Anyone who’s ever traveled probably knows there’s some big issues that come along with using online travel review sites such as TripAdvisor or Yelp.
First of all, reviews are usually either extremely positive or extremely negative. That’s because anyone who had a perfectly average experience most likely won’t bother to take the time out of their busy day to let the world know they had an “okay” time. This results in seriously skewed reviews.
Another problem is that, in centralized systems, quality control is often very poorly conducted. It’s either done by the travel website’s employees who usually don’t know enough about the locations to properly assess the quality of user-generated content, or they rely solely on regular users, who have no incentive to do so, to report poor quality or inaccurate information.
Even worse, many travel review sites get paid to feature certain places—this creates a conflict of interest and deceives their users. These websites also have the power to censor content for commercial or illegitimate reasons.
All of these factors lead to extremely biased representations of reality, making it very difficult for the public to find balanced, fair information on the places they’re going.
How can all of these problems be solved? One startup has created a solution that just might be the answer to all of our travel review needs. Meet Explorio, the world’s first decentralized travel reviews platform.
What Does Explorio Do?
Explorio is a blockchain-based platform that rewards its users for creating high-quality content. Inspired by Steem’s incentivized content creation and curation model, the submitted travel reviews on Explorio will be peer-reviewed to verify reliability.
Once verified, they will be published on the platform, where users can then upvote/downvote the content. The content creators will receive token awards in return, based on how popular their content becomes.
Users may contribute content such as:
- Reviews of tourist attractions: places of interest, historical sights, museums, etc.
- Reviews of travel-related commercial establishments: hotels, restaurants, airlines, etc.
- Answers to specific questions asked by other travelers on the Q&A platform
All content will be stored on a blockchain to ensure the information cannot be censored or tampered with, allowing users to trust that the reviews are legitimate and honest.
The Peer-Review Process
Content submissions on Explorio must undergo a peer-review process before it is approved for publishing on the platform. A distributed consensus of peer reviewers will assess the content to confirm whether it is high quality and reliable. It must also meet a list of criteria that will weed out fake or spammy reviews.
Each content submission must:
- Refer to an actually existing place
- Not contradict publicly known facts
- Be original (not plagiarized)
- Not include unsolicited advertisements (spam)
- Not be slanderous or offensive
Peer reviewers will be rewarded for the time they spend vetting content submissions with Explorio Honor tokens (XPLH).
This peer-review process will ensure all content that goes live on the platform is original and reliable.
The Voting System
By incentivizing users to vote on content, we hope to make the platform more democratic and bring the power of content curation back into the hands of the community.
— Explorio whitepaper
Once content is reviewed and published on the platform, community members will then be able to upvote or downvote the content based on its helpfulness, much like Reddit or Steem.
Based on these votes, Explorio’s algorithm will determine the individual rewards for content creators and curators, as well as which content will be prioritized for end-users.
Users will also be rewarded for how early they vote, plus how their vote matches up with the popularity and quality of the content, which provides users an incentive to only upvote helpful, quality content instead of just upvoting everything they see to gain rewards. To also combat this issue, there will be periodic voting rate limits, meaning users must cast their votes wisely.
Rewards for Content Creators
Content creators on the Explorio platform will be rewarded for providing the community with high-quality and helpful content in the form of Explorio Honor tokens (XPLH).
The more XPLH a user has, the higher their status is and the more privileges they will receive. XPLH will be backed by Explorio’s utility token, called XPL, and can be exchanged at any time.
Explorio’s Token Economy
Our long-term goal is to make Explorio token (XPL) the world’s leading travel token that people will actively use while exploring the world.
As mentioned above, Explorio will implement two separate tokens on their platform: XPL and XPLH. Here’s a handy visual for how they both will operate:
XPLH will not be tradeable or transferable—it can only be obtained by contributing to the community. This ensures users cannot buy their way into obtaining status and power on the platform; they have to put in the work of being a helpful and valuable community member.
Every XPLH token is backed by a XPL token, meaning members may choose to exchange the XPLH they receive into XPL at any time. XPL will serve several functions on Explorio.
XPL holders may use their tokens to:
- Ask incentivized questions on the Q&A platform
- Boost reviews of certain attractions/establishments
- Purchase digital goods from other travelers on the marketplace
- Book travel-related goods and services from Explorio’s partners
- Trade or exchange to other cryptocurrencies or fiat currencies
We can expect to see more uses arise for XPL tokens over time, as the platform gains popularity.
The Explorio Team
Explorio’s team is chock full of experienced people with great track records and a lot of accomplishments under their belts. And they all have one thing in common: a big passion for travel. In fact, most of them are digital nomads, working from their laptops as they travel the world.
Co-founder and CEO Jacob Laukaitis has co-founded a handful of successful online businesses already, including Travel-Ticker—a hotel booking platform that was acquired by HotelPlanner—and ChameleonJohn, a 7-figure online coupons website.
Co-founder and CTO Marijonas Petrauskas worked at both Google and Microsoft, then moved to Uber as an infrastructure engineer.
Ingvaras Merkys, Explorio’s lead blockchain developer, was a full stack developer for Western Union before he quit to become a digital nomad.
Accompanying the impressive team are many remarkable advisors, including 4 travel industry advisors from Booking.com, Expedia, and TripAdvisor. They’ve also got a business development advisor from Google, a blockchain advisor, and 2 ICO advisors. Having all of these ultra experienced people on their side gives Explorio a huge advantage.
In another brilliant move, the team has recruited a group of prominent travel influencers as well to promote Explorio to their millions of fans across social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, and Steem.
The combined forces of an experienced team, ultra-knowledgeable advisors, and a global network of influencers sets Explorio up to be a potentially huge player in the travel review world.
Competitors and Challenges
Explorio’s competitors are, naturally, other travel review websites—the main one being TripAdvisor. There’s also Lonely Planet, Booking.com, and Yelp, among others.
It’s going to be a difficult pursuit for Explorio to compete against these well-established, multi-million dollar companies. Yet, the team behind Explorio is up for the challenge, and are even optimistic about succeeding against their competition, as they have many competitive advantages above them.
Explorio stands out because their use of blockchain technology enables complete transparency and trust that reviews are legitimate. Plus, Explorio will be the world’s first online travel reviews platform that will reward its users for contributing content, which gives users a big incentive to write high-quality posts and spend time reviewing others’ content.
All of this high-quality, original content will help Explorio’s SEO rankings to quickly rise, resulting in lots of targeted traffic.
There are a few other blockchain-based projects out there related to travel reviews and information that Explorio must compete against, such as Futourist and Cool Cousin. However, they have enough differences in scope, approach, and goals that the Explorio team isn’t too worried.
As stated in their whitepaper:
By focusing on our mission of bringing the best travel information on the planet and our approach of securing high quality content by building a strong traveler community, we seek to truly stand out and gradually acquire a competitive advantage that cannot be beaten.
How to Acquire and Store XPL/XPLH
As mentioned already, the only way to obtain XPLH is through contributing quality content to the Explorio community. You can then exchange your XPLH for XPL at a 1:1 ratio.
XPL can also be purchased during Explorio’s ICO, which starts on August 1, 2018 and ends on September 15, 2018. You will need some ETH to purchase the XPL. 1 ETH = 20,358 XPL.
To store your XPL, you will need an ERC-20 compatible wallet.
Keep an eye on Explorio’s site for more details regarding the ICO.
With a brilliant idea and a stellar team, Explorio has the potential to become a huge player in the travel review world.
Travelers all over the globe would rejoice to have a more trustworthy and reliable platform as they plan their trips to various attractions, restaurants, and hotels.
Explorio still has a long journey ahead of them before their vision is realized, but they have a rock-solid plan to get them there. In fact, if they follow their roadmap without delays, Explorio is positioned to be used by 1 million users worldwide with over 5 million reviews in just 2 years. For the sake of travelers everywhere, let’s hope they succeed.
To learn more about Explorio, visit their website and read their whitepaper. You can also follow Explorio’s latest developments on Telegram and Twitter.
Source: Read Full Article