Oyster.com Bets on Professional Writers Instead of User Generated Content

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By Jason Boog Comment

Today the Travel Channel invested $7.5 million in the hotel research and booking website, Oyster.com–opening up new jobs for travel writers and exploring new models of financing content online.

On the Morning Media Menu, we interviewed Oyster.com CEO Elie Seidman about what the investment means for working writers.  Seidman explained how travel writers can find jobs at the company and offered some predictions about the future of travel writing.

Follow this MP3 link to listen. Here’s an excerpt: “We send professional journalists who we train in our approach and model to go to hotels. We actually visit hotels. What you see on Oyster are the photographs, the true photographs, that we took while we were there–you see it through our eyes.”

Seidman concluded: “In the past few years there was a huge meme around user generated content. If you look at sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor, this was considered the future for a long time. This was going to be the end of professional journalism. We took the take that that’s totally not true. We’ve been validated in our belief because there are customers out there who really value an expert who knows what they are talking about.”

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