What a pleasant surprise I found in my email box today.

Hats Off to You for Contributing!

TripAdvisor Free HatYou posted on TripAdvisor and we’d like to send you a FREE hat as a token of our appreciation.

It’s our way of saying thanks for your wise words, candid comments and priceless photos.

Hurry to get your hat, but please don’t forward this email to friends. Instead, tell them to write a review so we can send them free stuff next year!

I was saddened to click through and discover my account didn’t qualify, but then later received this message:

Sorry for the inconvenience – Get your hat now!

Earlier today, you received an email offering you a free TripAdvisor hat to thank you for sharing your travel opinions this year. Sadly, we had a technical glitch that kept some of you from requesting your hats.

We’re very sorry for the inconvenience and wanted to let you know that the problem has now been resolved. We hope you’ll try again.

Well, I did try again and in 2-3 weeks, I’ll supposedly receive my free hat. I doubt it will be of much quality or something I’ll sport regularly, but the fact that contributors get a little surprise holiday gift is pretty damn cool. And frankly, I contributed a couple short reviews the 2-3 times I logged in just to learn a bit more about the site.

So, Kudos to the TripAdvisor team!

If you have a TripAdvisor account, join my meager network (only two co-workers who shared responsibilities on a travel destination account with me). If I might get a free lid for chiming in and as much as I travel, I’ll become more active.

My profile can be found here:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/members/jfallsman

All you social network site folks out there, take note. We don’t need incentive to participate. But letting us know we’re appreciated is never a bad idea.

[tags]TripAdvisor, travel, social networking, travel sites, destination, travel recommendations[/tags]

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is the founder and chief instigator for Social Media Explorer's blog and signature Explore events. He is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for CafePress, one of the world's largest online retailers. His opinions are his, not necessarily theirs. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://www.plaza-hotel.com Plaza Hotel

    I think that is genius of them to offer incentives. That is really going to add quality to the site and encourage people to give real reviews.