This article is written like a personal reflection, personal essay, or argumentative essay that states a Wikipedia editor's personal feelings or presents an original argument about a topic. (August 2017)
|Dissolved||February 27, 2017|
VirtualTourist (VT) was a free online travel guide and social networking service. The website had over 1.3 million members, which contributed to sharing 3.7 million photos and posted 1.8 million travel tips for over 70,000 locations. Members were able to rate each other's tips by accuracy and helpfulness. Each member had a "VT rank" based on the ratings of their tips.
Some members attended meetings, which often included over 100 participants.
The origin of Virtualtourist is found in a project at the University of Buffalo to provide a Web-based map of all servers on the Internet. This project was nominated for “Best Navigation Aid” at the Best of the Web Awards at the First International Conference on the World-Wide Web.
In 1996, Brandon Plewe at the University of Buffalo registered “Virtual Tourist” as a trademark in the US, but abandoned the trademark in 1997. Shortly thereafter, two German computer science students, Tilman Reissfelder and Thorsten Kalkbrenner at the University of Karlsruhe, registered the URL.
By 1999, Reissfelder and Kalkbrenner had a site with a few hundred city locations with travel links that people could add to and which would reference their user profiles. The site, which had links about “Hotels, Restaurants, Things to Do”, received 1.5 million page views per month from about 500,000 unique visitors. J.R. Johnson, an American attorney, teamed up with Reissfelder and Kalkbrenner, moved the company to the US, raised money, with Reissfelder as CTO and Johnson as CEO.
Effective February 27, 2017, the site was shut down.
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