I do a fair amount of research before I buy something or visit someplace new.
I check the usual suspects (call them User Generated Reviews 1.0), TripAdvisor, epinions, yelp, amazon, netflix etc. I find them all a bit lacking though.
For example, I'm planning a vacation in March. This morning I spent a bunch of time going through TripAdvisor. But I'm not sure that the people on the site have the same requirements as I do. Does John Doe want to spend as much or as little as I'm prepared to spend. Does John Doe have three young kids? etc etc. So when they say a resort is "wonderful" there isn't any context for me.
I find myself getting less and less value of these 1.0 products and much more value from word of mouth and blogs where I know the person giving the review. One recent example is my puchase of Sonos. I've read a bunch of reviews but I didn't make the move until I read reviews from people I know & trust personally (e.g. Fred & Nabeel).
I think TripConnect is a very good idea but it's yet another place to set up a profile and create a new social network. Not sure I'm ready for that.
My next task for today is to find a new place to have dinner tonight. Should I check out zagats or yelp or cityvoter? No context for me. Not sure that those sites will help me the find a great italian place that is also appropriate for three young kids.
It would be cool if LinkedIn added reviews for products, services and travel. That would be a natural.
Someone will come up with a killer version of User Reviews 2.0 by adding context and integrating existing blogs & social networks.