– just another travel community?

Thursday, May 15. 2008



Travelers always have been an interesting target for web communities – they seek information about places far away – and they want information tailored to their specific needs and they want it reliable. All those are requirements an internet community about travel can give them. People writing about all those places – probably people similar to them be it backpacking or staying in 5* hotels can be found in communities. Also you’ll have the chance to make a picture of those people visiting their profiles or following their posts, and therefore be able to judge about the reliability about information.

But I don’t want to write epic descriptions about travel communities in general – just to set up those three features I would seek for in travel communities:

  • get information about places far away
  • tailored to my needs
  • get community functions to connect with other and to allow me to judge about reliability

Depending on the extend those features are fulfilled I might be interested in sharing my own experiences in such a community

The community

Thanks to Trigami, I was made aware of the chance to have a glimpse at the new travel community Choosing the exotic and extinct dodo-bird (not to confuse with the professor at the University of Bamberg, carrying that first name) as an mascot. provides six main navigation sections.
  • The first home sections gives an overview about current community activities like new travel tips, new members, new fotos, new videos and new travelogue entries.
  • The second section “travel tips” shows user reviews about something the different sections remind me a bit to qype, where you can write reviews about places, restaurants and sights, too.
  • “Travelogues” consists of peoples travel experiences. Each entry there is accompanied by a map, showing the location of area it is about, and information about the member writing the entry.
  • Then there are two sections with Photos and videos. Each is offering “new” and “popular” items, and a categorization via country. You are also encouraged to upload your own material – but it hast to be attached to a travelogue.
  • The last section probably is the most interesting one – the classic “my”-section being the gateway to most of the individual community settings & connections. You can get an overview about your profile there, change your Profile, see all your travel tips, travelogues, photos, videos, bookmarks and of course your friends and messages.
  • Apart from those main features there is also the obligatory (?) making of Blog with information about the making of It’s quite interesting to catch a view pictures of the young team behind there.

My thoughts

So far offers all features, which are quite essential to publish some travel information on the net. All items on the homepage are well structured and easy to understand. Even a total beginner, or people not to familiar with Internet communities should have no problems in getting around at the homepage. The requirements I stated in my prologue are partially fulfilled. I can retrieve infos, I can judge a little bit, by looking into people’s profiles – but how can I tailor them to my needs? Some more categories e.g. “backpacking” or “luxury travel” or at least a basic folksonomy could greatly improve likelihood to find interesting information.

But it is still beta so the features are yet(?) limited. They provide a well working homepage, but they lack some excellence I would hope for, in such a new piece of social software. Things I would like to see there:

  • Possibility to link external media sources – connect the community to your feeds on Flickr, Youtube,, picasa, Gallery2
  • Connect your personal profile to other travel related pages e.g. Couchsurfing and hospitalityclub
  • Make the content accessible via Folksonomy (aren’t tag clouds always a nice gimmick?)
  • More options for your profile. If you’ve seen a few facebook profiles, you know how much time people might actually spend organizing there user profile. A portfolio of widgets and the possibility to post own marked up code should be a minimum
I'm really interested in following the further development of the community.

You're chance to win!

In order to encourage users to register and become active members of the community the makers are making a draw at the end of the year, giving away a trip worth 10.000 EUR. The more activity and the more persons you invite into the community, the higher your chance to win! So if you sign in to – be kind and use my invitation link.

Defined tags for this entry: , , , ,

Vote! Vote! Netvote!

Monday, November 19. 2007

This is a paid posting, powered by trigami Disclaimer: This is a paid posting, powered by trigami.

Ever wanted to include a basic survey to your blog? If your Blog script or provider is not offering the required functionality for you, you might want to have a look at This new web 2.0 platform, which is currently been tested in a closed beta does not only act as a community to share votings, but also offers little widgets for your blog to include. Writing this article for Trigami, I have had the chance to participate in the beta and get a look at the platform.

The community is set up with all current Web 2.0 features, like folksonomies and user profiles, the possibility to connect to other voters, groups and comes with a kind of standard web 2.0 design. So it is quite easy to play around there, and the handling is easy, too. Of course the connecting element in this are the votes you can offer there, and in which you can participate. The downside of this element is, the fact that every vote you cast can be viewed by other users of the community. I’m not sure how the privacy of this information will be handled in the full version. But the creators should really create a feature to create some privacy here, e.g. only let connected people see your votes. For me personal the community would be pretty much useless, without such a feature, since I don’t fancy strangers knowing every vote I cast there. I also won’t need the feature of this voting widget, since s9y comes with a very own plugin to create polls.

Well, we will see how this community develops once it’s launched! Probably interesting to come back once there is a little live there. If you want to have your own look you might want to register here.

Defined tags for this entry: , , , , ,

Google hates me, no?

Sunday, November 4. 2007

Recently Google update its pagerank database. The page rank is a Google intern measure to judge the relevance of a homepage. Until recently the page rank of was “4” which is quite good for a private website, and might have been a result of many blogger friends linking to After the last update my page rank was reduced by 50% to “2”. I didn’t have a clue why this happened and thought it would be an arbitrary thing, Google would just do from time to time, like that episode, where my friend Jan was thrown out of the Google index. But it appears that there was another reason. From time to time, I’m doing paid reviews for the Swiss service Trigami, which I consider a decent and interesting option for bloggers to gain some revenue from there hobby. But reviews for Trigami also include links to the reviewed website/company/product. Google obviously considers those links as “paid links” and has policies which forbid those links. So my Weblog was punished and my pagerank reduced. I could have added an attribute (rel=’nofollow’) to those links, preventing search engines to follow those links, but in my opinion – if I willingly (even paid) create such links, the relations should also be recognized by search engines!

Anyway, although the pagerank of can be neglected now, it seems to rank higher on search engines. Since two weeks the average number of visits to my page climbed from 75 to over 100 at the moment.

Defined tags for this entry: , , , ,