The Curator's News Feed: May 18. 2012

We just can't get enough of travel and vacation planning tools and sites - like Trippy, below. We're also reading about how Ikea is unveiling its new line via Pinterest and how a businessman is bringing billboards to an unexpected locations. Happy Facebook IPO Day!

Trippy Rolls Out New Features to Become Vacation-Planning Hub, Mashable. I know that I’ve talked about social media vacation planning tools before (Wanderfly anyone?) but the newest start-up, Trippy, was just too good to pass up. This site is quite similar to Wanderfly, but in my opinion it does a better job of incorporating a user’s existing social networks into the trip planning process. Basically, the site operates similarly to Pinterest, allowing users to create boards of places they have visited, or would like to visit. However, instead of just wistfully looking at pretty pictures and wondering if that amazing lilac garden in Greece really looks like that in person, you can click the “create a trip” button at the bottom of the screen and Trippy will help you start the planning process. This includes getting travel recommendations from friends in your network, finding potential activities for you to dive into, and connecting you with other travelers who have been there and done that.  According to the company’s founder, J.R. Johnson, in the future they plan to allow users to book trips directly on the site. I’m excited to see how this rolls out, and hopefully start booking some trips of my own! – Megan

GM pulls advertising from Facebook, U.S. News & World Report. Someone had to be first big spender to flinch. Citing poor ROI, GM has decided to take its ad budget on Facebook from 60 to 0, specifically, from $10 million to zilch. Was this a smart move? Perhaps a 100% pull out is a bit extreme, but I think it will prove to be a net gain for advertisers in the long run. Consider how much CPM and CPC ads cost in the early years of internet advertising. As companies pulled ad dollars, prices fell. In my opinion, GM’s decision says more about a functioning economic system than it does about social media advertising, and I’d wager they’ll be back when the price is right. – Matthew

To Drop The “The” or Not Drop The “The,”  I watched the first episode of this experiment by KIRO-TV a few weeks back and was intrigued. Next episode is coming up on June 7 (when I’ll be in Denver, of course). Definitely need to keep an eye on this, though… - Dan

IKEA Uses Pinterest to Promote First India-Inspired Collection, PSFK.  I love Ikea. And I’m a bit smitten with Pinterest. So I found this article on how the funky brand is connecting with consumers quite interesting. Take a look to see how Ikea is using Pinterest to showcase the gorgeous True Blue collection, but also share where the designers found their inspiration. These boards are a feast for the eyes! – Ann Marie

Ad exec creates floating billboards for Seattle, The Seattle Times. Floating billboards? Terrible idea. As marketers we are always looking for opportunities to raise awareness and build brand recognition, but sometimes it’s important to recognize what’s NOT an opportunity. I can’t imagine that floating a huge billboard on beautiful, picturesque Lake Washington would create a positive brand perception. It will definitely increase awareness, but likely not the kind the company is looking for. – Julia

Full Interview: Sanjay Arora on Million Short, Spark. What would an internet search look like if you removed the top 1 million results? That’s the concept behind MillionShort, a search engine created by a software startup in Toronto. When you type in search terms, it won’t give you results from many sites you’re familiar with, like Facebook or the New York Times or Amazon. You can also adjust the settings to remove only the top 100, 1,000 or other select quantity of results. The developer (interviewed here on Spark, one of my favorite CBC radio shows) wanted to reveal the hidden corners of the web that might not have great SEO, but may have fantastic content just waiting to be discovered. I think it’s particularly fun to use for recipes, because it strips away a lot of the bigwig aggregator sites and turns up smaller food blogs I didn’t previously know about. – Lisa