Not Social 1 & 2 • Online Travel Slowing, not Mobile • Hotel Revenue & Rates Up • Pay More or Less for Travel • No Airbnb! • LinkedIn Cracks • eHarmony Cracks • “Security” Questions • Google Earth 3D • Foursquare • Ray Bradbury
It’s not about the Social
Online social media advocates claim that social drives engagement. Tnooz reports research that indicates otherwise. The greatest drivers of customers “liking” or “following” are to know about discounts and sales, because they like the brand, and to get new product announcements.
It’s about Online Research
A UK study finds that people planning holiday trips now use sites like Google and TripAdvisor for information more than friends and family.
Online Travel Sales to Slow, but not Mobile
eMarketer says that spending on online travel is expected to reach $120 billion this year, an 11% year over year increase. The silver lining comes with a cloud however. Online growth for travel is slower than for other online retail sectors, indicating maturity in the market. Growth is expected to slow to 5% during 2016. The greatest growth channel will be mobile, with the number of users booking travel expected to double to 36.7 million.
Hotel Revenue & Rates Up
Analysis estimates that revenue per available room (RevPAR) will increase by 6.5% in 2012 and 5.6% in 2013. Rates are expected to increase by 4.3% this year and 4.8% next year.
Pay More or Less for Travel
Frommer relates how one woman paid $500 less for the same flight on the same dates by checking Hipmunk. The moral of the story is to always check multiple sources when travel shopping.
Landlord to Tenant: No Airbnb!
Chris Dannen financed his software startup by renting out his Brooklyn apartment’s spare rooms. Then his landlord served him with a restraining order.
LinkedIn Cracked, now come Phishing Attacks
The news on the LinkedIn password file theft and cracks has been all over the web today. The latest updates as of this writing are that phishing attacks began appearing shortly after news of the hacked passwords became public. I’ll reiterate advice I posted earlier: change your LinkedIn password and don’t use the same password across multiple sites.
LinkedIn Hacker also behind eHarmony Crack
1.5 million passwords were stolen from eHarmony and most have been cracked.
Don’t Answer Security Questions Truthfully
Since we discussing password security: you know those “security” questions websites ask you so that they can verify your identify if you lose or forget your password? Don’t answer them truthfully or with any answer that anyone who researches you can guess. It’s too easy for a targeting attacker to dig up personal information on you, allowing them to reset your password and access your account. Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin found this out the hard way. Here’s what you do: enter bogus answers that no one could guess and save them along with your password in a strongly encrypted password database. There are several available. I’ve used eWallet for years. It’s available for and syncs data across Windows, Mac, and the major mobile devices.
Google Earth Improves 3D
Google has demonstrated radically improved 3D images in Google Earth
Foursquare: New Version & Personalized Recommendations
Sometimes I think Foursquare is the biggest social network (20M users) that nobody much talks about. Its new version just might change that as it moves its focus from “checking in” to exploration. The author of article 1 speculates that Foursquare should be worth more than billion dollar Instagram. Article 2 explains how Foursquare uses big data and user history to make very intelligent recommendations.
Just One More
R.I.P. Ray Bradbury. Thank you Mr. Bradbury. Before I ever traveled in this world, you took me on great journeys of the mind. I’ll always remember visiting Mars, and seeing rRockets, and passing summer in Dandelion Wine’s Green Town, and the carnival of Something Wicked This Way Comes.