Social Networking as a travel resource
It’s time for blogs and social networks to grow up. We’ve had our fun setting them up and marveling at how bright, shiny, and high up the Google search results they are, and now it’s time to figure out what they’re actually good for.
It turns out there are quite a few uses. Yesterday’s New York Times had an article about major travel companies rushing to build the social network for business travelers:
Word of mouse is the latest trend in online travel planning, and a variety of corporate travel companies are setting up networking sites in hopes of becoming the Facebook of corporate travel.
Both Expedia and American Express Business Travel are announcing their new offerings this month. The Internet travel site Orbitz had one of the first networking sites, but it, too, is trying to increase participation by sending out e-mail messages to members to promote its Traveler Update.
The idea is to crowdsource the tips and locations tied in with business travel to help “road warriors” squeeze every bit of efficiency out of each destination.
Frankly, it’s not a bad idea. Social networks have proven to be a great, inexpensive way to augment many kinds of real world planning. Facebook’s event system comes to mind as a wonderful tool for getting a bunch of people in one place at the same time.
It stands to reason that the same trick ought to work in reverse; let’s get a bunch of people to figure out how best to visit different places at random times.