The power of social media for holiday planning

Now; there are some things for which the advice of a seasoned professional is invaluable; hifi experts for audiophiles, PC experts for gamers, perhaps even CD-reviewers for music… but there are some things where the opinion of the average, ordinary, everyday human being is exactly what you need to help inform your purchasing decision.

This is one of the many things I’ve noticed when searching for a holiday (current objective: find a place in Key West, FL for the dates I’m planning on being there next month). ‘Objective’ reviews on websites have (a) been hard to find and (b) been unreliable and inconsistent from one to the next. Tripadvisor, however has given me a wealth of information from its hundreds of users.

Whereas a single good or bad review is singularly uninformative, as with the aggregation Rottentomatoes does, there is a certain confidence in numbers… or lack of confidence, as the case may be. The fact that the reviews build constantly over time (and presumably time out at some stage) hopefully points to the possibility that a hotel can redeem its reputation over time. That said, a lot of the hotels in Key West will have their work cut out for them, from the look of things…