SideStep, best known as a travel search
company, expanded into the social networking space with the
purchase this month of TripUp.com, home to a community of travelers generally
in the 20-to-35 age range.
Angeles-based TripUp is designed to help trip planners find travel
companions, get advice from experts on their destinations and make
acquaintances with people who live in those
The expert advisers
are most often people who live in the destinations, or they are
individuals who know the destinations very well based on frequent
visits, said Rob Solomon, SideStep president and CEO.
TripUp founder and
CEO Sam Rogoway will stay on as a consultant, Solomon said. He said
others on TripUp's small staff would join the staff of Santa Clara,
Solomon said the
purchase provided more income opportunities for his company in two
ways: It would give SideStep more Web pages against which to sell
targeted advertising, and the fees Sidestep receives from travel
suppliers when users click through to suppliers' sites would rise
as TripUp members were lured over to SideStep and beyond to booking
the acquisition in a big-picture sense, as well, essentially saying
SideStep was in step with Web trends toward more community
On the Web, he
said, "the first thing was online agencies, then came the search
engines ... and the next thing is the notion of the social
It's been a "subtle
revolution," he said.
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