has gone through the trouble of doing this once, they typically don't want to do it again." Nor do marketers, companies and even civic institutions want to go parsing through data on various sites when it can be collected in one place. For Wal-Mart ( WMT), which just purchased Web video streaming service VUDU, information on Netflix and Amazon video viewers' preferences could be invaluable to a potential movie service and existing retail operations. LikeMinds' geographic data, meanwhile, could dictate not only where a user lives or who they date, but where stores, services and even religious centers set up shop. "We sort geographically as consumers because it makes it easier to get the stuff we want," says Bill Bishop, co-author of The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart. "As consumers glom around others with similar wants, everyone is more likely to see the movies they want in the local theaters, listen to the music they want at the local club, worship at a church that fits, eat the foods you like." Bishop, who co-wrote his book with retired University of Texas sociology professor Robert Cushing, notes that mega-churches in the 1970s used missionary Donald McGavaran's "homogenous unit principle" to build churches whose language, food, music and even style of dress fit a certain cultural type. Marketers caught on as well, with a paper in the 1973 issue of the Journal of Advertising headlined "Are Grace Slick and Tricia Cox Nixon the Same Person?" and positing that buyers were breaking down into "image tribes" and should be pursued as such.