Written on January 22, 2008 at 1:11 pm, by Linda Bao
How many times have you come home from a trip, say to New York, only to find that a friend of yours was also in New York and you didn’t know it? Or maybe you had a quick business trip to Omaha and forgot that your old friend Steve lives in the area? It probably would have been more fun to meet him for a drink rather than sit in your hotel room alone. Enter TripIt’s new “Closeness Alert” feature.
Closeness Alerts tell you when you’ll be close enough to a friend or colleague so you could meet up with them. Best of all, you don’t have to do any additional work to enjoy the benefits of Closeness Alerts. Just keep forwarding your travel plans to firstname.lastname@example.org, and be sure you’ve connected to all your friends, colleagues, and family members in TripIt – we’ll do the rest.
Here’s how it works. TripIt knows when you’re at home, or when you’re on the road. And when you’re traveling, we know all the various places you’ll be: your hotel, business meetings, restaurants – any plans in your TripIt itinerary that have valid addresses. TripIt also has the same information for your friends who also use TripIt, so we can tell you when you’ll be close to each other. Say you have a business trip to San Francisco, including a lunch down in Palo Alto (about 30 miles south of San Francisco). If a friend of yours from Chicago is also in the Bay Area on business, say having a meeting in San Mateo (about 13 miles north of Palo Alto), then TripIt will alert both of you. It’s up to you whether you reach out to the friend to meet up, but at least you’ll know you have the opportunity.
We’ve really tried to make this feature effortless for our users. It’s so easy to add detailed travel plans to TripIt – just forward us that OpenTable restaurant reservation, or your hotel confirmation from any of our 100+ supported booking sites, etc. We’ll keep track of all the various places you’ll be on a trip without you having to manually enter anything. Then we use that data to look for overlaps with your friends. If you’ll be within 20 miles of a friend at any particular point on our trip, we let you know.
You can try it out right now, and I’d love to hear what you think. Just visit TripIt and check out the Who’s Close tab to play around with the feature. As always, we love hearing what you think about TripIt, but especially for new features that we release. So please post your comments here or email us at email@example.com so we know how we can make TripIt even more useful for you in the future. Enjoy!