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Its been more then a year ago that I heard of trivago on the german version of Ciao, ciao.de. One of my friends invited me there and after a long inactive time (mainly caused by the birth of my little daughter in May) I started to became active at trivago.co.uk and trivago.de, which is actually the same site, just with two languages, in November or early December...
Today I want to tell you a bit more about that site that has some similarities with Ciao but also huge differences.
1. What is it?
Trivago is actually a travel booking site and and a travel community - I will tell you something about the community. Everybody who wants to say something about travelling, can join. And tell about his experiences with hotels, restaurants, sights and so on. That is similar to Ciao. But trivago offers more...
In the beginning you will be a bit confused. Trivago offers you many possibilities and in the beginning you will feel a bit lost there.
The background of trivago is that it is actually a travelsite with the opportunity for travel and hotel bookings and the community has "the task" to add hotels, attractions, reviews, links and even geodata to it. Trivago is a quite young project by three Germans, there still plenty of hotels and sights missing...so take your chance and add them!
2. Complicated only on the first sight...
When you register to trivago.co.uk you will get a mentor. This is a user of a higher level (you can compare it a bit to Ciao). He helps you to find your way through this site which has a lot to offer - even through maybe even a bit to much on the first sight ;).
You could start your "career" on trivago with a review...just like those you know on Ciao.
But you can also just start with adding photos from you last holidays. Independent from the fact if you write a review you can add photos...5 photos per sight/hotel.
If you want to write about a hotel or a sight which is still missing in the database, then you can add it yourself! On the page of the city where "your" hotel/sight is missing you will find a yellow button which says "add a hotel/ a sight". Then you can fill out the form(s) and usually already some hours later it is in the database.
You have an interesting link about travel destinations? You can also add it to trivago.
Another important feature are the external reviews. These a reviews you find in external sources and you quote them on trivago. (Sounds more difficult then it is, once you have seen an example everything is clear).
You can also add a region description, something like a travel guide about a country, city or region.
You can also add a so called "affiliate link" to trivago, so others become attracted to it too.
All you do is checked by other users which are in a higher level. Its a kind of quality control. After they checked it, you get the "community shares" for it and what you added can be seen by all others.
For everything you do you get shares. How much depends on what you do (adding a hotel is rated higher then a link, since its much more work and hotels are most important on a travel website). Often there are opportunities to get extra shares for certain actions like to categorize a whole country or area.
Of course there is also the possibility to invite friends, you will get one third of their shares added (they are not taken from the friend, its just an extra)! When you reach level 5 you be a mentor and will have mentees. You will also get shares when they do something.
After you gained a certain number of shares and later also added a certain number of new hotels, links etc. you will get promoted to the next level and a new level does not just mean a change of the little icon in front of your nickname, no, it will also give more rights on the site. Soon you can help to keep the database up to date, later you can check everything other users add. Reaching a new level is, compared to Ciao, very easy. The big difference is that you do not just change the level like on Ciao the colour but 5 users from a higher level have to promote you. So they check what you have done and then promote you (or not).
What you have to do for certain level and what you are allowed to when you reach it, I do not want to write down here. It changes sometimes and so I would advice you to check the FAQs and the userforums frequently. The forums are also a way to communicate with other users. There is an english and an german forum, the german forum is still more active then the english one, I hope this will change one day :).
3. Why should I do that?
First of all I think its a lot of fun. But, you get also rewarded! The half of the money that earns trivago through bookings is given to the community. So depending on how many shares you get in a certain period of time (about 2 months) you get a certain ammount of money. So the payrate is different all the time and the more people book the more money the whole community gets. Its a nice idea to keep the users active :)
4. The layout, the design and navigation
A lot has been done in the last weeks on trivago, it is not in the beta-phase anymore. When you come to the site, you will find a few hotel offers right on the first site, furthermore links to the categories (divided into the continents) and also the window to log in to the community.
Browsing through the categories can be a bit difficult in the beginning. When you are in a continent category, just click on "all destinations" and you get a list with all countries on that continent. Then chose a country, a city, an area, as you like...with a click on "all atractions" you get all attractions that are already added and with a click on "all hotels" all hotels.
Of course there is also a good working search facility. You can search for regions, hotels and users.
With a click on the word "community" in your account you came, oh how surprising, to the community page. Here you can see statistics (like on Ciao in the member centre), but also new added things and -more important for most users- links to certain actions that could be done. In the first levels you will see there actually only two buttons "add an affiliate link" and "complete a mini-hotel". That means nothing else but there are plenty of hotels in the database that are there just with their name and location, but no other infos...so you can add them.
A problem is, that there are still parts of the english trivago are not completly translated into english, but it is not too difficult to find the way through nevertheless. If you do not find anything, do not hesitate to ask in the forum or click on the community site on "mentors online" and ask these members. Almost all speak English, you can see that also in their profiles (if they speak English, there is a little british flag in their profile).
The website is since the last update really fast and its fun to browse through it. Its just on the first view a bit confusing, so take a bit time and you will find most likely everything...if not, asked somebody from the community :) The english speaking community is still very small, at the moment my moldovan friend seem to be there almost alone :-o, but there are many german users too, so you will not be (almost) alone and everything you add will be checked, usually surprisingly fast - especially photos, links and external reviews :).
Trivago is a new project, a new booking site and a really great idea. If you like travelling and/or like to build up a huge and really good database and also earn a bit money, take a look at it and become a member. Its complicated only on the first sight, once you noticed how much you can do its a lot of fun and some even say its addictive...
Good review. I joined Trivago some years ago, but never really got into it. Maybe I should take another look.
Wisegirl 29.04.2007 15:46
I joined trivago last week as af far as I can see you have to put in an awful lot of work for not much money! I think the site is difficult to navigate and it often freezes too. Still not sure about it yet.
SaschaT 07.08.2006 19:41
I'm surprised to see that there IS a category for trivago. Strange thing, because they removed it again soon after I had it added.... A nice opportunity to make cash on the internet by the way. Payments are much better then here on ciao.