If Gogobot Hasn’t Sucked You In Already, This New Flipboard-like Layout Will

Gogobot is a truly special startup. Beautifully designed and very useful are two things that are rarely found together, but Gogobot has both.

We first covered them last year. But they didn’t unveil the product – a place to create and consume reviews and photos from real people about places they’ve traveled to – until November 2010.

The service makes it extremely easy to rate and comment on restaurants, hotels and other places you visit while traveling. You can search for the content – which is much cleaner and more useful than you’ll find on places like Travelocity (see for example their results for Maui hotels or things to do in Rome), and it’s easy to click a button and add things you see recommended to your itinerary.

But the fun part is creating content. GogoBot makes it simple to do that. Foursquare and Facebook integration allows the service to monitor where you publicly check-in, and then prompt you later to leave a review. And Gogobot automatically groups your photos and reviews from a trip into an album.

Until now though those collections/albums/passports weren’t all that pretty to look at (see screenshot here).

Travel Collections

The new feature is called Travel Collections. Your trips are published in a beautiful Flipboard-like layout.

The new feature allows users to share their adventures in a format rich with color and context – an enhanced scrapbook for the digital age. Users can share their photos, reviews and other details about the places they stayed, dined, and traveled from the Gogobot site. The new Collections layout also allows users to seamlessly integrate their activities from other social media sites – including their check- ins on Facebook and Foursquare – and professional photos from Gogobot. All of these elements are packaged into pages about each place, allowing friends to learn more about your trip , see a map of where you were when you caught that sunset, or even make a reservation at the hotel where you stayed. These elements are presented in a clean and elegant format with an interactive map that allows users to share vacations with their social networks in a streamlined, beautifully packaged layout, while making it easy for friends to use this information to plan their own trips.

You can also view trips via a new map feature that shows where everything is, to get better context around the trip and when you went where, as well as other hotels, restaurants and attractions nearby. See CEO Travis Katz’s London album and click “map view” at the top to see how this works. There’s no better way to share vacation photos and recommendations that I’ve seen.