Archive for the ‘Web 2.0’ Category

Travel 2.0 Israeli Project

Monday, September 8th, 2008

From various reasons I decided to get in touch with other israeli web travel startups. I’ll share some of my imressions.

Tripcart is a trip planner focused in US. We wrote about them and our visit there a few months ago.

A quite similar project is TripWiser.  They also started with the USA but now they cover other worldwide destinations. They are based in the west coast, but the entrepreneurs are Israelis, so we are counting them as well. Even their US (compete) traffic graphs look quite similar to Tripcart.

Codeshare took a different direction. They started with a web service that was called Bemember. We found out about them in our early days and were afraid that our ideas were ’stolen’. Later they decided to approach the accommodation industry. Their main product is called Comcierge Lounge, it offers travel information and services to hotel guests.

There are 2 companies who take the B2B2C concept.
Ticketad  is quite a veteran, offering local events and attraction to their partner’s clients. will be interesting to see their upcoming new version.

I think the newest project is Truvle. They offer travel agencies revising the boring e-ticket and making it a marketing platform.

And don’t forget our project, TripTouch a widget based travel homepage covering 5,200 worlwide destinations with best of the web content and services.

I think it’s not surprising to see so many Israeli travel services, because Israelis love to travel and many of them have the entrepreneurship spirit.

Personally, talking to all of these guys, I think they are all talented and nice people. I wish us all the best of luck. and maybe, as one (potential) investor told me, a consolidation of some kind can be beneficial.

Well, that’s a challenge.

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Our travel toolbar

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

We have just released the TripTouch travel toolbar. It’s a quick and easy way to access TripTouch from your browser. It includes the TripTouch widget, links to the site (your profile, friends, trips, etc.)  and some other cool gadgets (like radio and weather). Try it out!

The toolbar has been developed on top of the Conduit Platform. These guys are cool!

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Adding our widget to your site/blog

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

We now have an easy way for you to add our widget to your site or blog. You can follow the instructions in this page if you want.

In our personalized-pages (i.e. NetVibes or iGoogle) widget, your location is set automatically (by your IP address). You have the option to change it of course, and also to ‘fix’ your location. However for most sites this is not very good - if I have a site about London, for example, I want the widget to always display London, right? and not the visitor’s city. So in our new widget, when you set it up you can choose the location. Currently you have to enter the location-ID, which is our internal city number. You can find the number for your city here.

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Sunday, July 6th, 2008

I recently e-met Guy Kawasaki, who told me about his new project-   alltop.

It’s an digital magazine rack of many popular topics. The idea is to collect stories from “all the top” sites on the web. At each Alltop site, they display the headlines of the latest stories from dozens of sites and blogs. Some of the topics covered are: Travel, Startups, Venture Capital, Bloggers and even Israel, Religion and Sex (not porn!).

I tried the travel section and liked it. There are lots of interesting sources for travel enthusiastics. Maybe even to many, but you can hide feeds you don’t like.

Interesting to see how this project eveolving.

TripAdvisor acquires VirtualTourist

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

In an interesting move, TripAdvisor acquires VirtualTourist (and also OneTime). VirtualTourist is one of the oldest and largest travel community sites, all user-generated. Interesting indeed…

iGoogle gadgets

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Although our UWA-based widget works on iGoogle, we decided to do a ‘native’ iGoogle gadget as well, for several reasons - it works better (UWA is great, but it’s not 100% perfect), and it allows us to submit the gadget to more directories, and more importanly - widgetbox, which will hopefully work based on the new code.

Anyway, you can try adding it to your iGoogle page with this link. It looks a bit different and works a bit better than before.

TripTouch travel widget

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Today we’re happy to release the TripTouch travel widget. We have built a widget for personalized pages (iGoogle, netvibes).

The widget includes all our content and services - you can the travel guide + photos, accommodation, attractions, restaurants, events, travelers and utilities. All in one easy to use widget, which automatically finds your location.

We have used Netvibes’ UWA to build this widget, which worked out pretty well.

The widget can also be placed in your web page or blog. We can offer revenue-share (on bookings done via the widget - event tickets, accommodation, restaurant booking, etc.).

Check it out here!

Is there a need for travel communities in the age of Facebook?

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

Several years ago, travel communities were a huge promise. Many websites tried to give travelers what they want – a place to share their experiences, find new travel mates, upload their photos, and a place to ask questions and get information about their planned trips. Examples for travel communities include WAYN, TripUp, TravBuddy and RealTravel.


Tripup is closed - Tripup users are invited to TripTouch

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Randomly surfing the web I noticed a strange message instead of the Tripup homepage: ” Tripup is gone, sorry. Maybe you can use Facebook instead, it’s very popular.”

It’s sad to see a website gone, or “deadpooled“- knowing the effort and energy it needs to build it.

I found Tripup (or as it was called then TripMates) when I started to work on our project. I quite liked the site and considered it as a fair competitor. Then I read that it was acquired by sidestep, we saw it as a good sign- a well established travel site acquires a travel community.

The problem probably was that tripup never got traction and traffic, and Sidestep merger to Kayak caused changes in the focus (as Tim in the BOOT hints).

So we say to Tripup users: Facebook is very popular indeed, but it’s not a travel tool. Try and you’ll find here most of the features you used to have in tripup.

And if someone from Tripup reads this, why don’t you contact us? Maybe we can think of a way to help your community.


Monday, November 5th, 2007

A few people have asked me about TripTouch - what tools do we use to write the web site? So here’s a short list, I hope I didn’t forget anything -

  • Our server is running Apache, on Linux.
  • For server-side scripting we use PHP. We use Eclipse to do most of the code editing. Client-Side is obviously done with Javascript. We use several 3rd party libraries (both for PHP and JS). We also use scriptaculous for JS effects and such.
  • The database is MySQL. We use both phpMyAdmin and MySQL tools to admin the DB, on the production site and on the test servers and local DBs for development.
  • When we installed everything on our desktop computers we used WAMP which is a great timeserver if you want to install Apache, MySQL and PHP.
  • For version (source) control we use SVN.
  • For bug tracking we use Mantis - although to be honest we don’t use it too much. Most of the bugs are written on the white-board in the R&D room…

I think that pretty much sums it all up. Obviously there are many applications we use as well (GIMP, FileZilla, Thunderbird, FireFox with Firebug, IE + IE Developer toolbar, opera, safari, PuTTy and more).