Tripit Employee Pretending to be Disgruntled Dopplr User?

In On the Internet, people know if you’re a dog, my friend John Eckman details an interesting situation which underscores the importance of identity and revealing who you are in appropriate places on the Internet. John wrote a great post the other day comparing some newly released features from the travel startup Dopplr with those […]

In On the Internet, people know if you’re a dog, my friend John Eckman details an interesting situation which underscores the importance of identity and revealing who you are in appropriate places on the Internet.

John wrote a great post the other day comparing some newly released features from the travel startup Dopplr with those of another travel startup, Tripit. Both services have become very well known in the last year and are converging in the same space: they’re increasingly becoming competitors in what might be called the social travel space. I actually use both services as examples in my talks…they are both doing some very innovative design. I even put Tripit screenshots in my book on social design.

Well, someone by the name of “Thomas” left a comment on John’s post that was pretty disparaging of Dopplr. This normally wouldn’t be a big deal, as every service has its detractors.

Except it appears that Thomas might actually work for Tripit. Just before he was going to publish the comment, John noticed that the machine Thomas commented from was called wall.tripitinc.com. While it is possible that this is an amazing coincidence, or that Thomas simply forgot to mention who he was, it’s unlikely. The comment is written from the voice of a customer trying out both services. (John’s post contains the full comment)

John tried to contact Thomas, but hasn’t heard back.

So, it appears that someone from Tripit is making negative comments about their competitor Dopplr without disclosing who they are. That is bad behavior, in the same way as if someone from Dopplr had come and made positive comments without disclosing who they are.

Published: July 17th, 2008

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