TripAdvisor

Started in 2000 and based in Needham, Massachusetts, TripAdvisor is an company that hosts online reviews of travel-related businesses and destinations. “Initially we go to the site for practical advice on future travels,” a 2006 review of TripAdvisor from the New York Times begins. “But what prolongs the visit are the stories—the tales that invite us to judge, condemn, or identify with our fellow travelers. As with Dante, the reports from the circles of hell are especially mesmerizing. Who wants to read about somebody else’s paradise, after all? What we all really want to know is that somebody else is paying dearly to have a far worse time than us. On this point, at least, TripAdvisor is thoroughly reliable.”

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