Planning a trip? What if you could get pictures and trip experiences (from others) of places you are planning to visit?
Hop on to Entrip.
The basic premise of entrip is that travelers love to share their trip experiences (via blogs/rich media) and unlike other travel sites, the focus is not so much on nitty-gritties of trip planning (part of their future plan).
One can login to the site using Google/Facebook id as well as OpenId – Entrip has no intention of creating a social graph, a smart way to focus on their core business (and not get lost in acquiring new users). The G/FB integration makes it really easy to get started and I strongly suggest other startups to take a look at Entrip’s implementation.
The service uses Google Maps APIs heavily (one of the coolest implementation, I have ever seen) and helps you put your entire trip on the map. Once you start jotting down places to visit, entrip will show you relevant blog entries (+ photos/videos).
Once you are done with trip planning, you can share with others or even embed the same in your site/blog.
While the service takes a different approach towards trip planning (map based/blogging), there are some basic questions one would like to understand:
Value delivered to the end user – apart from the great user experience, I do believe that at this point, entrip delivers a very minimal value to the end user. There are tons of sites expecting people to blog about their travel experiences, but there has to be a basic utility (for e.g. detailed trip planning) in place to get the game started.
One can also get the driving directions from Google/Yahoo maps, so if you strip Entrip of all the jazz, there is a question over their USP (how will they compete with, say tripit?)
Entrip is targeting US and UK travelers and has an interesting set of founders – all three hail from different countries (US/UK/India) and essentially that’s why their understanding of these markets (India, I believe is more of a dev center, as the co. is headquartered in UK) will help them in marketing the product.
Do give Entrip a spin and share your comments. Will you use it?
Also see: Yoplr