OkTaTaByeBye Revamped To Enable Planning Of Trips

MakeMyTrip’s travel based social networking site OkTaTaByeBye has been relaunched in beta. The search has been revamped to categorize results according to content on their site; content is also tagged. More on the feature here. Talk Junction, allows users to ask for travel advice; video albums have been added. Monetization could be by means of tie-ups with hotels, travel agents and online ticketing sites- but plans haven’t been firmed up yet. They already have a tie-up with MTV.
The site allows destinations and hotels to be ranked and reviewed…there could be conflict of interest, in case of a bad review of a hotel that the site ties-up with. I liked the feature that allows users to plan events with either a select group, or invite others to join them as Travel Buddies – that’s what existing travel communities (examples: Indiamike, Indiatree, Lets Go, Himalaya Trekkers) facilitate.
The changes, said Parthasarthy Mandal of OkTaTaByeBye, have been made based mainly on user feedback. It’s still in beta, and out of shape with Firefox and Opera. While the site is useful for ‘power users’, I think the amount of content can initially be overwhelming for newbies. One challenge will be getting ‘power users’ to switch from blogs, and groups on Yahoo, Google and Orkut. Incidentally, on Saturday, I saw an auto rickshaw in Delhi with an OkTaTaByeBye sticker…