Tuesday, June 12, 2007

EXCLUSIVE: Thomson targeted WAYN

Caught in the middle of our rather tasty exclusive regarding WAYN.com and plans for a radical overhaul of its business model, comes a little nugget of gossip about TUI.

The WAYN story emerged from a look at the new breed of entrepreneurs in the travel indsutry and who are funding them.

During the course of Tricia Holly Davis's interviews, this came up:

“A while ago, I drew up a list of organisations that I was interested in investing and WAYN was definitely one of them, but I backed away when Brent [Hoberman], and Hugo [Burge] and David [Soskin] came on the scene."

This is none other than Graham Donoghue, new media director at TUI.

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

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ourman said...

WAYN is horrible. Little more than Spam. Facebook shows how you can run a similar scheme but with some respect for your user. All WAYN did was invade people's address books and sent out unwanted emails to everyone.

Worse still, it kept on doing it. In every sense it is little more than a virus. I for one wish I had never clicked the link.

Travolution Blogger said...

Ourman: you - and by extension, us - are walking a legal tightrope with those kind of accusations.

however i suspect if there is any element of doubt in what people perceive WAYN to be, then the changes they are about to put in place will go some way to rectifying it.

andrew said...

ourman is correct. WAYN's e-mail habits are beyond questionable...

A couple weeks ago I found out from a friend I had not seen in a long time told me that WAYN KEPT on e-mailing and e-mailing them...

I also wish I had never clicked the link.

Guillaume said...

Oh dear!

The old school practise of email referrals seems to get out of hands @ WAYN. I also think there are just too many emails coming from WAYN on my inbox. But I am sure this problem will be fixed shortly (I hope).

Hotel Blogs

Darren Cronian said...

On my old hotmail email account, someone sent me a referral email, and I got it many times over.

I never joined up, not because of spam, just at the time, I wasnt that much interested.

I'm not sure what it's like nowadays though.

Anonymous said...

I dont know, I am on Facebook and I am getting 5 emails per day if not more so I am not sure about WAYN but I certainly dont receive as many! I actually like the WAYN the site has changed now but I think that whether you are on WAYN or other SNS, you will get loads of emails - thats the nature of social networking me think. But I will check back on WAYN as I havent been on there for a few weeks

Mark said...

Have you guys checked their new layout? Its pretty neat - not a big fan of vertical layout but they have changed that now and it looks much neater - They also have another section for alerts, just like Google has - Ourman, I never had one problem with email - and am sure you can opt out at on any emails - You probably invited your friends on their at your own risk - I did the same ages ago on HI5 but now understand how it works ;)

Josh Nevan said...

Hum...I think the authenticity of some the comments on here are questionable especially given the accusations not so well founded made on here...Ourman: "facebook shows how you can run a similar scheme but with some respect for your user...you might not be aware but FB will very happily provide every single piece of information about what you do on the site and spam all your friends about what has happened...now that to me is pure intrusion into someones life and I too, was bombarded of messages every day: i recall days where I had up to 30 in one day!!

check this out for a bit of reference:

- http://blogs.sungeek.net/unixwiz/?p=535

- http://www.awadallah.com/blog/2007/05/10/need-a-lawyer-to-sue-facebook-for-spam/

- http://www.hpl.hp.com/research/idl/papers/facebook/facebook.pdf

I do receive quite a few emails from WAYN, Bebo and Friendster too (and now Linked In which I recently joined) but to be fair to WAYN, they have a very clear opt out policy and you can unsubscribe easily or so it seems...I find the WAYN application personally of great use if you like traveling - will be interesting to see what deals they will strike the coming months. Bebo recently announced a tied up with itunes - makes a lot of sense - I am starting to take more and more interest with BUsiness niche sites - LinkedIn has been around for some time now but Open BC (who IPO recently) seems very promising and there will be more!

Lawrence said...

I think WAYN have a very good platform to build a storng business model on - I dont think they send any more emails than others do thats for sure - agree with Josh too in that it is down to the user to decide what they can or cant receive - have a look at their latest Alerts system (if you have a WAYN account)


It let users create their own alerts, turn off, delete email notifications very easily - may be this is something they recently added as I dont remember seeing this on before - As for Facebook, I had to delete my account as my ex girlfriend was seeing what I was up to!!! not gooddddd!!!!

Travolution Blogger said...

All: strange how you all have commented on WAYN and its business model, and not on the fact that one of the biggest travel companies in Europe tried to buy it last year.

Lawrence said...

Sorry, was trying to find an article relating to this rumor and couldnt find it on this blog apart from the Title so didnt want to add comments / speculate on it but i guess that such deals are inevitable at some point - if you look at what has been happening in the marketplace...Last.fm, Myspace, Youtube and more getting interest: Facebook, Bebo...So I see Travel as a big avenue for trade sale opportunities especially given the lack of big players in the space. If you really think about it, Tridadvisor is still the largest by far and got bought by Expedia but they not really good when it comes to the community side of things - ok, they have launched a community improvement but their branding and affiliation with Expedia doesnt really stick - I think WAYN is a great contender for a sale given its large user base and its international reach - they also over 18 which should be a plus. I wouldnt be surprised if more companies just like the likes of Sabre, Orbitz and others start looking at WAYN in a very serious way because the reality is that when it comes to travel communities, there are clearly more and more out there: tripup, trustedplaces, going.com, plazes, travbuddy...you name it...but nothing coming close to Tripadvisor - WAYN should be the next logical fit

Travolution Blogger said...

Lawrence: Given the problems Ward and Touze have admitted to in recent weeks [Read more here] and the popularity of rival sites such as Facebook, how much do you think is WAYN is worth?