Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ning - No More Excuses to Creating a Web 2.0 Travel Site is hottest new Web 2.0 tool to be announced this past week. (now in version 2) allows anyone to easily create, through a drag and drop process, a Social Network on which members can post discussion items, blogs, photos and videos, and more. It is entirely free, with advertising, and $19/month without ads. Although it is in no way only for travel and tourism, there were close to 200 social networks that are tagged "travel" on the day that I wrote this.

I have created two social networks of my own at One is centered on my Travelography Travel News podcast (at, and the other is on Responsible Travel and Sustainable Tourism (at

It was very easy to create these, though doing more customizing will probably take some time. In particular, I would like to add a Google Map mashup, which is found a quite a few of the social networks (such as the Travel Tips one, below). The networks with these maps appear to be from version 1 of, and is not a standard tool built into version 2.0. In fact, if anyone has some tips on how to create a map mashup and add it to, I would appreciate the help.

For a video introduction and tutorial to, go to the Scoble Show blog. Also see Ning reviews on Tech Crunch and GigaOM.

NEW (7 Sept 07): There are other web services similar to Ning that may meet your needs better. reviews nine of them here.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Step Up Travel - Sustainable Travel Does Web 2.0

"We promote responsible travel which emphasizes the importance of personal exchanges, deeper cultural understanding, genuine benefit to local people and their communities, preservation of the environment, and ultimately a more peaceful and equitable world."

Step Up Travel claims to be the first application of Web 2.0 to Responsible Travel, and I think they may be right. There are older websites devoted to responsible travel, including both resources on responsible travel issues and listings of responsible tour products. Two that I am familiar with are and the Big Volcano Ecotourism Centre. But both of these are in need of a major Web 2.0 face lift. And there is the National Geographic Center for Sustainable Destinations, which is sometimes related to the more commercial National Geographic Traveler. As colorful and engaging as National Geographic is, however, it lacks a social interface and comes across as more institutional and less in touch with the "real" people in a destination.

So I think, yes, Step Up Travel is the first responsible travel site on the Web 2.0 era:
  • It has an attractive and clean interface,
  • it provides resources to help make travel more responsible,
  • it appears to be making a concerted effort to market truly local products that support the destination, and
  • it has a Travel Network for "Socially-minded Travelers to Connect with local people, Get off the beaten path, and Change the face of travel."
The Travel Network will be the real test of the success of Step Up Travel in achieving its goals of linking local people with concerned and responsible tourists. I have joined and it is successful.

Monday, February 26, 2007

2007 Travvies Nominees for Best Travel Blogs

Upgrade: Travel Better - 2007 Travvies: Meet the finalists, meet the judges, and vote!

The Upgrade: Travel Better blog is running a "Best Travel Blogs" contest. I just stumbled on this and thought it was a good idea -- at least a way of spreading the word about travel blogs.

I have only heard of a few of the blogs that made the final nominations, and the nomination process seemes a bit free-wheeling. But at least its a start. And I do hope to find some time to check out at least some of the nominees.

Voting ends on February 28th. So it you are the voting type, you need to head over their quickly.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007 - The Online Motorcycle Community - The Online Motorcycle Community

"The open road meets the Info Superhighway at, a virtual community for people who have a passion for riding."

I am personally not a biker in any way, and this website is still in beta (you need to sign up for an invitation). However, I thought it was an interesting niche travel idea, and one that may catch on with that very devoted segment of the recreation travel and tourism market. I did a quick search and did not find anything quite like what this site may be -- though I can't really tell until it become public. The closest thing was Total, but that seemed a lot more Web 1.0.


Monday, February 05, 2007

"TripConnect allows you to get travel advice from a network of friends and others who share your tastes and interests." (from their website)

TripConnect started up in September 2006 and seems to being going strong. It is another social travel website, like and Like those, and others, TripConnect alows members to list, review and blog about places where you have been, and asking others members about places you want to go. TripConnect also allows you to suggest and join special interest groups (see the image above), which is less common elsewhere -- though others may also have added since the last time I looked! It does seem to be lacking a map interface, which is something that is really well done on the website.

Personally, I found TripConnect to be simple and straightforward - and that alone can give it a considerable advantage in the growing world on social travel websites.