Monday, August 20, 2007
What Web 3.0 should be
I started booking my European vacation. Europe is littered with discount airlines. I used them last year and was quite impressed with the price/value ratio.
The first step was to check out Expedia and Orbitz. Flights from Germany to the Canary Islands range between $800 and $5,000. You're kidding, right?
Next step: Googling/Yahooing (that's not a word, is it?) aformentioned flights. Result: Range between $800 and $5,000.
Next step: Searching for the right keyword combinations to find discount airlines in Europe serving that destination. It takes a lot of time, is very frustrating and leaves you guessing: Are there even better deals out there? I found a flight for $250 but it makes me wonder if there's a flight for $150 out there? Or $100?
This is not an acceptable user experience. People should be able to type in their destinations and find the best deal immediately. Attached to it should be offers for cars and accomodations.
That's why Amazon.com was such a killer application: It changed the whole game. Amazon became the one-stop shop for books and music. Sure, there might be a slightly better deal out there. But why bother when the user experience is so economical and convincing?
The travel industry has a long way to go. Orbitz.com and Expedia.com are fairly valuable but they haven't reached the Amazon Olymp. There's a lot of content missing (most discount airlines are not represented on major travel booking sites) and makes every user wonder if they overpaid. A lot of innovation is needed in the travel industry. Health Care. Automotive. You name it.
In the end, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 just means that there's more ahead. A lot more.