I just read Conde Nast Traveler’s Wendy Perrin’s Facebook post which referenced a post by Kevin May speaking about Trip Advisor’s recent softening in language around the ‘truth’ of the reviews being posted on their site.
So, who can you trust? Typically, we trust our family, friends, peers and even acquaintances more than any other group or company. This has been true long before Social Media and the rise of Facebook, MySpace, blogs and Twitter. It used to be we would call up these folks or, my gosh, even go see and speak with them in person! But, for better and worse, these modern and fast-paced channels of communication are with us. Our task is to figure out how to manage the communication and where to establish and re-connect with the trust and truth we so desperately crave. Certainly, I’m more likely to consider trying a new restaurant that my ‘friend’ has recommended than if I were to see an ad or talk with the owner of the restaurant. To be sure, this very concept is at the foundation of what has inspired Social Media’s skyrocketing growth and acceptance. But, as this medium evolves, so too will its necessity to remain reasonably pure. It will have to continually reassert relevancy through overt defense and proof of its honesty and integrity.
Of interest, is the online review site, TripAdvisor’s, recent title change for their property site page from “reviews you can trust” to “reviews from our community.” The switch focuses emphasis less on the trust of the review and more on the origin.
Kevin, suggests this change in language could coincide with an overhaul of their site or a result from “earlier this month TripAdvisor discovered it would be facing an investigation from the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority following a complaint from reputation management consultancy Kwikchex. More on this topic at Tnooz.com
One of the major elements to the complaint is that TripAdvisor has misled consumers by claiming it has genuine reviews from real travelers. Could this be a gradual watering down of the language used on the site ahead of the ASA probe in the UK and a complaint lodged with the Federal Trade Commission in the US?”
It seems there has been enough questioning of the sources (and their motive) for some of the online review platforms that regulations are somewhere in the future, if not imminent. While I still believe in listening to friends and family, colleagues, acquaintances and even anonymous online reviews, I think it is also a good idea to listen to your trusted travel advisor, who’s livelihood is in your repeat business and referrals.