Social media addicts get hotel points when they jones for recognition

Does check-in mean more to you than a pretty girl at the front desk, fumbling with your credit card and a humble request for an upgrade? If this expression instead reminds you that you’ve been the uncontested mayor of your tiny cubicle for the past seven and a half months – and you like to travel – has you in mind. This new social media service seeks to score hotel points for you based on foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt and a handful of other networks.

So far, Standard Hotels is previewing Topguest. According to CNET:

Right now, there are two rewards in place: check in to all four Standard hotels in the course of a week (which involves being in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami) and earn a complimentary week’s stay at any one of them), or check in to Standard establishments ten times and receive a 25 percent reservation discount.

Okay, so the perks are a little thin right now. But, if Standard can wrangle the addicts, look for the other hotels to get on board.

GadlingTV’s Travel Talk 012: Trains, planes, & mergers! Behind the scenes at Southwest Airlines, Gowalla & Gadling in Austin + a brand new GIVEAWAY!!

GadlingTV’s Travel Talk, episode 12 – Click above to watch video after the jump
Well, we’ve been bouncing around the country this week and have got a great show to prove it! From Dallas, Texas to Austin, Texas and finally Portland, Oregon – we’ll take you behind the scenes at Love Field Airport and the operational headquarters of Southwest Airlines!

In the news this week: United & Continental’s big merger, a new train makes tracks in a forbidden country, we look into the biggest World Expo in history, and find out why your toothpaste may once again be safe while traveling through Europe.

We get the inside scoop on Austin-based tech startup Gowalla, and catch up with Gadling crew for a day out on the town. Last but not least, we’re GIVING AWAY TWO FREE TICKETS on Virgin America!! Watch to the end to find out how to enter!!

Tune in next week for our full Portland, Oregon special!

If you have any questions or comments about Travel Talk, you can email us at talk AT gadling DOT com.

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Get the official scoop on the United/Continental merger.
U.S State Department’s guidelines for visiting North Korea.
Must Watch!! The Vice Guide to North Korea. An in-depth look at DPRK guided tours.
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Hosts: Stephen Greenwood, Aaron Murphy-Crews, Drew Mylrea
Special Guest: Jonathan Carroll, Jeremy Kressman.

Produced, Edited, and Directed by: Stephen Greenwood, Aaron Murphy-Crews, Drew Mylrea

Update **The current video has been revised from it’s original version at the request of Southwest airlines. We were given a sneak peak at the TSA’s baggage screening room and filmed bags being opened, which presented privacy concerns. That footage, as well as a mention of Southwest’s mechanical practices – has been removed.

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“Place-dropping”: the new social currency?

You just landed in Paris. What’s the first thing you do? Head for the passport line? Withdraw some money at the ATM? How about updating your Twitter/Facebook status? It’s called ‘place-dropping,’ an increasingly popular form of “digital bragging” about where you’ve been online. With many of us carrying laptops, checking mobile phones and using location services, it’s easier than ever before to log on and update our status, notifying our friends back home about our adventures. But is there a difference between simply sharing news and simply being obnoxious?

Like so much of social media etiquette, the proper rules of place dropping are still up for debate. Writer Spud Hilton took a stab at laying some ground rules in a place-dropping article on World Hum last month, suggesting a good place drop “conveys you were there” but doesn’t “overplay your hand.” But Hilton is talking mostly about place dropping during face-to-face conversations. What about doing it online? In some cases, there’s justification. For instance updating curious friends and anxious family members on where you are. For frequent travelers, a place drop is also a research tool. I often sent requests for destination insights during my recent trip to Southeast Asia. And it’s a handy way to find travel friends who are nearby.

Yet place dropping has limits. It prevents us from truly immersing and enjoying ourselves in our destinations. And if done excessively on social media, place-dropping alienates friends and followers. At a time when we can get anywhere on earth in 24 hours or less, it also seems increasingly redundant.

What do you think about place dropping? Is it just a sign of our ever-more-connected global lifestyle? Or something more heinous? Leave us a comment to start the discussion.Related:
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Before you go, be sure to check out Travel Talk, in which the guys visit the spiciest restaurant in NYC — try to slake their thirst with beer.