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TripAdvisor Growing With Help of User Generated Content

By Roderick Ioerger

It is Simple and Brilliant. TripAdvisor has created a community that leverages user generated content to successfully attract incremental visitors and search engines to their site while creating a self-sustaining ad supported business model which TripAdvisor has had the patience to allow to mature.

But playing the waiting game can be tedious and apparently TripAdvisor has decided that, while it has become a master of the game, it might be time to become more proactive. Just this last week TripAdvisor announced their acquisition of five different travel community websites:

3 Million User Generated Comments On Guardian Website

Neil McIntosh, the Editorial Director of Guardian Unlimited, has announced the website of popular UK broadsheet newspaper is expecting to receive their 3 millionth comment on their blogs in the next month.

Speaking at an industry event in London, McIntosh claimed they had seen great growth in the blogs and they now made significant up ten percent of the newspapers traffic.

Rather than encourage users to create their own blogs like some of their competitors, the Guardian has put their blogs in the hands of experienced journalists but tried to create the feedback loop that have helped make blogs so popular elsewhere.

Given the reputation of Guardian readers as opinionated political activists it’s not hugely surprising to see the comments sections doing well but given it’s popularity, I imagine it can’t be long before user generated content becomes more central to the papers digital offering.

New Technorati Really is the Google of Social Media

If you’re a fan of Technorati, you’re in for a treat this morning. David Sifry has announced a treasure-chest of updates, including a fresh new look and an integrated approach to displaying search results.

While it’s likely Technorati has been working on these changes for months, it’s interesting that just days after Google announced their switch to “universal search” – combining web, news, images, video etc, into a single search results page – Technorati is following suit with its results.

In the past, you had to know the difference between keyword search, tag search and blog directory search in order to make use of the full power of our site. No more. Starting today, we now provide you a simplified experience. Simply indicate what’s of interest to you and we’ll assemble the freshest, hottest, most current social media from across the Live Web – Blogs, posts, photos, videos, podcasts, events, and more.

Five Flaws Which Spoils Facebook’s Classified Market Place

It just over a week now since Facebook classified marketplace launched and I’ve had a little bit of a play and while it has real potential to shake up the online classified market there are still a few problems which aren’t helping the user experience.

Viewing Ads by Network – Every network has its own marketplace, which is a good idea it makes sure you only see the most relevant ads, however this causes a few I live in place with at least three big educational institutions plus the city’s own individual network. Does this mean I have to browse four different networks to look for a car?

Signal to Noise Ratio – One of the best things about Facebook is the amusingly named groups you can join; most of them are pranks just to make an amusing message appear on everyone’s news feed. The problem is this seems to have infected the marketplace; at the moment some bloke called Tom’s soiled pants are available up for sale for a bargain price on my marketplace. If the Signal to Noise ratio gets too bad it will do the classifieds will end up being useless.

Channel 4 Radio Station for Second Life

By Kelvin Newman

Channel 4, one of the UK’s biggest terrestrial television channels, is the latest company to dive headfirst into the world of second life.  They have set up a virtual radio station to promote their fledgling online radio business in every new media firms’ favourite MMPORG.

They are proudly announcing that they are the first UK radio station with a presence in virtual world; and it seems they have a more developed Second Life strategy than the purely-press-release-fodder favoured by many companies. As a whole, Channel 4 seem to have made a real effort to add some web 2.0 functionality, their radio service is in podcast chunks rather than simulcasts and voting on each shows quality does a good jobs of create a feedback loop compares pretty well to some UK old media companies efforts.

5 Ways Twitter Can Make You an Industry Expert

…and 5 ways it can screw it up for you.

By Kelvin Newman

The fuss about twitter has died down a little over the last couple of weeks and people either seem to think it’s the best thing since sliced bread or an indication of everything that’s rubbish about web 2.0. Personally I’m more of the former than the latter.

I think it’s a really interesting tool and offers some excellent opportunities for people who would like to expand the reach of their personal brand and are willing to experiment. But it’s risky too and easy to cock up.

The Good

Whither Facebook?

Duncan Riley at TechCrunch today explores the options for still-indepedent Facebook. With talk of Yahoo eyeing a $1B price tag on Bebo, it looks like Facebook is in a good position to get far more—but from whom? In the comments, Michael Arrington predicts an IPO for Facebook next year.

Meanwhile, Hitwise released statistics on social networks today. MySpace still leads the pack with 79.7% of visits last month. Bebo was doing respectably among the rest, with 1.28%. Facebook received 11.47% of visits during April. (The remaining 7.55% was spread among Imeem,, Tagged, Yahoo! 360, Xanga, hi5 and