Adam Rugel - CEO, 71miles, California, USA

EMAIL from Adam Rugel - CEO,, California, USA - 24 Nov 2007


# Your use of social media for 71Miles seems to be the one core distinguishing feature of the services you offer, compared to other travel sites.  What were the business reasons for using social media to such a wide extent for your business? How has it given 71Miles an edge over other travel businesses in your area?

Allowing users to interact with John Vlahides, the executive editor of 71Miles, within the comments section of give the site personality and makes it feel alive. It also allows us to acquire great recommendations from users.  
# What has been the customer feedback regarding your use of social media, in particular relating to Twitter? Is it something they particularly notice and like/ dislike? Or do they not care about the tech side but appreciate the end result service ie ease of finding information or enjoying the benefits of  special deals texted to their phone?
One user, a former Google employee now semi-retired, told us he's the ideal recipient for hotel deals via Twitter because he can pick up on moments notice and book the deals he gets from us over SMS. Text message marketing in the US is still relatively new, and in general, the response has been positive as users seem to respond to the novelty of it. 

# How different would your business be without using Wordpress, Twitter, Google Maps etc?
These exisiting platforms make it very easy to develop quickly. Without them, 71Miles would have been much more expensive, and time-consuming, to build.
# What are the advantages of using third party applications like Google Calendar, Google Maps and Twitter rather than developing your own? And the disadvantages? Aren't you putting a lot of faith in third party platforms?
The advantages are time-to-market, reliability, and scalability. The disadvantage is that we can't customize in ways that we wish we could, because the platforms not tailor made for us. 
# Your niche is regional travel. Do you have plans to go global?
We quite like the regional travel niche and intend to stay here. 
# What are the hot issues/ current trends around social media that businesses need to pay attention to?
The hottest issue of the day for business like ours is the Facebook newsfeed and it's implications for lead generation.  Is it a trend, or something that's here to stay? Will other social networks successfully replicate it?  Only time will tell.