Social Media Confusion

The race is clearly on...moving from web 1.0 to 2.0 and the creation of social travel netowrks are picking-up some serious steam. I've spent no less than ten hours over the past few days exploring and experimenting with a lot of new and fun sites. There's Vibe Agent, yelp, Trivop and even the new Travel Netork from TripAdvisor...just to name a few. While this trend moves the internet closer to its true cause, connecting people with people and the information they want, it's also becoming more confusing by the day. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that a new social website is born every few hours. So, how does the customer wade through this expanding sea of information and user generated content to learn more about a hotel or find the best fare. They don't. The average person doesn't have the time or the interest to go to that many places to find the best deal or to make sure the restaurant is worth the trip. So, the big guys win. The websites that are well funded and made and entry first are likely to get the most attention. One or two others will get lucky and get some traction, perhaps only to be bought by one of the big guns. And, this is all a result of forcing tradiitonal marketing and business models on a system where they don't really belong. Companies are still does. troubling....because companies are still using traditional proprietary models in a world that really doesn't want or need them.  They're still buying relationships and gathering information and then forcing the customer to come to them to find it.