Open Thread: Much-Needed Web 2.0 Makeovers

Old-timey sites have been getting web 2.0 upgrades in recent months, the kind of thing that makes me far more likely to use them than all those high-priced Google AdWords they buy.

I’ve happily noted Southwest Airlines‘ makeover (options like “Book a Flight” and “Check in Online” have finally made their way to front and center), and am marginally pleased with the recent fresh coat of paint at IMDB.

Perhaps you can go overboard; USA Today got some negative feedback on its redesign this week, which added a slew of reader participation features.

But I was flabbergasted to find myself on the normally painful, finding useful information about places to stay on my recent vacation.

Supposedly this happened last August, so I’m a bit behind the times. But honestly, the amount of reloads and unavailable information and opaque pricing had made me run far away and never want to come back.

Now, has AJAXy maps with landmarks, easily navigable tags with resources like virtual tours and photos, and an actual phone number displayed on every page about a hotel. I might even use it on purpose!

So what do you think? What sites are in need of an upgrade? What recently redesigned sites should we give a second chance? (OK fine, Craigslist, you can be exempt.) If you have an Extreme Makeover: Website Edition brainstorm and want to share the image share with rest of us, send it to info a t giga om dot com.