Twitter, Travel Apps and the Fate of the Guidebook

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  10.07.10 | 2:44 PM ET

In The Guardian, Benji Lanyado outlines his transition over the last few years from traditional guidebook user to travel blog junkie and, finally, to Twitter-traveler. Here’s his take on the next phase—the rise of travel apps like Foursquare:

What once required hours of rifling through guidebooks, or Googling into the provincial nooks of the internet, is now attainable in an instant. And increasingly we don’t need to find the information. It can find us.

Having convinced the online public to reveal who they are (through social networking sites such as Facebook) and what they are doing (via Twitter), the web’s latest question is significantly more zoomed in: where are you? Location-specific information is what we want, especially when we are travelling.

Lanyado notes that roaming fees remain a serious obstacle to widespread app use. There’s also a (mostly) thoughtful and civilized follow-up discussion in the comments.

Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.

1 Comment for Twitter, Travel Apps and the Fate of the Guidebook

Doug Mack 10.08.10 | 12:53 AM ET

Oy. I appreciate that Twitter (and Facebook, etc.) can be useful resources, but the constant search for advice (and affirmation) from your online friends is really not the best way to experience a place. I think that the best travel guides are common sense, serendipity ... and the “off” button on your smart phone.

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