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Tech:Personal travel tools

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Since the launch of Wikitravel, we've been aware that our goals have made us focus on certain aspects of travel-- the consensus travel guide-- to the exclusion of other areas. Over the years, there have been numerous requests for a space to share personal experience and opinions about travel, destinations, and travel services.

To fill this needs we're developing a set of tools to make blogs, photo sharing, forums, social networking, and reviews available as "extra" parts of the existing Wikitravel and World66 sites. They are implemented in Drupal, an Open Source community and content management tool but the look-and-feel of the "Extra" site will mirror closely the look of the existing World66 and Wikitravel sites.

There are five key services that will support our mission.

  • blogs and travel stories – writing free text about one's own travel experiences or opinions
  • photo galleries – sharing images from travel
  • discussion forums – discussions, questions, debates
  • reviews and ratings – focused opinions about particular places, attractions, or services, either in free text (reviews) or numerical (ratings)
  • social networking and personal profiles – associating and describing yourself, your friends, your family, your trips

There may be more features that we support in the future (like video hosting and group trip planning), but these seem to work right now.

Integration on Wikitravel[edit]

There will be three steps of integration on Wikitravel.

1. We'll use the same kind of interwiki links as we use for World66, Wikipedia, and Open Directory. These will be called "Extra". We'll add "extra" links on user pages (goes to user profile) and destination pages (goes to a collection of most recent blog posts, photos, forum posts, etc. about that destination). 2. As a next step, we'll add an "extra" tab to the top of the page, instead of the interwiki link. 3. At some point in the future we may break down different features (reviews, blog posts, photos, bookmarks) to their own tabs. There's a danger of tab-overload, though.

Internationalization[edit]

The interface (menus, prompts, labels, titles) for Extra features is currently all in English. We need to internationalize this, so that the interface text is in either a) your preferred language, for registered users, or b) in the language set by the browser preferences, or c) if you're coming from a non-English Wikitravel page, in the language for that page.

Issues[edit]

  • We'll want to avoid swamping the wiki travel guides with gee-whiz secondary features that distract from the main guides. It should be clear in our interface what's part of the guides and what's "extra".
  • At least for Wikitravel, we'll have to be clear that certain norms (personal opinion, first-person pronouns, external links) are OK in extra and not OK in the guides. This may be tricky.
  • The editing interface for Extra is different from both World66 and Wikitravel. That might be jarring for users.
  • This is supposed to be a temporary measure leading up to a combination of the objective guides on WT and the personal features on W66. This should be clear to the community, and make it clear what metrics we need to meet to move to the next level.

You can now access the current beta of Wikitravel Extra. Feel free to create a new account or login with OpenID (though this is not fully functional yet) or just browse the site anonymously. You can post comments and questions here or in the Extra forum.

See also[edit]

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