it was part of the second generation of web 2.0 technologies and one of the early adopters of user-generated content. along with blogs, wikis, youtube, facebook and twitter, its deep impact was felt when people actually started to look at its reviews for insights and important tidbits on travel, whether it is on hotels or on attractions to go to and have their say published as well. that's tripadvisor, one of the largest travel sites in the world today and one of the my favorite sites.
i've only been a tripadvisor member in october 2014. but as far as i can remember, i've always "consulted" tripadvisor for useful information on travel. what are the top things to do in a certain place, which hotels or hostels are good, how to go to one place from another, what referrals (or numbers of tour guides) can i get, and a whole lot of valuable information on travel – these are the reasons why i go and read entries on tripadvisor. plus of course, being at the top of google search results also helps a lot.
i finally tabbed my own contribution on tripadvisor when i wanted to commend sivatel bangkok because of another great stay in this witthayu hotel. from then on, i posted my own contributions on points of interest or attractions, reviews on other hotels and restaurants. it's always great to see your contributions published, most especially when some other users and readers give you a helpful vote. but what's really fun here is tripadvisor's gamification process! for each contribution, a user gets 100 points and accumulation of which will get you to the next level and be given a badge. it's like getting to another level in your favorite online game!
as of now, i've published 84 reviews and 2 photos and considered a level 5 contributor. tripadvisor said that i'm just 1,528 points away from level 6. that's another 15-16 reviews, haha!! quite a number. but the badges always makes me want to write more reviews. tripadvisor is really good in getting you excited to get to the next level because of the badges. "1 review to go" to get to "attraction expert level 19" – tripadvisor's effective come on. add in badges such as 40,000 readers, top contributor at 50 or more reviews, a passport with 39 cities, and getting a "coat of arms" that 2 of your reviews (for el nido's pangulasian resort and shangri-la boracay) are part of the 2016 travellers' choice hotel reviewer!
gamifying it through the use of levels and badges are one of the intelligent ways these web 2.0 and 3rd platform companies make users like me engaged and would want to contribute more. this is of course what we at idc have been evangelizing the market about… it's all about the new prosumers. it's about personalization and gamification. and i don't think i would stop at level 5!