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User's know what they want. We should listen.

It’s exactly one week since we launched Rate & Review for all 50 states.  This is something that our users have been asking for from the moment they set eyes on Trekaroo.  In all our surveys and feedback forms, families were asking why we wouldn’t make such a valuable resource for families available for as many destinations as possible.  Initially, we were hesitant to do so  because we didn’t know how we could seed the content in all 50 states.  After all, hiring chimpanzees to do data entry is not an option even for companies like Trekaroo which is  bootstrapping through these tough economic times.  We were concerned that users would think it was lame if their home state was empty.

However, one mantra of Web 2.0 web development is “listen to your users”.  Since our users were eager for us to opened up the site, we decided to take the plunge and free up rate and review for all 50 US states.  We reminded ourselves that Trekaroo is not meant to be a site published by a small group of expert travelers, but it’s about families from every corner of the world working in collaboration to build a travel resource together.  Each family lays another brick with every piece of road-tested knowledge they share about their home town or some place they have visited.  So, with bated breath, we opened up Trekaroo and handed the reigns over to our users.

It’s been just one week and I’m blown away!

In 7 days, we’ve already doubled the number of reviews on our site. Each day, over a hundred more come flowing into  Trekaroo.  Families are not just writing reviews, they are telling us how much fun they are having sharing their reviews.  People are also engaging with each other through sending Compliments and in Talks.  Trekaroo families are showing us how eager they are to share about the great (and not so great) places they have been to with their families.  We just needed to get out of the way and provide a platform for them to do just that.  Woohoo!  Go Trekaroo moms and dads.  This site is for you.

As those Trekaroo passports get filled out, what makes each family tick becomes clearer.  Today, I was delighted to find a family who does so many fun things that our family would also enjoy.  Meet the Careoblites.  I simply love what they write about and I can’t wait to try out some of their recommendations.  Yes…you’re totally right Trekaroo is also for the Pangs and Lees.

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