Chances are if you are a business traveler, you've endured your fair share of airport delays, bad airline food and less than stellar customer service. The culmination of these experiences has expanded, like anything these days, into mediums supported by Web 2.0, blogs, specifically.
According to Forrester Research, in the second quarter of 2007, 21 percent of business travelers who use the Internet read blogs
- not just ones about business travel, but also those involving sports, business, finance and other topics.
Business travelers have morphed into a savvy breed of organized and practical beings. No longer dependent upon information funneled to them poorly by "The Powers That Be" of airlines and airports, the conscientious traveler looks to blogs to help them sort out the important from the frivolous; the efficient from the time-wasting. Many consult blogs before choosing an airline, making dinner reservations and other mundane but necessary business travel tasks.
The New York Times reports
that over the last two years "companies in the travel business including Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Marriott International, Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines have introduced blogs to promote their products and brand images".
As useful as it is to have customers document the good times, sometimes it's the complaints that are the most advantageous. With more hotel and airline executives monitoring their company's blogs, it's a way for them to gauge customer reaction to policies.
Some blogs rely on the customer to document their experiences, while others are hiring bloggers. BoardingArea.com, a portal created by Randy Petersen, the frequent-flier program expert and founder of the online forum FlyerTalk, is a directory to blogs that address issues of interest to business travelers. They've hired nine bloggers to “consistently blog news and information".
Ultimately, the blog and the business traveler are symbiotic; relying on each other for information. Another fine example of how Web 2.0
is bringing people together to help improve the usability
of everyday life.