Thursday, November 15, 2007

Travolution@PhoCusWright 07 - Metcalfe's law

The value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of users of the system.

Jeffery Boyd of Priceline opens his keynote with a reference to Metcalfe's Law.

He makes some interesting points about social networks:

"Social networks give everybody a shot a celebrity," he says. Not heard it in that way before - but it makes a lot of sense.

In America, he adds, more people are interested in Paris Hilton or a dog belonging to Ellen De Generes than the "Race for the White House" (TM).

And so to reach those people is a vital part of the future marketing strategy for online travel agencies and other travel companies.

However, Boyd highlights the concern of a number of travel companies with regards to brand value by asking whether a company should target sub-groups on social networks that have slightly, er, unusual interests. [The example he gives is displaying hotel ads alongside discussion groups about cannabis cafes in Amsterdam]

Priceline would not, he says.

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

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