PlanetEye versus TravelPod
This week marks the official launch of Toronto startup PlanetEye. The site is as slick as you’d expect – considering some investment and encouragement from JLA and GrowthWorks. PlanetEye’s spokesblogger Mark Evans is one of Canada’s A-list writers. The site also has Travelocity as partner to bring you full service travel-planning. It also features location experts for over 50 cities worldwide. The best feature is that it’s also a social network – allowing users to blog about their trip, and of course post pictures.
If the concept of PlanetEye sounds familiar – consider Ottawa-based “TravelPod. They’ve been offering a similar slick travel blogging / planning site since 1997. Travelpod is associated with Expedia for trip planning. TravelPod was founded by Luc Levesque, a recent winner of Ottawa’s Top 40 under 40 awards. They’ve grown without much investment – but now feature a huge user base. This week alone, the site added 44,367 travel experiences from 161 countries.
Although the two sites are similar – there are differences. PlanetEye has a cool “clipping” feature that allows you to save things you find into a personal folder. TravelPod has the amazingly addictive TravellerIQ game on Facebook. PlanetEye has a contest for a travel voucher. TravelPod has an emphasis on “getting there” featuring lots of interactive maps and supports MoBlogging from cell phones.
Is there room for two nearly identical travel blogging sites? Of course! Content on both sites is user generated – the variety will be apparent.
One downside to TravelEye: what’s with that awful logo?? …and does anybody really care if you’re “beta”? (errr.. CORRECTION: I meant PlanetEye, although – after the merger, who knows??)