Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Lonely times for Lonely Planet

Have always had in the back of mind how much Lonely Planet missed the chance to be the dominant online social network/content/destination site. They owned the backpacker market in the early days of the Internet and therefore arguably had the number one travel brand in the Internet demographic - I am assuming here that the young people backpacking and travelling in the early to mid nineties were also those discovering the early Mosaic/Netscape browser and opening their eyes to the world wide web. Even through the first boom period - 1997-2000 - everyone behind, in and around the bubble were travelling with a Lonely Planet book in their back pocket. Now in 2006 I don't know if book sales are up or down but I do know that the online hubs for information, reviews and comparative shopping are places like tripadvisor, kayak, sidestep, bezurk and blogs such as gridskipper not

Lonely Planet made an announcement on one way to fight back - classifieds. An open network (craigslist style) for people to trade in travel services. Nice idea but this does not match the Lonely Planet brand story that I have in my head from my backpacker days - that no-one knows a place like LP does. It also opens itself for ridiculous posts and programs. I ran a simple search for what was on offer in my area (NSW, Australia) and came up with this. Love the humour but does not bode well for LP's online strategy.

In case the post is removed here is the text

WTB: Elephant (Asian or African) - NA

New South Wales

Wanted: price for an elephant. Later i'll want an elephant, but first i would like to know what an elephant costs. If anyone knows the price of an elephant, please contact me.

Don't worry about transportation costs, I'll work that out later.


Anonymous said...

I think this blogger was just being sensibly cautious, elephants can be costly things. Look at Taronga Zoo who raised $40mil from Gov and $10mil from ma + pa and still found it hard to get them
in the country from Thailand

Anonymous said...

dont DHL have a box ?

Tim Hughes said...

yes but not enough masking tape to go round it

Anonymous said...

what about chicken wire and glue ?

Anonymous said...

look they finaly got here