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Social Networks / Travel Websites / Facebook / Twitter / Airlines / Lufthansa / MySkyStatus / iPhone / → All Tags
Last October, Lufthansa unveiled the beta version of their new social flight tracking service called "MySkyStatus." We were initially quite intrigued by the free service, which automatically updates your Twitter, Facebook and more with your flight details, such as "Jaunted is currently flying over Paris, France." It sounded cool, easy and a little braggybut hey, we'll try anything once.
Now, MySkyStatus is back and better than ever with a Version 2, incorporating the ability to compare your travels with others, keep a record of your past flights, and connect your updates to LinkedIn and your email contacts in addition to Facebook and Twitter. It's pretty much the ultimate tool for helping those picking you up at the airport figure out exactly how far away you are, or if there's been a delay. Links to Google Maps of your position are the cherry on top.
Lufthansa / Airline News / Twitter / Facebook / Airlines / Social Networks / → All Tags
Lufthansa is announcing the launch of MySkyStatus, a new web service that lets you send live information about your flight status to your Facebook and Twitter streams. The setup is entirely straightforward - give them your account credentials, type in your flight information, and you're good to go. Regardless of what airline you're flying, the service will send updates like "Jaunted is now flying over Paris, France" to your accounts.
This seems like a neat way to keep friends and family abreast about where you are, plus status updates are supposed to be about your status. If you're over Paris that's what you'd be tweeting if you had cell phone access. So you might as well set up a service to do it for you. The messages even come with a link to a Google Maps mashup that shows your plane's location.
Does the world really need another traveler social network? A whimpered "yes?" comes from the direction of American Airlines, who this week will be launching BlackAtlas.com, a part-facebook, part-travel guide serving as "your passport to the black experience." Indeed they are targeting African-American air travelers, who want to read articles titled "5 1/2 Things About Brooklyn" and watch videos about places like "Sonia's Hair Salon" in Madrid.
The Site doesn't officially launch until Thursday the 15th, but from sneak peek screenshots and more, we're thinking it looks like an expensive new toy for an airline which maybe shouldn't be spending that money right now.
Rental Cars / Zipcar / Zimride / Websites / Social Networks / → All Tags
Hallelujah, someone has finally merged ride sharing and car sharing to create one seamless, social network-based partnership...almost. Zipcar, the online car rental group with their vehicles "living" in neighborhoods, has just joined forces with Zimride, a virtual memoboard of carpool pleas and offers, which narrows in on available rides within your region, university or work network.
Launched at Stanford earlier this week, the Zimrde/Zipcar partnership means a bevy of easy access to information with the combined bonus of automatically vetting your tripmate: "[it will] allow Zipcar members getting a car to broadcast the time, date, and final destination of their trip - and also a estimated price per rider. Zimride's software then takes care of matching ready riders to the members." For now, Zimride's Zipcars are sadly only open to select public and private colleges, but hopefully one day its tiny green footprint will tread all over our social networks.
· Zimride and Zipcar Partnership [Official Site]
· Zipcar and Zimride - Carshare Marriage Made in Heaven? [Treehugger]
· The Cult of Car Sharing Grows at Zipcar Open Bar [Jaunted]
· France Travel Coverage [Jaunted]
Despite some less than desirable results, airlines have started wading into social networking. Lufthansa got a half-hearted "meh" out of us earlier this year with the debut of GenFlyLounge, its brand-specific social site aimed at college kids. But now that the carrier has launched a group on Xiaonei, a 15-million strong network that calls itself the Facebook of China, we're starting to think they're more savvy than we first thought.
You can't check out the group without creating a Xiaonei profile (or signing in), but Lufthansa's Chinese marketing manager explained the new effort to aviation obsessive Brett Snyder:
We have identified students as a new target audience for us in China. Apart from introducing a flexible student fare that allows students to have additional luggage allowance and open returns, we are positioning ourselves on the existing popular networking site Xiaonei as a travel facilitator, putting like minded students in touch with each other, providing them with visa and country information, offering constantly updated advice from other students currently studying in Europe, offer links to relevant sites.
Participating in the network and adding value for users instead of walling them off from their existing contacts? Lufthansa really does do things differently in China!
· Lufthansa Joins Social Network Xiaonei, “Facebook of China” [BNet]
· Lufthansa Getting in the Facebook Game. Without Facebook. [Jaunted]