Bitterwallet poll - are you a fan of TripAdvisor?
There's a lot of stuff and nonsense about TripAdvisor flying around today, after the Guardian published an extensive article that said much the same thing three times over. At the nub of it was the fact that hoteliers still aren't happy with the hotel review site and are still considering legal action, while TripAdvisor are still holding their ground.
There is a little more to it than that; there's the commentator who points out that some people are never happy - even when offered the opulence of five star accommodation, they will piss and moan about the ripeness of their breakfast watermelon and leave a one star review as a result. The point is that the views of the ludicrous carry as much weight as the views and the reasonable and sane, and it's left to consumers to figure out which are which.
Other issues are more difficult to deal with; the fact that PR agencies can be employed to astroturf the site - not only planting positive reviews about their client's hotels, but leaving negative reviews about competitors. Perhaps the more interesting claim came from TripAdvisor themselves with regards to Duncan Bannatyne; that "in the case of Bannatyne's hotels we have had several worrying examples of individuals being intimidated by Bannatyne and his hotel representatives."
Ultimately, the article doesn't answer the question that matters - for all its faults, are consumers ultimately better off with or without TripAdvisor? We're fans of the site, but then we're also able to prevent ourselves plunging our hand in boiling pots of water and stepping out in front of moving traffic. In other words, we don't live our lives by it - it's just one source of information alongside many others.
So over to you, the avid Bitterwallet reader and occasional traveller. What do you make of TripAdvisor? Place your vote and comments below.