My Trippy Experience

Now that I’m back from New York, I thought I’d talk about my experience using Trippy. You all know that I’m compensated to be on the advisory council, Katz's Delicatessenbut that won’t stop me from being blunt. Overall it’s a tremendously helpful tool, but it needs a little work. I suppose that’s why it’s in beta. (And remember, if you want to try it, just go to trippy.com and use the code “cranky” to gain access.)

When I filled out my New York trip, I wasn’t sure what kind of response I’d get. Thanks to all of you, I got 82 recommendations, many with helpful comments on why you made the suggestions you did. Of those, I ended up using four of them, and I probably never would have found any of them without Trippy.

So, thanks to Jake for suggesting lunch at Katz’s Delicatessen, Luke for dinner at Kin Shop, and Lou for dessert at Sweet Revenge. They were all awesome. And thanks to John for suggesting the High Line as a way to spend the afternoon. I had no idea that place even existed, and it was The High Line New York Citya beautiful day to be wandering outside.

The best part of this is that each one of these recommendations came from people who I wouldn’t have reached out to directly on my own. Trippy really opened it up for me, and I’m definitely going to be using this more, even after my advisory council membership ends down the line.

But there clearly are some issues, and I’ve gone ahead and forwarded these on to the folks at Trippy, and they’ve been really enthusiastic about getting the feedback. The developer crew is working on all these things. If you have any more you’d like to add, let me know. Here are the ones that stand out so far:

  • Facebook is the only way to access Trippy and that was by far the biggest complaint. A lot of people don’t use Facebook, nor do they want to allow Facebook Connect to share details. Alternate access methods will happen down the line so others can take advantage. That’s incredibly important.
  • The only way to share photos with people in your trip is via an iPhone app. I don’t have an iPhone, so that’s completely unhelpful. An Android app is coming soon, so that will provide relief for many. There still needs to be more open ways to share.
  • Many of the locations aren’t categorized. They just default into the “Things to Do” category if they aren’t recognized as hotels or restaurants. That will certainly get better with time.
  • There doesn’t appear to be a way to order your days on your trip. I wanted to see my day in order with lunch, followed by the afternoon activity, then dinner and dessert. Doesn’t work that way for now.
  • It would be nice to have a way to “not recommend” something in cases where others had previously recommended it. Even a “disagree” button would be a good idea so you can see that some may not have liked it. This would have come in handy for the Momofuku Milk Bar which was panned in the comments since there wasn’t a way to pan it elsewhere.

Those were probably the biggest issues culled from all your helpful comments publicly and privately. Yes, there were some other minor ones that are easily fixable as well, and those have been passed on too. Thanks to everyone for giving it a spin and helping plan my time in New York. Now, who wants to chime in on Sonoma?

[Please note that this post is on a Wednesday and is not taking the place of a regular post. I'm hoping to use Wednesdays for more of these types of things.]

21 Responses to My Trippy Experience

  1. Ben says:

    Glad Trippy was helpful to you and that you enjoyed NYC. I would agree with most of the criticisms, though this did finally push me over the edge to getting a Facebook account. Looking forward to more Wednesday posts like this one.

  2. Alex says:

    I really like the idea. However where it falls down for me is the “friends” part. It worked well for you because you have a blog from where you can ask your readers. I don’t have any friends using Trippy yet and I don’t really use twitter or facebook. The power of this would be in crowd sourcing from people I DON’T know.

    For example I am heading to New Zealand shortly. I have already asked my friends who have been (only a few) for recommendations by email or offline. That resource is tapped. It would be great if I could use trippy to harness the power of the crowd to make suggestions for me. That way I could choose from the most recommended places.

    The only thing I can think of is posting here with the hope that you and your readers can help. Heres the trippy link:
    http://www.trippy.com/trips/Alex_New_Zealand_Trip-4e79f9be3fe66f9f4f9f2ff5/recs.html

    • CF says:

      It’s a good point. Trippy is meant to do one thing and that’s mine your network for good recommendations – people you trust. If your network can’t help with where you’re trying to go, then there might be better places to go that have “professional” reviews or something like that. FWIW, I’ve only spent a couple nights in NZ and it was in Auckland with the Air NZ folks so I don’t have a ton to add. I did recommend a hotel in there if you’re staying in Auckland – not sure if you are or not.

  3. •There doesn’t appear to be a way to order your days on your trip.

    Wow you would think that one is a no brainer and they would have programmed it to that that from day one.

    I don’t/won’t use Facebook so don’t know all the ins and outs of what this is. But if you are going to come up with something new, you shouldn’t roll it out if users are going to start from day one with a list of things that are negative about your product.

    • Evan says:

      Completely untrue. We have saying in the agile technology development world: If you aren’t embarrassed by your first release, you waited too long to release it. The trick of a first release is to do ONE THING incredibly well (e.g. allow FB friends to provide recommendations for a trip) and the rest is window-dressing that you can tweak, edit, and change. If the core functionality is something people want, you’re off the races regardless how upset they are about the fringe.

    • CF says:

      I believe the day-ordering thing is a bug – remember it’s in beta. It’ll get fixed.

      And as for Facebook, there will be more access points. They just started where most people are and that’s Facebook. Since the point is to get your friends’ input, that’s definitely the first place to go to make it easy.

      Evan – comment on your piece below, I still think it’s a limitation. It’s the easiest way to get people to help you and that’s why it’s first, but if the goal is really to get you to be able to tap into your network of friends and acquaintances, then there should be a way to incorporate all those people.

  4. Evan says:

    Brett — I don’t think the Facebook-only platform is a limitation at all. I’ve heard this comment from many people, I just don’t buy it. Facebook is so incredibly dominant in the US market, there is absolutely nothing stopping Trippy from being a huge, successful business on Facebook alone. If that means some guy won’t use it because he doesn’t have FB, who cares? No offense to those of you above who have made this complaint, but Trippy is interested in attacking a market that you just aren’t in. No biggee.

    And it so happens that people who are members of Facebook are far more likely to want to use a social travel planning tool anyways. Or, rather, (since FB is so mainstream), those who aren’t on Facebook are probably the edge of the spectrum who do not travel or wish to receive recommendations.

    Disagree all you want, but the statistics of the sheer number of Facebook users and time they spend on the site is enough to make any entrepreneur/investor salivate — you just don’t need to compromise your focus by looking elsewhere.

    • Ian L says:

      Just because Facebook is #1 doesn’t mean they should wall off everyone who doesn’t want to connect their Trippy profile with Facebook. It doesn’t take much effort to add an on-site account feature from a backend work perspective and Trippy isn’t Apple so it doesn’t have to intentionally alienate 10% of its potential user base as a requirement for launching a new product. Just my 2¢.

      • FBKSan says:

        Precisely. I’m a FB user, so I’m in the “target demographic,” but I don’t like the idea of FB weaseling it’s way into every aspect of my online world. FB login is convenient, but I’d prefer to have the option to keep various profiles separate and have as much control as possible over what information gets shared to whom.

    • Evan FB has one of the highest negative ratings of any company. Most of their customers use their site because their friends are there. It’s a classic network effect.

  5. Evan, not all of us want to spam our FB friends with requests like this (or be spammed). That is a primary reason why I don’t see a reason to switch from using Gogobot to Trippy.

    • CF says:

      Funny that you talk about spamming friends, Henry, because I find Gogobot to be more spammy. When I signed up, it instantly connected me with a bunch of people and I found out that it sends them all emails saying that I connected. That’s not cool because it’s not what I wanted.

      The thing I like about Trippy over Gogobot is that it’s just easier. With Gogobot, it looks like the site is trying to get people to write more detailed reviews. You have to give a star rating and then write a review. That’s a pain, and there aren’t a lot of people I’m going to do that for. Trippy lets you just click the recommend button and that’s really what I care about.

      It’s like going to a friend and saying – would I like this place? If they want to say more in a comment, they can, but it just makes it easier to participate in general.

      I also get a little confused about Gogobot. What is the leaderboard for and what do badges do? I see Gogobot also puts questions out to other people on Gogobot – that might not help me if I only care about my friends, or even a portion of my friends.

      For me, Trippy makes more sense.

  6. Ernesto says:

    Re FB access, if you´re writing comments on a blog, either you have a FB account, or you´re hiding one… come on, admit it, don´t be shy, we won´t tell anybody!

    • Chris says:

      Well, I don’t have one, nor plan to open one, and I can still write comments on this blog, and even answer your comment. Hope you’re impressed ! :-)

  7. bdbd says:

    You were able to eat dinner after a lunch at Katz’s? Impressive

  8. artmurch says:

    It seems the teenagers don’t understand why everyone doesn’t want to join their ‘wonderful Facebook club’ and read all about their immature social life while revealing their own soul and everything else to the other skateboarders and soap opera fans. Oh! Judy got her nose pierced and a tattoo on her butt! I’ve noticed that folks with such teenage social thinking (which now seems to be under the age of 30), get their immature feeling hurt if you decline to join and be their facebook ‘friend’ – oh goodness, poor baby. To those who think that facebook is a social ’must have’, which depressingly seems to be a huge number, I can only say, jeez, get a life! Find some real friends and spend quality time with them and leave face book to the schools’ bullies and internet scam artist.

  9. John D. says:

    You don’t have an iPhone Brett? Come on dude…

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