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
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.