Yahoo is one of the few survivors of the Great Dotcom Bubble Era, when any kid in his basement with a neat idea could be a billionaire overnight and dream of buying out the stodgy “old media” that once laughed at him. While those days are long gone, we’re well into the hype of Web 2.0, where adding flashy new features to your old web site is the path to advertising-sponsored riches.
Yahoo has been hard at work jumping on the Web 2.0 bandwagon, revamping their home page, adding a new Mail, and even a new Yahoo Photos section. Now they’ve entered a new area of webbiness by announcing Yahoo Trips, a site designed to help organize and document your travel plans.
“The launch of Trip Planner further demonstrates Yahoo!’s overall commitment to innovation in the field of social search and social media,” said Jasper Malcolmson, director of Yahoo! Travel. One does wonder what kind of field “social search and social media” actually is, but never mind, let’s look at the site itself.
After signing in with your Yahoo ID, you can proceed to the main site. The site seems very focused on the idea of sharing your trip journals with others—the most prominent options to begin with involve looking at other people’s trips. To create your own trip, you enter the start and end dates using a pop-up calendar, then give your trip a name and a description. From there, you can add destinations and attractions such as hotels and restaurants.
Yahoo Trips. Let’s go see my mom!
The site isn’t really a one-stop shopping destination for planning your entire holiday. You can’t book your airline reservations from the site, for example. However, for stops in the United States and Canada, Yahoo does provide a zoomable map view. To test it out, I tried entering an obscure location (Quispamsis, New Brunswick) and was surprised to see that centered in on the location right away. I couldn’t get it to give me driving directions there from Vancouver, however.
The site is an interesting experiment in collaborative trip planning, but will anyone really want to look at other people’s vacation photos? From the look of things, it seems a lot of people have signed up already. At least in the Web 2.0 world, you aren’t stuck waiting for someone to advance the slide projector.