A website whose content has been significantly influenced by user generated content is TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor is a travel website providing free travel-related information to users, who create most of the content. Users are able to engage in forums, pose questions to other users, and post reviews of restaurants, hotels, viewing tours, and other travel-related experiences and services all over the world. The content and reviews that users provide are then accessed by other users who are looking to see the rating of travel services before they go on their own journey.
Trip Advisor is one of the world’s most popular and most trusted travel websites, employing over 2,000 people as of 2015. The site has over 60 million members and over 170 million reviews, ratings, and opinions of travel-related businesses and attractions. This content seeks to help users create the best possible travel experience by allowing them to find and choose between businesses, to discover which would be best for them. For example, a user would be able to post a bad review of a hotel which they had a poor experience at due to bad services, and this review could prevent someone from having a similar bad experience on their own trip. On the other hand, the site also allows people to post a positive review of a restaurant they liked, and as more users posted positive reviews that business could grow and become more successful. For example, on a recent trip to Florence, Italy, I stayed near a small sandwich shop which is one of the most reviewed restaurants on TripAdvisor worldwide. This small shop constantly had a line going out the door and down the street, and the good business had allowed the owner to open two other locations nearby to compensate for the influx of customers. Successful businesses like this one, especially those who receive a rating among the “TripAdvisor Hall of Fame” often post a sticker saying such by the door, as due to the trusted content of its users a good rating from TripAdvisor is enough to get people in the door.