What Do You Think of WAYN?

My friend Stuart Chapman – a partner at Esprit Capital Partners in the UK – sent me a note about his new portfolio company WAYN (Where Are You Now?) which is a self-proclaimed “Web 2.0 Travel Site.”  It’s become very popular in Europe and – according to Stuart – is profitable and fantastically run.

WAYN’s core audience of Europeans regularly travel outside their own borders.  They are trying to determine how this maps to the US market where travel outside the country borders is much less prevalent.  While there’s a logical “outside the state mapping” (especially among adjacent red and blue states), it seems like the metaphor might be different . 

If you are a frequent traveler – especially to Europe or other parts of the world – take a look and – if you are inclined – leave feedback for Stuart here.

  • http://www.coloradostartups.com David Cohen

    Well, I like the new graphic artist. ;-)

    I ran into WAYN at least a year ago while doing some research. At that time I thought it was a neat idea. It certainly looks much better now and explains the concept more clearly on the home page.

    Maybe you should hook them up with your Dogster investment and kick these guys butts. ;-)

  • http://www.crowdedweb.com/ Bosko

    My first encounter with WAYN was about a year ago now and since then I have not gone back. There’s something about first impressions and WAYN left a very nasty first impression on me: when you sign up, it politely asks you whether you would like to submit your MSN contacts as base data for building your relationships on the site. It then proceeds to spam everyone in your contact list with “please join WAYN” messages. The worst part about this is that when other people join and you happen to be on their contact list.

    Anyway, I haven’t gone back to WAYN since the initial login, and so I don’t know if they finally changed this; I hope they did.

    In the meantime, I discovered 43places (43places.com) which has quickly become my favorite traveling resource: it lets me ask questions about a place to people who have been there and who have flagged interest in answering. The quality of responses/strength of the community has been astounding.

  • http://verabass.blogspot.com Vera Bass

    Really neat visualization tool for the ‘flat’ and wired world. I really like the personalization that derives almost effortlessly from the context, as well.

    On the differences between Europe and the US (the two places where I’ve travelled considerably), my first impression is that Americans might hook in more naturally to a focus on “What’s happening where you are?” and perhaps a bit less to “What’s it like there?”. The “where are you?” appeal wouldn’t, I think be significantly different between the two.

    Although the cultural differences in Europe are more obvious, as well as going deeper, there are differences all over the US as well. NYC, where I’ve lived briefly and worked often, is culturally unique in many ways. As another example, I’ve lived in the Miami environs as well, and discovered that the state’s capital, Tallahassee, is actually ‘deep south’ in such a way as to be very foreign to the Gold Coast. The distinctions and differences are more than political, extending to food, dialect, social convention, etc. Maybe it’s that differences in the US seem less pronounced, as well as many of the cultural histories and artifacts younger, that shifts some of our focus in NA to ‘what’s happening’. A generally younger pov in a younger culture?

    Vera

  • http://www.forbesontech,typepad.com jim forbes

    young northern european men traveled a lot pre 1941. About 50 percent of all young German men aged 21 or less prior to late 1941 often travelled to three or four countrues outside their borders. Sometimes even more , if they were Panzer Grenadiers. Ja!

    Jim Forbes

  • http://adamduvander.com AdamD

    I didn’t realize WAYN is big in Europe. That might explain why it fell kind of flat for me, too. I joined in Aug, ’05. I have one friend, the one who invited me. And it feels like the site hasn’t stopped emailing me since.

    • JohnP

      A brother of mine in Sydney.au sent me an invitation to join WAYN last week. Except that he didn't. I am less than impressed, and have better things to do with my time.

  • http://WAYN Lawrence Bradley

    Interesting site and very neat interface – a friend invited me to join and it took me a while to get round it but I finally decided to join about a month or so and managed to get in touch with a girl I went travelling with in Vietnam 3 years ago! I think the concept is very interesting and really different from whats out there – I can see Travel as the next wave of online communities – gusto and yelp.com are also at it. WAYN has clearly have done a great job in keeping it simple and easy to navigate – seems like these guys are onto something big

  • http://wayn.com Lauryn Harsseldof

    Interesting concept – i recently joined and it is an original way of meeting people from all over the place – they also seem to have a user generated content feature where user can leave reviews / comments on where to stay, things to do. A bit of a tripadvisor but seems more social oriented. Their Alexa ranking seems high too so they must be doing well – There is another service in the US that just launched called tripmates which is quite good too but a lot more cluttered and confusing. WAYN seems quite easy to use for now – it will be interesting to see where they go with it.

  • jolien

    I think that WAYN? side is really great idea, because at firstly it enable you to keep in touch with your friends all over the world and secondly you have unlimited access to: WAYN Instant Messenger, unlimited emails, eCards and access to the WAYN chatboards, discounted SMS, increased photo storage and much much more

  • Patrick B

    WAYN may be a great idea, but if you take a closer look (as a user) it becomes a very annoying thing. Many functions are only available if you pay for a "full membership".
    As normal user WAYN is not very useful!

    Somebody knows a free website like WAYN?

    There's one from Sweden (www.resdagboken.se) wich is much better than WYAN, but with less users (though it's mainly made for swedish).

  • Patrick B

    WAYN may be a great idea, but if you take a closer look (as a user) it becomes a very annoying thing. Many functions are only available if you pay for a “full membership”.
    As normal user WAYN is not very useful!

    Somebody knows a free website like WAYN?

    There’s one from Sweden (www.resdagboken.se) wich is much better than WYAN, but with less users (though it’s mainly made for swedish).

  • Marta

    I think that WAYN is a fantastic website, not only for those who travel a lot but also for those global-minded who just like to meet interesting people from various destinations.

    I guess that the most accurate quote that describes WAYN is that “stranger is a friend that you haven't met yet!”. So why not register and simply enjoy from wherever you are!

  • Marta

    I think that WAYN is a fantastic website, not only for those who travel a lot but also for those global-minded who just like to meet interesting people from various destinations.

    I guess that the most accurate quote that describes WAYN is that "stranger is a friend that you haven't met yet!". So why not register and simply enjoy from wherever you are!

  • Victim of WAYN

    WAYN is SPAM. This means that their "Monthly Cookies" metric is probably a rough estimate of the number of victims who have been annoyed and embarrassed at having annoyed ALL of their contacts (ie: everyone in their contacts list). I am one of these secondary victims, whose friend got "WAYNed", and whose email address got mined. Now, once a day I get SPAM from them, from multiple, different email addresses with different domain names. Like a fool, I clicked the link to Unsubscribe, so I guess I deserve my fate, just as anyone who invests money in this slimy weasel venture will deserve their fate when they lose their money.

  • Naggee

    WAYN: Why Are You Nagging?

  • Laura

    I joined up because somebody sent me loads of messages inviting me, and I had no idea who they were and wanted to find out where they got my email from. I pretty quickly found out – within 5 minutes of registering twice they'd already asked for me to "import" (i.e.spam) contacts from other services, which of course I skipped. I'm sure the retard who sent me the invite probably is a member of some mailing list I'm also on and did just that.

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