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I think this is a fairly significant event. Although, it does not appear to be a "retirement level" deal for Randy, the big corporate players involved shows a new level of interest in forums.
...others joined in the interest of acquiring FlyerTalk including American Express, TripReports/Expedia. Travelocity/IGOUGO, Washington Post/Newsweek Interactive and Conde Nast Interactive. At the end of the day, FlyerTalk did not go to the highest bidder - as it was never a cash out play. The new owner - Internet Brands - wasn't even among the three highest offers, but I felt strongly that if I were to sell FlyerTalk, that they were the best partner for the members and myself and FlyerTalk's future.
Discussion of the sale at FlyerTalk:
Funny enough, there are a couple of long time WebmasterWorld members that I knew on FlyerTalk before I came over to WebmasterWorld.
I agree Brett - it is pretty big news. Forum community acquisitions are still rare.
FT is much different in two ways from traditional communities (like the social networking sites) you see bought and sold these days:
1) The userbase is ridiculously loyal. You have people who've been on FT for almost a decade.
2) The demographic of its membership is unbelievably rich - a marketers dream.
I wonder if that has anything to do with the acquisition. A lot of people are betting that travel is going to be the industry that makes mobile tip.
I really don't see how this acquisition makes business sense for Internet Brands.