Travel Trends – VibeAgent, Boo.com, YouTube, Twitter
VibeAgent – Still in private beta (not open to the public), VibeAgent is hotel search / booking engine site where members can create a network of trusted friends and groups that share similar interests, locations, destinations or opinions. (If you want to take a look at the site, let me know…I have 5 invitations to the private beta site.)
Boo.com – A fashion site in a former life, boo.com jumps into the social-networking travel space offering users a way to ‘quickly sift through the more than 50,000 hotels in 165 countries available through boo.com, creating a manageable and meaningful handful of choices.’ Interestingly, boo.com will then let users book directly with the hotel’s site, rather than an Expedia-like booking site. Plus, boo.com allows users to create ‘boo crews’, groups of friends you can rely on for information…very similar to the new offering from TripAdvisor and the soon-to-be offering from VibeAgent.
YouTube – Is YouTube heading down the same slippery slope that AOL slid down several years ago? Simon Dumenco at Advertising Age draws some interesting comparisons in his opinion column. More and more, content providers are asking the question, why can’t we do this too?
Twitter – Go ahead and call it the next big thing…a lot of people already are. Based on a simple question, ‘What are you doing?’, Twitter allows users to post mini blog entries on their Twitter page via SMS, instant messaging or email. Then, your friends or ‘followers’ can receive constant updates on what you are doing.