Yododo, the first travelers’ social network in China has reached 10,000 users since its version 1.0 released in Sept. 2006. It now has very broad travel contents which mostly contributed by its users. The Yododo users can freely share their experience, reviews, photos, video clips, recommendations etc.
Yododo, started as a hobby of its three founders, CEO Marriane Miao, CTO Michael Bu and COO Tepper Tong, was developed to be a place where they can share their own travel experience with friends in Sept. 2005. The beta version was launched in April 2006 and got very positive feedbacks from travelers across the country. July 2006, Yododo got its first angel funding from Silicon Valley.
I spent some time on walking through the Yododo’s service. I searched for my hometown Chengdu and found quite a lot information, e.g. the culture, history, transportation, festival, places etc plus the photos and videoclips which almost cover everything a tourist should know before he start the trip. You can also create a trip which can be mashuped on the Google Map, write your journals, give your sight reviews, look for a company who has the same idea with yours and share all these information to others. You can even put your Yododo footage on your blog (see below).

There is no revenue generated so far. ‘The entire site is currently under a careful review. We indeed considered some commercial models to make some profit but we decided to not carry them out until we finalise the optimisition of our services to provide the best user experience’, Marriane told me yesterday in the interview. I wouldnot worry about the future of Yododo. There are so many local resource they can work with, such as hotel reservation, local Ads, etc.

If you are planning your trip in China, I think Yododo must be one of the must-visit website. Yododo currently only targets on the Chinese visitors, but Marriane has given me the words, the english version of Yododo is on their to-do list.

There are some similar services in US, including RealTravel, TripHub, but I have not seen the second startup in China. I would not be surprised if I see more in near future, as the Yododo has boosted the market and more importantly there are so many tourists and un-explored nice places to visit in Great China.

Dr. Gang Lu - Founder of TechNode. He's a Blogger, a Geek, a PhD and a Speaker, with passion in Tech, Internet and R'N'R.

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