The problem with Tripadvisor

Discover your city. Record your experiences. STAMP is a new mobile platform that helps you find the best places in your town or city. STAMPs are short geo-tagged video reviews, created by our users, for our users. Join our closed alpha and start creating great content at your favourite locations now.

Why did we bother creating STAMP? There are many answers to that question: The desire to create a cool new piece of technology. The opportunity to expand and digitise another business venture . The belief that we can turn an idea into a successful business. 

All those apply. But arguably one of the most important reasons is that we think we can do things differently. STAMP in its current form currently straddles two main concepts: discovery and review. Through our platform you can find great places to go (discovery) and create short form content at those locations (review). The unity of these two ideas has been both our distinguishing feature and a cause for concern when it comes to our focus. What are we? A discovery platform? A review platform? Is it too much to be both? 

That aside, what we're sure about is that the established review platforms are no longer the trusted resource they once were. Tripadvisor is the google of travel - an increasingly pervasive platform that is the de facto portal to hotels, restaurants and now holiday activities. Yet it seems in recent years, Tripadvisor's reputation has become increasingly tarnished. 

To get a sense of how flawed Tripadvisor has become, take a read of this in depth article by Heather Stimmler-Hall who systematically explains how they often undermine the 'smaller guys', poorly control fake reviews and self promote their own services and activities at the expense of others. 

In fact, many online publications have reported on the questionable nature of Tripadvisor reviews. Just take a look at this article from the Huffington Post or this one by the Guardian. Don't get us wrong, we're not just blogging for the sake of bashing Tripadvisor. But many of the antics raised in these articles, make us think that a review platform, more focussed on short form video content, is the right way to go in this space. As video increasingly becomes the main medium by which people share content and communicate online, we want to bring that into the discovery world. 

There's no doubt that a platform like ours could expose itself to the same problems experienced by these larger players, but we're sure that the core concepts that underpin STAMP, will lead to a platform that's more honest, more representative and more useful for people who just want to find a decent place to eat or a great place to grab a drink. 

We're still a long way from achieving that dream, but that's what we're striving for. In the meantime its on the with the alpha test and making those all important incremental improvements before STAMP is ready for the big wide world. 

We've recently started our Instagram (link below) where we're sharing all the great content created by our super helpful alpha testers. Do us a solid and follow our page, we're super proud of an ever expanding library of geo-tagged user generated content (disclaimer: some of it is created by us). 

'til next time 

S x

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Non-abusive emails to sandy@stamptheapp.co