Tag Archives: TripAdvisor

“You are not, not, not to look at your Baedeker” – Travel and Guidebooks

The post below was written for a “Social Media and Analytics” class, taught by Leila Samii (@reallyleila), that I took in the fall of 2014, but I hope you’ll enjoy it anyway.

If you’ve read E. M. Forster’s A Room with a View, you may remember how despondent Lucy Honeychurch was upon entering a church without her trusty Baedeker (a guidebook), because without it, she could not “tell […] which, of all the sepulchral slabs that paved the nave and transepts, was the one that was really beautiful.”

As Nicholas T. Parsons explains in Worth the Detour: A History of the Guidebook, Forster’s “irony is directed at [the guidebooks] misuse as a surrogate for thought and a dampener of spontaneity.”

Lucy loosened up quite a bit over the course of the story, but the question remains: Should we travel with a guidebook, real or virtual , or just wander around, letting our eyes and chance guide us?

Continue reading “You are not, not, not to look at your Baedeker” – Travel and Guidebooks

It sounds corny, but I can’t imagine traveling without TripAdvisor

This blog post is an assignment for a Social Media and Analytics class I’m taking (“write about an influencer in your industry”). Feel free to skip it, unless you do want to learn a little bit about the history of TripAdvisor, which is interesting, actually.

I feel like Dudley Dursley telling Mr. Mason, “We had to write an essay about our hero at school, Mr. Mason, and I wrote about you.” when I say I can’t imagine traveling without TripAdvisor, but it’s true – we consult TripAdvisor every time we are planning a trip.

I remember stumbling upon the TripAdvisor site years ago, when it was still in its infancy. There wasn’t much to it, and I think it was even before they had text ads.

Back then TripAdvisor was still just a travel search engine that Stephen Kaufer and Langley Steinert  built after Kaufer “could not find any place on the internet to get the real story about places he wanted to visit with his wife.”

“Reviews of hotels and attractions?” I thought after looking at the site, “What a brilliant idea! But… what is their business model? How are they going to make money on that?”

Continue reading It sounds corny, but I can’t imagine traveling without TripAdvisor