Travelfilter August 3, 2005 1:44 PM   Subscribe

I bet "travelfilter" as a discrete site would be enormously successful, yea, even income-generating.
posted by mecran01 to Feature Requests at 1:44 PM (39 comments total)

Only if I get mileage points.
posted by Smart Dalek at 2:01 PM on August 3, 2005

1. Travelfilter
2. ????
3. Income generation!

mecran01, care to elaborate?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:36 PM on August 3, 2005

like AskMeTravel? or in general?

(there are tons of travel sites)
posted by amberglow at 2:49 PM on August 3, 2005

I do think that the specific destination travel questions are some of the least fun -- if you're not from that place or plan on traveling there. Knowing a good place to eat in Rochester is just not interesting. Splitting them off doesn't really solve that though.
posted by smackfu at 3:27 PM on August 3, 2005

I think you mean distinct, not discrete.
posted by sbutler at 3:35 PM on August 3, 2005

I'm still waiting for an explanation...
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:51 PM on August 3, 2005

discrete: constituting a separate entity : individually distinct

Webster's 11th.
posted by interrobang at 4:15 PM on August 3, 2005

I think it would better as a discreet site, as in:

What's the best hotel in the Red Light district?

posted by anonymous at 4:18 PM PST on August 3
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:17 PM on August 3, 2005

I actually like this idea, mostly because I like to travel. Something with the "Ask MetaFilter" format where one can post a question and get responses. Like "Is it worth it to travel to the Australian Outback" or "How do I sneak into Cuba" or "When is the best time to visit Russia". And anyone can respond. I think it'd be interesting not only to those asking and answering the questions, but also to the casual lurker.
posted by Moral Animal at 4:27 PM on August 3, 2005

(25597 members minus about 17000 members when the 5-dollanewb floodgates were opened means (assuming one usernumber=one $5 payment) Matt's made more money than me in the last year, off this site alone.

Not that I begrudge him it, of course, but I'm in no monster rush to figure out new income streams for him, at least not before he can birth some of our precious prerequested ponies...)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:46 PM on August 3, 2005

Travelfilter? What will really rake in the bucks will be TexasHoldemFilter with options to refinance your mortgages and eliminate credit card debt while maximizing your manhood, all with perfectly legal content generated by ArticleBot, of course!
posted by brownpau at 4:59 PM on August 3, 2005

stav, I don't do this often, but in Matt's defense1, a lot of those new accounts are simply ones people have signed up for, but ever actually paid through. What percentage, only Matt knows, but . . .

1I feel soiled, somehow
posted by Ryvar at 4:59 PM on August 3, 2005

but never actually paid through, sorry.
posted by Ryvar at 5:01 PM on August 3, 2005

What, your new account gets added to the tally *before* the money goes through, and stays there? Weird.
posted by interrobang at 5:04 PM on August 3, 2005

I'm totally with smackfu about the travel posts, they suck royal donkey nuts.
posted by cyphill at 5:10 PM on August 3, 2005

mecran01 how about some [MI] ?
posted by peacay at 5:23 PM on August 3, 2005

Actually, I was just about to post a question about travel to AskMe this week, oddly enough.

And no need to defend Matt, Ryvar. I'm glad he's finally seeing some cashmoney return for all the work he's put in over the years. But there are lots of other cool things I'd rather see than a new subsite. Which is just me, talkin', of course.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:28 PM on August 3, 2005

One upside of money is that I can hire programmers to complete things better and faster than I ever could. Recent rewrites of the front pages of all three sites was an outside programmer. Right now he's working on a killer feature that I'm sure everyone will enjoy, and hopefully I can show it off next week.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:39 PM on August 3, 2005

I think I just nut myself a little
posted by cyphill at 5:46 PM on August 3, 2005

What, your new account gets added to the tally *before* the money goes through, and stays there?

Yes, apparently.
posted by dobbs at 5:58 PM on August 3, 2005

Right now he's working on a killer feature that I'm sure everyone will enjoy, and hopefully I can show it off next week.

posted by ColdChef at 6:22 PM on August 3, 2005

If you don't want to read the posts, skip them.
posted by matildaben at 6:42 PM on August 3, 2005

You finally started paying Skippy? I bet he's owed some serious back wages.
posted by yhbc at 6:50 PM on August 3, 2005

Right now he's working on a killer feature that I'm sure everyone will enjoy, and hopefully I can show it off next week.

No more jrun? :)
posted by justgary at 6:52 PM on August 3, 2005

Well, I suppose it could be income generating if there were lots of affiliate links to travel books , luggage, airline tickets, etc. (no, I won't profit from this personally)
posted by leapingsheep at 7:05 PM on August 3, 2005

it's a cool idea. All of us live somewhere where someone else will eventually visit, and we have ALL THE INSIDER INFO (like the bar in Sacramento that serves $2 wells that are 95% alcohol all goddamned night )
posted by fishfucker at 9:01 PM on August 3, 2005

What many people don't realize is that the "JRUN" errors are actually keyed to the specific IP addresses of the more annoying members. So if you're seeing them a lot..

I think you mean distinct, not discrete.

discrete: constituting a separate entity : individually distinct

Thank you. I just got my Ph.D. in English last Friday after NINE HELLISH YEARS and now it's starting to PAY OFF!

Regarding the magical income stream:

Every travel site I've seen has been a seeping, tumorous mass of advertisements that makes them nigh impossible to use. I think that a travel site with a clean interface and insider information that caters to that special Mefi demographic would draw a crowd, which would hopefully turn magically into revenue at some point. The key term being "magically." I dunno, it sounded like a good idea while I was procrastinating grading papers.
posted by mecran01 at 9:11 PM on August 3, 2005

but mecran01, what kind of info do you find on travel sites? I'm curious what the draw is for readers, and what would compell mefi users to contribute content.

Are they just food/sights/hotel reviews, or would it be all Q&A?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:35 PM on August 3, 2005

I think I know what mecran01 is getting at. Like an AskMe, but with tags specifically for countries, cities, and various travel related things. I asked a question about hotels in Central Europe a while ago, and it would have been fantastic if there was an archive with various questions like that, plus great bars to go to, places off the beaten path, other people's experiences, info from locals and so on. Whether it's structured in the same way as AskMe or not, although given that the content would be generated by the membership, I don't see a way around that.

Most travel sites are very structured and geared towards selling services so all they provide is a tease. If they are free, they're often targeted at a particular group, like backpackers or bikers. The variety of MeFi's membership would ensure that there would be a mountain of content for almost any major destination (and more than a few minor ones). Whether or not it could draw new users on its own, I don't know, but a separate MeFiTravel seems like it would be extremely useful, and deserving of its own spinoff in terms of its attractiveness to non-members. That being said, the content would likely have to be for members only in order to actually make money as opposed to just attracting lurkers.
posted by loquax at 10:18 PM on August 3, 2005

What many people don't realize is that the "JRUN" errors are actually keyed to the specific IP addresses of the more annoying members.

This makes me sad.
posted by grouse at 12:40 AM on August 4, 2005

Although I quite like 43places, I think it's not as well designed, in an info-architecture way, as it could be, though it is quite pretty.

God, I'd love to see the IA folks at Flickr turned loose on it. The usefulness is limited, I find, once you get over the fun of entering all the places you've been. But I see the possibilities, and I think those are the kinds of things that loquax and others are talking about, perhaps.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:14 AM on August 4, 2005

I travel a lot and frequently off the beaten track. I don't need to find out about the nearest overpriced executive hotel to the airport, I can find that easily elsewhere. If there is a small welcoming family hotel with broadband connection nearby that would be fine. Similarily a small bar or restaurant in the area which is well priced and friendly beats the chain crap. There's an awesome amount of that sort of knowledge via AskMe at the moment. (These are just but two easy examples).
How to maybe profit from a side site? Maybe a paypal entry fee of a $1 an hour or somesuch - I'm no geek so not sure if that would work.
Members contribute to the site. The access fee hopefully pays for the site maintainamce and cross indexing. Any profit could be put towards more Ponies +/or Fionas college fees.
posted by adamvasco at 1:20 AM on August 4, 2005

Something vaguely like World66 ?
"Let's start with our credo: we believe that travelers are the best source of travel information. That's why we have setup World66, an open content travel guide, where people from all over the planet can write about the places they love, the hotels they stayed in, the restaurants that have eaten. Every part of the travel guide can be edited directly, just click the [edit] button and go ahead. You can change the info you find, do a write up, add a complete city or just a bar or a restaurant.

Does this work? We think it does. Thanks to this approach has become one of the most complete travel resources on the internet, with more than 80.000 articles on 10.000 destinations all over the world. Good info, well written, more up to date than you find in travel books. Check for yourself. And should you find some wrong info, a hotel that has closed down, whatever, don't complain, but act. You can change it. It's up to you."
It could be a model perhaps.
posted by peacay at 1:59 AM on August 4, 2005

I can definitely see how it might be cool... Just like a recipe section would be cool. There are tons of cooking/recipe sites on the web, so why would I want to go to a MeFi recipe site? I just would... because y'all are, like, "my people". I care more what you think is good than I do what an anonymous site thinks is good.

Also, assuming there's enough manpower and funds to drive it, I don't really see that adding new sections to MeFi dilutes it in any way. In fact, basically, I'm thinking that it's sort of a new model: a kind of fusion of friendster, wikipedia, community blog, DIY/How-To, Advice, etc. Why not? These are all things that we want to ask each other about and discuss anyway, and often do in limited ways, via email, for example.
posted by taz at 3:59 AM on August 4, 2005

Why does it have to be a separate site? Could it just be a front page that organizes and presents links to AskMe and MeFi posts, using the tag system?
posted by fuzz at 6:11 AM on August 4, 2005

That's brilliant. We could have maps and articles on places, then have a huge forum for travellers to ask and answer, split into regions. We could call it... the Thorn Tree!
posted by dreamsign at 3:48 PM on August 4, 2005

Dreamsign: hey, at least I didn't use up my weekly question quota finding a good travel site.

others: I made up that stuff about the Jrun errors.
posted by craniac at 5:30 PM on August 4, 2005

I must apologize for the unnecessary snarkiness. Bad day and totally unwarranted.

The Thorn Tree is good, though, if you have the need. Travellers love to come home and live vicariously by helping other people out who are there right now... (sinks into daydream)
posted by dreamsign at 9:07 PM on August 4, 2005

I would go to a MeFi travel site. It's fun to talk about the cool places you've been, it's fun to hear about new places to check out, it's nice to know that the demographic shares some things with you (most travel sites seemed geared to people with lots of money or sexy trophy wives) and anything without a billion ads would be awesome.
posted by slimslowslider at 10:18 AM on August 5, 2005

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