Travel Trends – TripIt and LinkedIn ‘Connect’, Racy Sites, NASCAR Blindness, Gen X

TripIt and LinkedIn launch new social travel service – Travel planning service TripIt, reviewed on the Travel 2.0 blog about a year ago, has announced a partnership (along with several other companies) with LinkedIn, the business connection social network.  For those of you who missed the original post, TripIt allows you to email confirmation plans to the site and then will build a custom planning page / guide for you.  A great idea.  Now, with the LinkedIn partnership, you can add a TripIt widget or app to your LinkedIn profile and keep track of your upcoming travel plans.  Better yet, because the app is ‘talking’ with LinkedIn, it can find out which of your connections (assuming they also are using TripIt) are traveling…and, if they are close or in the same airport, let you know so you can connect in real life!  Ah, one giant circle, go online to find connections offline.

This is a logical step for both companies and a great example of future collaboration between ‘web 2.0′ sites that will not only present these sites in a relevant way (finally answering the question of ‘why?’), but also begin to highlight the value of each offering.

For additional reading on the trends in business travel social networking space, including the site TripLife which follows a similar idea (use social to connect with business travelers on the road), check out our post Business Traveler Advice From Strangers.

Ads for Respected Brands Hit Racy Sites – Good article from Mediaweek on how some brands are advertising on ‘racy’ sites.  We have covered this subject in the past, when buying spots on a network, news site or blog, there is a chance that your ad will show up next to or be associated with less than desirable content.  For the most part, I would say media buyers and organizations know what they are buying at this point and the surprise factor has been reduced.  However, this article is making the argument that some brands are willing and are advertising on sites that ‘know how to border the gray area and not turn into full-fledged porn sites.‘  If the audience is there, advertisers will follow.

The Pitfalls of Nascar Blindness – Another good article today, this one on NASCAR blindness.  The idea that if no one else in your group, division, organization is using, belongs to or blogs about ‘X,’ than no one else, especially your demo, does.  Or:

This reaction is a common symptom of something that greatly afflicts people in the advertising community: Nascar blindness. This disease is the strongly held belief that if no one in your little bubble of upscale, artsy Bobo friends is into something, then clearly no one else is, either.

Why ‘NASCAR Blindness’?

It’s what led advertisers to completely ignore Nascar for so many years, dismissing it as some bizarre redneck affectation akin to eating squirrel meat, thereby missing the opportunity to bond with the millions of middle-class fans who enjoy auto racing.

I would argue that NASCAR Blindness was cured a few years ago, but for some sponsors and members of the ad world, they still don’t understand why people would watch cars drive in a circle.

But, let’s take that idea and apply it to the interactive world:

We can find Nascar blindness in our own industry in the complete dismissal of MySpace as yesterday’s news. Which is yet more blindness to the actual size and passion of the audience that uses the social-networking Web site. Listen to digital (and other) agency types, and you’d think that the only reason people are still on MySpace is that they’ve just been too busy to migrate over to Facebook.

But as cultural anthropologist Danah Boyd has pointed out, the split between MySpace and Facebook is often a class-based one, and those on the lower end of the class divide tend to favor MySpace. Which doesn’t make it worthless or on its way out. It just makes it different. And those MySpace users (whose numbers still far outweigh those of Facebook users) are every bit as passionate about MySpace as Nascar fans are about Nascar. Caveat emptor.

We touched upon this exact idea a couple of weeks ago with our post ‘Travel Trends – Bloggers, Moms.’  Don’t simply dismiss or minimize a group, site or opportunity due to a lack of understanding and knowledge on your part.

Where Is Generation X? – Finally, from eMarkerter, where is Gen X online?

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