Driftr is yet another travel social network - but it's one with a lot of potential. Although there are many sites out there that can help you plan your trips, few offer you planning tools and a way to share your experiences about the places you've been. What Drifter offers is a community where you can track your trips, share your photos, blog, and review everything from restaurants and hotels to travel agents and airlines. Like they say, at Driftr "you are the travel writer, the photographer, and the reviewer."Yes,
The information you share then becomes a part of the Driftr community. Other travelers can use this collective, shared information to research destinations before making their travel plans.
Where Driftr really stands out is its great design and the high level of usability of its website. After signing up for the service, it's easy to get started with adding your first trip. Using drop-down menus, there are thousands of destinations to choose from, but you can also add your own if it's not already built-in. You can either upload your photos to Driftr from your computer or, better yet, you can just import a Flickr photoset instead. Along with sharing photos, each trip also has areas where you can add your opinions about "where to stay," "what to eat," "what to do," and "how to get around." The "trip blog", however, is very basic when compared with other blogging platforms - being nothing more than text boxes in which you can write.
Image via Driftr blog
Another nice feature is Driftr's proprietary map, that lets you highlight and track the places you've been - while also letting you search for content about the places you would like to go. When you click on a destination on the map, you are presented with a list of cities to select from. After clicking on the city of your choice, you are then taken to a page where the collective photos, reviews, and blog entries for that location are combined. As you find other travelers on the site whose trips you want to follow, you have the option of adding them as a friend, just like on any other social network. The sheer simplicity of navigating Driftr's map and other areas of the website make using Driftr quite enjoyable.
The only major omission I saw was that there was no way to upload video, but since the service is still so new I'm hoping that feature will arrive at some point down the road. The Driftr homepage banner reads "alpha", but the text says it's a "private beta," which is a little confusing. I also received my invite almost immediately after signing up, so I'm not sure how "private" it really is anymore. This is good news, though, because the more people signing up and sharing on Driftr, the more useful it becomes. Even if you are not a major traveler, Driftr can be a fun way to research where you want to go for your next vacation.