The plummeting press-release threshold

Pity the poor PR flack, pumping out press releases, subject to the hatred (and occasional alliteration) of Valley journalists and bloggers. Or just pity the people who hired him.

Day by day, smaller and smaller events become release-worthy. Does anyone read them? Does anyone really report them? Does it matter? No, the flacks will keep pounding 'em out. Take today's "Why are you still talking?" release, for example. TravBuddy (a decent-looking travel blog site) giddily announces a "revolutionary technology upgrade."

Every time a registered user contributes a travel blog or review to the TravBuddy.com site, a digital "pin" is inserted into the user's personal travel map.

And it shows satellite images! It's mixed with Google Maps! Revolutionary! They'll build cities around it!

After the jump, the entire press release for just another Google Maps mashup.

TravBuddy [travbuddy.com]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TravBuddy.com introduces revolutionary Personal Travel Maps

BERKELEY, California, Mar. 29, 2006. ­ TravBuddy LLC announced today that it has completed a revolutionary new technology upgrade that fully integrates its travel database with Google's world mapping feature, allowing users to create personal travel maps - complete with satellite images and road diagrams.

Every time a registered user contributes a travel blog or review to the TravBuddy.com site, a digital "pin" is inserted into the user's personal travel map. This generates a customized world map richly populated with pins that automatically display summaries of that user's travel experiences.

For non-registered users, the maps serve as a visual way to follow other travelers and explore possible travel destinations. The travel maps display user-generated information superimposed over Google-licensed maps, and can be configured to display high-resolution satellite images, street maps, or a composite of both.

The result is an easy-to-use site that leverages social networking and advanced programming to deliver high-quality travel information to users around the globe.

In addition to personal travel maps, TravBuddy.com has implemented a unique "Review Request" feature that allows users to ask the TravBuddy.com community for help, providing a wealth of first-hand information about specific travel destinations.

TravBuddy.com was named the most innovative Web 2.0 application of 2005 on Articledashboard.com. Along with full AJAX and RSS implementations, the new Google-based mapping feature solidifies TravBuddy.com's position as a technology leader in the field of travel Web sites.

About TravBuddy LLC and TravBuddy.com:

Started by two brothers, Eric and David Bjorndahl, TravBuddy.com is a travel community Web site where users can easily review travel destinations, blog about their journeys, and post photographs to share with friends and family. Having recently graduated from UC Berkeley and the University of Texas at Austin, the brothers know many young adults enjoy traveling, but find it hard to access quality travel information.

Unlike other sites, TravBuddy.com is driven almost entirely by user-generated content. There are other sites on the Web where you can blog or share photos, but TravBuddy.com is one of the only sites dedicated to travelers. TravBuddy is also one of the only travel sites to integrate social networking, photo hosting, dynamic mapping, and Web 2.0 features.

Of the nearly 2000 registered users, many are students in the United States, but a significant portion come from foreign countries. Recent statistics indicate that tens of thousands of hits have come from Australia, Europe, Japan, and China. Some of the most active users even post while they are traveling, using internet cafés and hotel wireless connections.

Media Contact: Derek Lazzaro, Vice President of Marketing, TravBuddy LLC. Phone: [redacted]. Email: derek@travbuddy.com See also: www.travbuddy.com. [redacted], Berkeley, CA.